News about ENAC Community


Urs von Gunten has always combined research with practice. © Alain Herzog / 2024 EPFL

Urs von Gunten, the unsung hero of water treatment

— For a scientist who’s won numerous international honors for his research, Urs von Gunten, a professor at EPFL and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), is disarmingly modest.

Eugen Brühwiler, named the best teacher in the civil engineering section for 2023 - 2023 EPFL/Alain Herzog - CC-BY-SA 4.0

“Students naturally appreciate a little showmanship”

— Throughout his over 40-year career, Eugen Brühwiler strongly advocated a sustainable approach to civil engineering that prioritizes the reuse of existing structures. He retired from EPFL in late November 2023 – after being named the best teacher in the civil engineering section for 2023.

© 2023 EPFL Alain Herzog

"Studying environmental science clearly influenced how I snowboard"

— Mathieu Schaer, an EPFL alumni and scientific collaborator at MétéoSwiss, is also a professional snowboarder who shows that mountain sports don’t have to be bad for the environment. Learn more about this athlete, who combines the thrill of adventure with a love of nature.

Tamar Kohn. © Elisabetta Citterio

A passion for science through the eyes of women

— The STEM passion exhibition, on view until March 19, 2023 at the Rolex Learning Center, features portraits of international women researchers, including seven female EPFL professors chosen as role models. For ENAC, Tamar Kohn talked about her passion for her research and work.

© 2023 EPFL Alain Herzog

Jean-Louis Scartezzini: a life devoted to the sun

— “I can’t even offer you a cup of coffee – I already packed up my coffee machine!” Prof. Jean-Louis Scartezzini, who has headed EPFL’s Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory (LESO-PB) for the past 30 years, doesn’t seem fazed by his upcoming retirement. We spoke with him about his long, successful career and some of the twists and turns along the way.

Estefania Mompean Botias in front of a global map of disasters and emergencies © 2022 EPFL, Alain Herzog - CC BY-SA 4.0

“Emergencies are becoming increasingly common”

— Architect and urban planner Estefania Mompean Botias is writing her thesis on architecture in the context of emergency situations. As part of her work, she’s developing a global atlas of local emergency management practices.

The new building houses the Alpine and Polar Environmental Research Centre. © Olivier Maire

EPFL plans new research center in Valais on the energy transition

— Ten years after signing the agreement to open its Valais Wallis campus in Sion, today EPFL opened a new building on the campus: Alpole, which will serve as a research center on alpine and polar environments. EPFL also took the opportunity to unveil plans to create another research center in Sion – one focused on the energy transition – and has obtained preliminary approval from the Valais cantonal government.

Prof. Fernando Porté-Agel is doing a minature wind turbine demonstration.© Alain Herzog

“Fluid mechanics is a fascinating field because it's very visual”

— EPFL professor Fernando Porté-Agel has won the ENAC Polysphère Award for the second time in under a decade. He uses concrete examples and novel teaching methods to make fluid mechanics a fun, interactive topic to study. 

Cyril Veillon © 2022 EPFL / Alain Herzog - CC BY-SA 4.0

“We hope people will come and put our architects on the spot”

— Cyril Veillon has been the director of Archizoom, EPFL’s cultural center for architecture exhibitions and conferences, for nearly 15 years. He helps drive change by fostering dialogue between architects and the general public.

Raphaël Ahumada is rowing on Lake Geneva.©Alexia Ferri

Raphaël Ahumada juggles architecture and rowing

— The 21-year-old student, who’s on EPFL’s specialist track for elite athletes, splits his days between virtual classes, intensive training sessions and international races.

© 2022 EPFL

ENAC celebrates its 20 years and three disciplines in style

— On 2 September 2022, EPFL’s School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) celebrated its 20th anniversary at a high-energy event featuring expert perspectives on the challenges lying ahead.

© 2022 EPFL

“Using our skills to restore people's dignity“

— Robert Mardini has been the director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) since 2020. In this interview, Mardini – who holds a civil engineering degree from EPFL – gives us an overview of the ICRC’s work and discusses the links between science and humanitarian action. He touches on topics like the Ukraine crisis, the impact of global warming, and the growing role of technology in armed conflict.

© 2022 EPFL

“I've always dreamt of contributing to a more sustainable future”

— Jérémy Fleury is a doctoral assistant at EPFL’s Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory (LESO-PB). He hopes that in the future, he’ll be able to keep combining his love of the mountains with work on renewable energy.

