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ETHistory 1855-2005 | Rückblicke | Departemente | MATL | Institutional Development |

Institutional Development

Weiterführende Seiten


The introduction of the long planned undergraduate student program in materials science went along with the foundation of a new department in 1981. The academic responsibility for the teaching program was taken on by those Professors at the ETHZ who already were involved in teaching and research. These included Prof. Markus Speidel (Metals and Metallurgy) and Prof. Joachim Meissner (Physical Polymers). They were joined by associatesórepresenting scientific or technological neighbors, including Prof. Gernot Kostorz (Applied Physics), Prof. Hans Böhni (Corrosion) and Prof. Josef Reissner (Plastic Deformation). The support of about twenty highly competent lecturers from industry and universities was necessary to realize the vision of the new course program and the education of Materials Science professionals. In 1988 Prof. Ulrich W. Suter extended the Departmentís polymer chemistry research and teaching activities, and Prof. Ludwig Gauckler added his field of Ceramics. An active research program in these areas was not only the essential underpinning for a modern curriculum, but it also offered the students the opportunity to work for a PhD in one of the three major Materials classes.


To remain on an equal footing with the best Institutes of Technology and current industrial practice, it was necessary to adjust the curriculum within a few years, resulting in carefully enlarging and renewing the faculty staff within the affordable limits. Important steps in modernization were carried out by Prof. Erich Wintermantel (Professor 1992-1998) who introduced the area of Biocompatible Materials, by Prof. Nicholas Spencer (Professor since 1993), who added the fields of Surface Science and Technology, and Prof. Paul Smith (Professor since 1995) who contributed expertise in Polymer Technology.

Prof. Hans-Christian Öttinger took over responsibilities in the area of Polymer Physics upon the retirement of Prof. Meissner in 1996, and in 1997 the Department was reinforced by the hiring of Prof. Edgar Stüssi in the field of Biomechanics, as well as by Prof. Sannakaisa Virtanen and herin the area of Metallic High Performance Materials. Prof. Jeffrey Hubbell brought additional strength in biomaterials in the same year, and the Department was joined by Prof. Pier-Luigi Luisi (Supramolecular Chemistry) from the Department of Chemistry. The most recent arrival in the Department is Prof. Walter Steurer (Crystallography), who joined our Department from the Department of Earth Sciences in 2003.

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