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EPFL Anna Fontcuberta

Anna Fontcuberta i Morral to be the next EPFL president

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Professor Fontcuberta i Morral will be the first woman to lead a Swiss Federal Institute of Technology since they were founded in 1855. She will take over as EPFL president on January 1 2025.



Her appointment marks another achievement in an outstanding career. A physicist and materials scientist, Professor Fontcuberta i Morral joined EPFL in 2008, was named a full professor in 2019, and became the School’s associate vice president for centers and platforms two years later.

Professor Anna Fontcuberta i Morral earned a Bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Barcelona in 1997 and went on to attain an impressive series of professional achievements. She obtained a PhD in materials science from Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau, France, in 2001; served as a visiting scientist at the California Institute
of Technology, in Pasadena, from 2004 to 2005; co-founded Aonex Technologies during her time in California; and worked as a team leader at the Technical University of Munich, where she obtained her habilitation in experimental physics. In 2008 she moved to Switzerland and continued her career at EPFL.

A nine-month transition period

Martin Vetterli is delighted to be handing over the reins to Professor Fontcuberta i Morral. “I’m very happy with the Federal Council’s decision,” he says. “Anna is an exceptional scientist – and one who ‘grew up’ at EPFL, as she completed her tenure track here. I’m looking forward to working with her during the nine-month transition period. That may seem like a lot of time, but it will be very useful in light of the challenges we face and our ongoing initiatives.” These challenges include budget constraints, investments in artificial intelligence, a growing student body, uncertainty in international politics, and more. Professor Fontcuberta i Morral says: “I’m really glad to be able to sit down with Martin and discuss all these issues.”

Regarding her plans as EPFL’s next president, Professor Fontcuberta i Morral will unveil them first to the EPFL community: “I want EPFL researchers, employees and students to be the first to hear about my ideas, but I’d also like to get their feedback, which will help me flesh out my ideas and start 2025 on the right foot.”



Source: press release