EAER - Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of the Swiss Confederation

03/27/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/27/2024 05:40

Anna Fontcuberta i Morral named as new EPFL president

The Federal Council

Bern, 27.03.2024 - On 27 March, the Federal Council appointed Anna Fontcuberta i Morral as the new president of EPFL. The 49-year-old is a professor of materials science and engineering at EPFL in Lausanne. She will succeed Martin Vetterli on 1 January 2025.

Professor Fontcuberta i Morral has been appointed for a four-year term of office. She is an eminent scientist who established the Laboratory of Semiconductor Materials as a world leader in sustainable nanotechnologies and co-founded the successful start-up Aonex Technologies. As Associate Vice President for Centers and Platforms at EPFL, she is already involved in EPFL's academic administration. She has worked with the Swiss National Science Foundation for over eight years and has been a member of its Research Council since 2020. She is also an active member of various scientific advisory boards, committees and specialised bodies.

In addition to conducting research, she is also involved in teaching and promoting young scientists. She received an award from Faculty of Engineering students for her outstanding teaching. She has also received various awards for her research, including the Marie Curie Excellence Grant in 2005 and the ERC Starting Grant in 2009, as well as the SNSF Back-up Schemes Consolidator Grant in 2015 and the Emmy Noether Distinction from the European Physical Society.

Professor Fontcuberta i Morral is the first woman to be appointed president of EPFL. She will take over from Martin Vetterli in January 2025. During his time since January 2017 as president, Professor Vetterli has succeeded in sustainably strengthening EPFL's reputation, establishing it as one of the most innovative universities.

Anna Fontcuberta i Morral, a citizen of Switzerland and Spain, was born in 1975 and grew up near Barcelona before going on to study physics at the University of Barcelona. She later obtained a PhD from the Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau, France. In 2001-2002 and 2004-2005, she was a visiting researcher at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA. During this time, she co-founded the successful start-up company Aonex Technologies. She completed her habilitation in experimental physics at the Technical University of Munich in 2009. From 2008 she worked as Assistant Professor Tenure Track at EPFL's Institute of Materials.

In 2014, she was made Associate Professor and in September 2019 Full Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. She is a native speaker of Catalan and is also fluent in French, German, English and Spanish.

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The Federal Council