An advisory board has been created to enable EPFL Alumni to maintain a strong connection with EPFL graduates. It is composed both of graduates who received an EPFL Alumni Award and wish to sit on it and other graduates motivated by the activities of our network.
The goals of this council are to define EPFL’s interactions with its graduates and to enable them to express their opinion through an independent body.
Alumni Council members will have the opportunity to interact once a year with members of the Strategic Advisory Board of EPFL. This board consists of both Swiss nationals and individuals from outside EPFL and Switzerland (for example, business leaders from companies such as Nestlé, Danone, Swatch, Logitech, Kudelski, etc.). The Strategic Advisory Board meets twice a year and is consulted regarding large projects and fundraisers.
Alumni Council Member
Jacques Baur, PH ‘81
Director of Research at Rolex SA, Jacques Baur graduated as a Physicist Engineer in 1981 in the field of semiconductors. He continued toward a PhD and defended his thesis in experimental physical metallurgy. In 1994, he began his career with Rolex by creating a research group on watch materials. In 2007 he was appointed R&D Director of Rolex. Jacques Baur is also committed to training engineers. He is a member of the CCMX steering committee at EPFL.
Christian Posse, MA ‘88
Christian Posse, Technology Program Manager at Google, graduated in mathematics in 1988, obtained his doctorate in 1993, and went on to Stanford where he did a post-doc through a grant from the Fond National. A few years later, he decided to apply his research to the solution of real problems. He became an expert in data mining and worked for several start-ups. His algorithms and models are precursors of the social networks that exploded a few years later. Cisco, LinkedIn and Google punctuate his exceptional career.
Aymeric Sallin, PH ‘00
Aymeric Sallin graduated a Physicist Engineer from EPFL in 2000. In Zurich in 2002, he founded NanoDimension, the first venture capital firm dedicated exclusively to nanotechnology. In 2008, he gave NanoDimension a global dimension by opening offices in the heart of Silicon Valley. NanoDimension is a private investor dedicated to the world’s most important nanotechnology, and Aymeric Sallin is a key player in raising funds for the start-ups he works with and where he serves on the board of directors. Recognized as a leader in nanotechnology and innovation, in 2013 Aymeric Sallin joined the “Young Global Leaders” of the World Economic Forum, was elected one of the 300 most influential people in Switzerland by Bilan in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and in 2012, he was named one of the top 20 managers in Switzerland under 40
Christophe Beck, GM ‘91
Christophe Beck is the International President of Ecolab, the world leader in water treatment, chemical technologies for oil exploration, food security, and prevention of infections. Christophe Beck is now charged with the growth, in more than 170 countries, of this company that is worth nearly $14 billion and employs 45,000 people worldwide.
Prior to joining Ecolab, Christophe Beck was responsible for European sales at Nestlé. Earlier in his career, he also worked on several projects for the European Space Agency.
In 2006, Christophe Beck was named “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum for his achievements and his commitment to building a better world. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering earned from EPFL in 1991 and sits on the board of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce.
Philippe Petitpierre GR ‘75
Philippe Petitpierre earned his engineering degree from EPFL in Environmental Sciences (Agricultural Engineering) in 1975 and successively obtained two Master’s degrees from EPFL: the first in Environmental Sciences in 1977 and the second in 1982 in Energy. After spending a few years as an assistant and then lecturer at EPFL, he joined the Swiss gas industry in 1982. He produced several high-pressure pipelines – the sub-lacustrine pipeline of Lake Geneva in 1995, among others. He stepped away from applied engineering in 1997 and joined the management of several gas distribution companies. He assumed the presidency of these companies in 2007 after founding the Holdigaz Group in 2005, which now comprises 16 companies.
In 2010 he led the first deep drilling search for natural gas in western Switzerland. Since 2013 he has also chaired the transit company for natural gas, GAZNAT, and its subsidiaries Petrosvibri, Fingaz and Unigaz.
He represents the Swiss Gas Industry at the European level (Eurogas) and internationallly (IGU – International Gas Union).
In addition to being a member of numerous boards of directors in the field of energy, finance and transportation, Philippe Petitpierre is involved in politics at the cantonal level. In 1993 he founded Vaudois Economic Development, which he still chairs.
Since entering the gas industry, Philippe Petitpierre has always maintained a close relationship with EPFL, first as a lecturer for almost 15 years on Energy in the Third Cycle, and then as President of the IML – EPFL (International Institute for Management of Logistics), a position that he continues to hold today.
Charles Hauser, PH ’67, DR ‘72
Charles Hauser has been a Physicist Engineer since 1967, holding his doctorate since 1972. He is the founder of the company HCT, which specializes in methods for wafer sawing. For several years in the 1980’s, HCT was the only manufacturer of this kind and thereby became the global leader in open abrasive multi-blade saws prior to being copied by the few manufacturers capable of mastering this technology. Early machines had the ability to cut 200 silicon wafers at once with a much lower loss than other methods at that time, but today they are able to saw several thousand wafers simultaneously, with unlimited diameters and thickness. HCT has recently been taken over by US-based Applied Materials, which moved its activities to China, but this technology is still at the forefront of the manufacturing of silicon wafers. Today, whether in a computer, mobile phone or any memory card, inevitably one or more of its components has been through one of these machines.
