Professor Joachim M. Buhmann (*1959), currently Full Professor of Computer Science (Information Science and Engineering) in the Department of Computer Science, is to retire at the end of July 2024. Joachim M. Buhmann joined ETH Zurich as a full professor in 2003. His main research focus is on algorithms in the empirical sciences. He works on machine learning, computer vision and statistical data analysis, bridging the gap between the engineering and life sciences. His research in the field of medicine led to him being made a Fellow of the International Association for Pattern Recognition and to his election as an individual member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences.
Professor Paolo Ermanni (*1959), currently Full Professor of Composite Materials and Adaptive Structures in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, will retire at the end of July 2024. Paolo Ermanni joined ETH Zurich as an associate professor in 1998. His research investigates structure technologies and covers multifunctional lightweight structures, reconfigurable aerospace systems, biomedical systems and sustainable composites technology. Paolo Ermanni’s national and international reputation is reflected in his impressive list of publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as in patents, partnerships and awards. This popular lecturer has also served on various international bodies and committees and carried out a wide range of institutional tasks at ETH Zurich.
Professor Hansjörg Grützmacher (*1959), currently Full Professor of Inorganic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, is to retire at the end of July 2024. Hansjörg Grützmacher joined ETH Zurich as an associate professor in 1995. His research interests focus on new molecules with unusual bonding properties. Alongside his theoretical work, which offers fundamental insights into the chemistry of the heavy main-group elements, he also conducts applied research, for which he has been awarded numerous prizes. He has published over 300 articles during his career and is the author of more than 20 patents. In addition, he was a member of the Advisory Board of Angewandte Chemie, one of the most prestigious chemistry journals.
Professor Christian Kerez (*1962), currently Full Professor of Architecture and Design in the Department of Architecture, will retire at the end of July 2025. Christian Kerez joined ETH Zurich in 2003 as a tenure track assistant professor. He is one of Europe's leading contemporary architects and is known for the rigour of his design approach, his exceptional reduction of the resources used, and the way he integrates form and construction, all of which lends his buildings a high degree of individuality while simultaneously placing them in the tradition of Swiss Modernism. In addition to his architectural practice, he has long been acknowledged for his research and his contributions to international discourse within the profession. He has significantly raised the profile of ETH Zurich in the field of architectural design.
Professor James W. Kirchner (*1959), currently Full Professor of Physics of Environmental Systems in the Department of Environmental Systems Science, is to retire at the end of July 2024. In 2007 the Federal Council appointed James W. Kirchner as Director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), while the ETH Board simultaneously appointed him to a full professorship at ETH Zurich. His area of research covers hydrology and geomorphology, while building bridges with evolutionary ecology, palaeobiology and systems analysis. He has won multiple awards for his research. This internationally renowned researcher also served on a number of committees, including the European Research Council in relation to ERC Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grants . During James W. Kirchner's five-year term of office, WSL has strengthened its scientific core and enhanced its key role as a link between science and practice.
Professor Johann W. Kolar (*1959), currently Full Professor of Power Electronic Systems in the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, will retire at the end of July 2024. Johann W. Kolar joined ETH Zurich as an associate professor in 2001. He is regarded as the father of high-frequency multiphase AC/DC converter technology and laid the foundations for research into sophisticated, compact and efficient commutator systems. Johann W. Kolar continued working at the cutting edge of what was a new field of research at that time. His groundbreaking work was supported by research grants from industry and research institutions, and has won multiple awards. He has registered more than 200 patents worldwide and owns a hundred of them.
Professor Richard Pink (*1959), currently Full Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, will retire at the end of July 2024. Richard Pink joined ETH Zurich as a full professor in 1999. His research activities cover different branches of algebra and number theory. In collaboration with researchers at other universities he achieved notable results and won awards. In 2002 he was a speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Beijing. Richard Pink has served in a number of roles in the Department of Mathematics at ETH Zurich, including several years as head of department. Some of this committed mentor’s lecture notes are still in use today at universities throughout the world.
Professor Andreas Stemmer (*1962), currently Full Professor of Nanotechnology in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, is to retire at the end of August 2024. Andreas Stemmer joined ETH Zurich in 1995 as a tenure track assistant professor. His research covers a broad spectrum of themes and areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Together with his group, he is one of the few people in the world to have succeeded in producing electrical energy from human immune cells in a biofuel cell, and to explain the relevant mechanism. His research has been published in over 150 articles in leading international journals. Alongside his successful teaching work he has also served in many roles both inside and outside ETH Zurich, including as a Delegate of the President for Faculty Appointment Procedures.
Professor Luc Van Gool (*1959), currently Full Professor of Computer Vision in the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, will retire at the end of July 2024. Luc Van Gool joined ETH Zurich as a full professor in 1998. His main research interests include 2D and 3D object recognition, robot vision and optical flow. Today, his technology is also used in mobile phones, VR headsets and self-driving vehicles. His 3D city plan “VarCity” – an application that uses images from drones, webcams and social media to produce a dynamic cityscape – attracted a great deal of international attention and won him an ERC Advanced Grant. He is one of the world’s most frequently cited computer scientists.
The ETH Board would like to thank the departing professors for their services to science and teaching, as well as their commitment to their institution.