Matteo Favre during the finals of the 2022 Ski Mountaineering World Cup © Florent Delaloye © Florent Delaloye

“Competing in ski mountaineering at the 2026 Olympics would be huge”

— Matteo Favre, a Bachelor’s student in EPFL’s Section of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, is also a member of the Swiss ski mountaineering team. He’s landed several podium finishes this season, including in the men’s senior category.

© 2022 EPFL

Six nominations and a promotion at ENAC School

— The Board of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology has announced the appointment of six news professors at ENAC School and promoted Associate Professor Rizlan Bernier-Latmani as Full Professor.

And 20 years from now? “I hope to have created something of my own". © Alain Herzog/ EPFL

“Being 18 in today's world makes me hopeful”

— Natacha Romanens is in the third year of her apprenticeship to become a physics laboratory assistant at EPFL’s Laboratory of Soil Mechanics (LMS).

Arindam Roy © 2021 EPFL / Alain Herzog

“In the South, you can't talk just about global warming”

— Alongside his postdoc research at EPFL, Arindam Roy works hard to communicate about climate change in his native language of Bengali. The workshops he runs don’t focus on polar bears on ice caps, but rather on concrete solutions to the very real problems faced by people in the Global South.

Jeremy Wong working at an anaerobic gas tight chamber, where he gros bacterial biofilms © J. Wong 2021 EPFL

"With an iPhD you essentially have double the fun"

— Jeremy Wong is a third-year iPhD student with the labs of Professors Alexandre Persat and Tom Ian Battin, respectively at EPFL’s School of Life Sciences (SV) and Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC). Hailing from Canada and with his roots in Hong Kong, Wong has made his way into biology after a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. When not in lab, Jeremy can be found watching sunsets atop mountain peaks in Valais, playing his violin and harmonica, making polymer clay miniatures, and baking cakes and cookies for his lab mates, who he considers the friendliest guinea pigs for his newest culinary experiments.

Devis Tuia joined EPFL in September and is ENAC’s newest professor.  © 2020 A. Goy

“I never imagined I could use math to study nature”

— Devis Tuia, who hails from Mendrisio in Ticino Canton, is a well-traveled man. His career has taken him to Spain, the Netherlands, and now back to Switzerland, where he’s just started a new role as head of the Environmental Computational Science and Earth Observation Laboratory at EPFL’s Valais campus. He discusses how remote sensing, image processing and machine learning can be used to protect the environment.

Inauguration of Epilibre in the hall SV of EPFL, September 22. © A. Herzog / EPFL

EpiLibre, a new, free-wheeling grocery store on campus

— Get ready to stock your pantry! Starting on 22 September, EpiLibre, a new on-campus grocery store, will sell bulk items such as lentils, oatmeal, chickpeas and dried fruit. The store was the brainchild of the Student Kreativity and Innovation Lab (SKIL) at the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), with financial support provided by the Act for Change LAB.

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Appointments and promotions

© 2024 EPFL

Pier Vittorio Aureli, new Director of the Institute of Architecture

— Professor Pier Vittorio Aureli succeeds Professor Jeffrey Huang as Director of the Institute of Architecture (IA) from May 1, 2024.

© 2024 EPFL

Two new professors and two promotions at ENAC

— The Board of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology has announced four nominations and promotions at ENAC.

© 2024 EPFL

Alcherio Martinoli, new Director of SSIE

— Prof. Alcherio Martinoli succeeds Prof. Alexis Berne as Director of the Environmental Sciences and Engineering Section (SSIE) and sits on the ENAC Direction since February 1, 2024. Prof. Alexis Berne remains co-director of SSIE and continues to be in charge of the joint Sustainability course in the first year at EPFL.

Corentin Fivet © 2023 Alain Herzog

Smart Living Lab's new head is a pioneer in the reuse of load-bearing

— Corentin Fivet, an EPFL professor since 2016, has developed pioneering methods for reusing concrete slabs, walls, and beams made of wood or steel. He’ll take over as the head of the Smart Living Lab this spring, as the R&D center celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Katrin Beyer served as ENAC’s associate dean from 2020 to 2023. © EPFL / Armand Goy

Katrin Beyer appointed dean of ENAC

— Katrin Beyer, currently an associate dean at EPFL’s School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), will take over as dean of ENAC on 1 January 2024. She’s a renowned expert in her field and has headed the Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics Laboratory (EESD) at ENAC since 2010.

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Grants and distinctions

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