The new Vice Presidency for Academic Affairs (VPA)

© 2020 EPFL

© 2020 EPFL

EPFL’s president reaffirmed the importance of EPFL’s academic mission by creating the Vice Presidency for Academic Affairs (VPA), which will be led by Jan S. Hesthaven.

The new Vice Presidency for Academic Affairs will merge the existing Vice Presidencies for Research and for Education, as well as the Faculty Affairs team. It will also be responsible for the School’s research, education and innovation centers, along with its core tech facilities. The VPA will have five subdivisions – three for education and two for research – each of which will be headed by an associate vice president.

Kathryn Hess Bellwald, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Outreach

Kathryn Hess Bellwald is a professor of life sciences and mathematics in the School of Life Sciences (SV) and the School of Basic Sciences (SB). She has earned international recognition for her research into algebraic topology and its applications, primarily in the life sciences, as well as in materials science. Her work has attracted particular interest for the way she uses methods of algebraic topology to achieve a better understanding of neurological processes. Prof. Hess Bellwald has also been deeply involved in outreach, including the creation of the Euler Course at EPFL in 2008.

Pierre Dillenbourg, Associate Vice President for Education

Pierre Dillenbourg is a professor of learning technologies at EPFL. He holds a Master’s degree in education and a PhD in artificial intelligence and has been conducting research into learning technologies since 1985. He currently runs the Computer-Human Interaction for Learning & Instruction (CHILI) Lab, which is known for its work on learning analytics (machine learning applied to education), augmented reality, tangible interfaces and eye tracking to analyze collaborative learning. Prof. Dillenbourg co-founded EPFL's LEARN Center and the Swiss EdTech Collider, which brings together more than 80 startups specialized in learning technologies.

Ambrogio Fasoli, Associate Vice President for Research

Ambrogio Fasoli, a professor in the Institute of Physics of the School of Basic Sciences, is the director of the Swiss Plasma Center and the head of the Swiss Research Unit that participates in EUROfusion, the European consortium for fusion energy. He is currently chair of EUROfusion, and he represents Switzerland on the governing board of Fusion for Energy, the European agency responsible for the European contribution to ITER. He is also the editor-in-chief of IAEA Nuclear Fusion, the leading publication in the field of fusion, and he chairs or sits on numerous committees and boards at EPFL and at the Swiss, European and international levels.

Anna Fontcuberta i Morral, Associate Vice President for Centers and Platforms

Anna Fontcuberta i Morral is a professor of materials science and engineering in the School of Engineering (STI) and the School of Basic Sciences (SB). She specializes in the synthesis of nanostructures within semiconductors and, in particular, in nanowire crystal growth techniques. The results of her research have helped to develop materials with innovative physical and chemical properties and are used, for example, to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic cells and in quantum computing. Prof. Fontcuberta i Morral chairs the executive committee of EPFL’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Electron Microscopy (CIME) and is also a member of the committee that runs the Center of MicroNanotechnology (CMi). She is co-director of the Max Planck – EPFL Center for Molecular Nanoscience and Technology and is chair of the scientific advisory board for the Advanced Science Building, which will soon be built on EPFL’s Lausanne campus.

Vice President Jan S. Hesthaven will serve ad interim as the acting Associate Vice President for Post-Graduate Education.