Martin Vetterli is the new president of the Research Council of the SNSF

The engineering scientist Martin Vetterli, full professor for communication systems and dean of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at the EPFL in Lausanne, will be the new president of the National Research Council of the SNSF as of 2013. He succeeds Dieter Imboden, who will step down from this key position at the end of 2012 after eight years in office.

​On 2 March 2012, the Executive Committee of the Foundation Council of the SNSF elected Martin Vetterli as president of the National Research Council for the 2013-2016 period of office. As a longstanding vice president of EPFL (2004-2011) and former member of the Swiss Council on Science and Technology (2000-2004), he has in-depth knowledge of Swiss policies with regard to research and higher education institutions. As founding director of the National Centre of Competence in Research "MICS - Mobile Information and Communication Systems" (NCCR MICS) he is familiar with the SNSF and with research across disciplinary boundaries. He has won a number of awards for his own research in electrical engineering, computer sciences and applied mathematics, including the National Latsis Prize in 1996.

"Keep up the tradition of excellence"

In Martin Vetterli, the SNSF has found an excellent researcher with profound knowledge of the Swiss research landscape to take over the helm of the National Research Council. The Council evaluates several thousand applications submitted to the SNSF each year and makes funding decisions. Martin Vetterli succeeds Dieter Imboden, whose tenure as president of the Research Council expires at the end of 2012 after eight years in office. "Switzerland has smartly invested in the future of the country by funding high quality research through the Swiss National Science Foundation. It is an honour to lead such a prestigious and central institution, and to keep up the tradition of excellence of Swiss research," Martin Vetterli stressed.

Research and teaching activities on both sides of the Atlantic

The highly regarded engineering scientist spent ten years doing research and teaching in the USA, followed by 15 years working for the EPFL in various key positions. Milestones along his academic career path: After completing his dissertation at the EPFL, Martin Vetterli worked at Columbia University in New York as of 1986, ultimately as associate professor for electrical engineering. In 1993, he moved to the "Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences" at the University of California in Berkeley, where he became a full professor. Two years later, he gained a full professorship at the EPFL, where he has been the dean of the "School of Computer and Communication Sciences" since March 2011. Martin Vetterli's research is both disciplinary and interdisciplinary and he has a great deal of experience with co-operation projects involving partners from business and industry.

Nomination commission does the groundwork

Ahead of the election of a new president, the Presiding Board of the National Research Council appoints a nomination commission, which advertises the position, evaluates applications, conducts interviews with promising candidates and submits nominations to the Executive Committee of the Foundation Council. The latter elects the president of the Research Council based on the report submitted by the nomination commission. The members of the nomination commission were:

Hans Ulrich Stöckling, president of the Foundation Council of the SNSF (chair, ex officio; handed over the presidency at the end of 2011 to Gabriele Gendotti, who has chaired meetings of the Executive Committee of the Foundation Council since 2012); Walter Leimgruber, president of division I of the National Research Council; Jürg Osterwalder, vice president of division II; Denis Duboule, vice president of division III and member of the Specialised Committee International Co-operation; Thomas Bernauer, president of division IV; Gisou van der Goot, EPFL, former member of division III; Barbara Haering, former national councillor, member of the Foundation Council of the SNF; Christoph Kratky, president of the Austrian Science Fund, Vienna; Daniel Höchli, director of the Administrative Offices of the SNSF (ex officio).