Mark Bürki, EL ‘87
Marc Bürki (EL ‘87) was a MétéoSat Telecommunications Specialist within the European Space Agency before founding Marvel Communications with his friend and associate, Paolo Buzzi. Ever since completing his studies, he has been itching to build a company. Financial technologies paved the way, and with Swissquote, he has combined the tradition of Swiss banking with the approach of a polytechnic engineer. By incorporating new Internet technologies into banking, he has created, once again with his partner Paolo Buzzi, a benchmark financial engineering business.
Paolo Buzzi, MT ‘89
Paolo Buzzi (MT 89), a founding partner of Swissquote Group, is the current Chief Technology Officer of Swissquote Bank.
He is also co-founder of Marvel Communications. He began his career as a specialist in software integration at Rolm Systems, in Santa Clara.
Bertrand Cardis, GM ‘81
Originally from Lausanne, Bertrand Cardis (GM ‘81) is a mechanical engineer with a passion for sailing. He developed this hobby to the extent of becoming an exceptional navigator, advancing all the way to the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. On his return to the Lausanne area, he participated in the creation of the company Decision SA with the goal of building the maxi-yacht named UBS Switzerland, which became famous after winning the race around the world in 1985–86. He remains director of Decision SA, located in Ecublens close to EPFL, and designs structures based on his research into composite materials. With his collaborators, he built the Alinghi boats that won the America’s Cup in 2003 and 2007 and the composite structures in the Solar Impulse aircraft. The company is expanding into the construction industry.
Maria Theresa Ivorra, MT ‘91
Since earning her degree in Microtechnology (MT ‘91), she has led a distinguished career running a high-tech enterprise by becoming the CEO of RUAG Space Nyon, recognized worldwide for its products linked to the success of space missions. She is also a board member of the Swiss Association of Astronautics. Many of her projects have led to collaborations with EPFL, thereby promoting the technology transfer that is essential to our school.
Marc Châtelard, GM ‘73
A native of Chamonix, Marc Châtelard has built much of his career in Asia. This French national earned his degree in mechanical engineering from EPFL in 1973 followed by an Executive MBA at HEC Paris.
He has accumulated over 40 years of experience in management and project direction. He has worked for Framatome, as part of the construction of the nuclear plant Ulchin, located in South Korea.
Marc Châtelard was also director of the project “TGV Korea,” for the company Alstom. This project is one of the largest ever in technology transfer between France and Asia.
He then successively served as Alstom’s operational manager first for the Asia-Pacific Region and then for Southern Europe.
Olivier Trancart, EL ‘83
Olivier Trancart graduated in Electrical Engineering from EPFL in 1983 and entered the field at Hewlett Packard shortly thereafter. After opening the market for the company in North Africa (including Algeria), he created an international career – Budapest, Paris, Cupertino (CA) – as VP in World Sales for financial markets. In 2001 he moved to Singapore to assume the direction of System Access Software (Core Banking). As Executive Vice President in charge of sales for the group, he restructured and sold the company in 2004 to the i-flex Group (Bangalore), the leader in this market. He participated in the proposed takeover by the ORACLE group and then decided to return to Switzerland in 2008 to begin a career as an entrepreneur and independent investor. He contributed to the creation of Polytech Venture (seed funding for Swiss Romande technology start-ups). Olivier Trancart is a corporate director in pursuit of development projects in the Middle East. He is also active in new IT start-ups in India. He lives in Geneva and travels regularly to India, where he is participating in the renovation of a haveli in Rajasthan.
Nicolas Musy, PH ‘86
Nicolas Musy has lived in the Shanghai area since 1988. He is a partner in and led the establishment of the first Swiss industrial SMEs in China (in 1993) and of LX Precision, the first Swiss turning company in China. In 1997 he co-founded Integrated China, a company that has facilitated the integration of one hundred Swiss companies in China. In 2001, he co-founded the Swiss Center Shanghai. Since 2006, Nicolas Musy has also served as China Relations Coordinator for EPFL. He demonstrated that a Swiss entrepreneur was able to successfully establish an SME in China and has thereby helped other Swiss SMEs to enter the Chinese market. This project was also awarded Best International Project at the 3rd World Chambers Congress.
Zhanbing Ren, EL ‘90
Zhanbing Ren returned to China after his doctoral studies and research at EPFL. In Shanghai, he set up a new production unit for Bobst, for which he served as CEO from 2000–2011. This mission was accomplished brilliantly within an atmosphere of mutual respect between the Swiss and Chinese cultures. His universally recognized professional and personal qualities also elevated him to the position of President of the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai from 2003–2007. After two years of experience at Georg Fischer Piping Sytems from 2011 to 2013 as the Asia Pacific President, he was named in 2014, President of the Shanghai Sino-Swiss International Trading Co., Ltd.