Prof. Dr Louis Schlapbach

Professor Dr Louis Schlapbach is senator of the Helmholtz Association for the Research Field “Energy”, former CEO of EMPA and a member of the innovation promotion agency of Switzerland (CTI).

He graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in Experimental Physics and got his PhD in Solid State Physics - Magnetism also at ETH Zurich. As a postdoc at a Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) laboratory in Paris, he studied hydrogen storage in intermetallic compounds. Back at ETHZ, he developed the surface science aspects of the hydrogen interaction with metals and alloys. After research positions at IBM Almaden Research Center in San José, Université Paris-Sud, Hebrew University Jerusalem and University Mexiko-City, he returned to Switzerland and became Full Professor for Experimental Physics at the University of Fribourg in 1988. As such he built up a research team working on the topic of New Materials and their Surfaces. Before he was appointed as vice-rector of the University of Fribourg, he was on sabbatical at Stanford University.

He has been member of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) since 1997 thru 2004. Since 2001, he has been CEO of EMPA, the materials and science and technology institution of the ETH domain, and at the same time Full Professor of Physics, first at the EPF Lausanne and afterwards at the ETH Zurich.

He was conferred emeritus status in July 2009 and holds positions in various science organisations – for example, he is member of the Federal Energy Research Committee (CORE) and of the Swiss Academy for Technical Sciences (SATW). He is also on the Scientific Board of various foundations, such as Hasler Foundation and the Dr h.c. Robert Mathys Foundation (RMS).

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