Rüdiger Fahlenbrach appointed director of the College of Management

© 2022 EPFL

© 2022 EPFL

Professor Dominique Foray has retired from his position as director of EPFL’s College of Management of Technology. He is being succeeded by Professor Rüdiger Fahlenbrach, who joined EPFL in 2009. Prof. Fahlenbrach’s priorities will include expanding the college and reshaping its relationship with the wider School.

Prof. Fahlenbrach took over as the new director of EPFL’s College of Management of Technology (CDM) on 1 August 2022. He succeeds Prof. Foray, who had held the position since 2018 after teaching at CDM since it was established in 2004.

Prof. Fahlenbrach specializes in corporate finance and venture capital. He teaches several classes at EPFL including Foundations in Financial Economics (part of the Humanities and Social Sciences, or SHS, program) and Venture Capital (for students in the Master’s program in Financial Engineering). As a member of the CDM management team, which he joined in 2019, his duties include heading up the college’s Master’s program in Financial Engineering.

Prof. Foray is delighted to be handing the reins to his colleague, whom he describes as “outstanding and perfectly qualified for this demanding role.” Prof. Foray played an instrumental role in setting up CDM in order to cater to an increasingly evident, yet unmet need among students. “There was a belief that, as long as our graduates had a solid engineering background, they could learn the ins-and-outs of running a company on the job,” he explains. “But it isn’t that easy. Students need formal training in business and management.” He adds that the Minor in Management, Technology and Entrepreneurship (MTE), which is delivered by CDM, has become the most popular course at EPFL.

Keeping a finger on the pulse of engineering

Prof. Foray will carry on teaching two classes at EPFL and continue to serve in other roles as well, such as a member of the Swiss Science Council. Reflecting on his time at the helm of CDM, he’s particularly proud that he was able to incorporate formal management classes into the SHS program for Bachelor’s students – classes that have been very well received. Another highlight is CDM’s executive education program, which is the most extensive on campus.

Prof. Foray was also behind a rethink of CDM’s hiring process, with a focus on bringing business leaders and other industry professionals on board as part-time professors to share their experience with students.

Prof. Fahlenbrach intends to continue in the same vein and roll out new initiatives such as adding more CDM-led courses to the SHS program and working more closely with the Enterprise for Society Center (E4S). “I firmly believe that engineers need a solid grounding in the humanities and social sciences,” he says. “I’m delighted to have this opportunity to take CDM forward as a fully fledged part of EPFL, and to continue forging closer ties with other schools.”

Vice-president for Academic affairs at EPFL, Jan S. Hesthaven adds: “I want to thank Prof. Foray for his leadership of the College of Management and Prof. Fahlenbrach for having agreed to take over this key role during a time where the importance and impact of the social sciences at EPFL is destined to increase.”

Prof. Fahlenbrach is set to hit the ground running in his new role: at the upcoming Research and Education Days (JSP) – an annual gathering of EPFL faculty taking place later this month – part of the agenda will be devoted to outlining an ambitious plan to strengthen the role of social sciences on campus.