Vanessa Wood is ETH’s new Vice President for knowledge transfer


‘Knowledge Transfer and Corporate relations’ is one of two newly established vice presidencies at ETH Zurich. As of 1 January 2021, Vanessa Wood, an ETH Zurich Professor, Researcher and Co-founder of ETH Spin-off Battrion, will take the lead, succeeding Detlef Günther, the vice president ad interim.



ETH Zurich is expanding its Executive Board with two new vice presidencies – one of them is the ETH Transfer and Corporate Relations with Vanessa Wood as the Vice President. Vanessa Wood will bring her expertise to the Executive Board as of 1 January 2021. She will continue as an ETH professor at the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, but with a reduced workload.

Wood earned her doctorate in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before becoming a Postdoctoral student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Today, she serves as an ETH professor at the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

She has been researching nanotechnology and batteries at ETH Zurich since 2011, and her findings have been incorporated in several spin-offs. In 2015, she founded the startup Battrion, which develops and markets innovative fabrication technologies for lithium-ion batteries aimed at increasing the charging speed of high energy density cells.

Vanessa Wood is currently involved in numerous industry projects. Wood has also received numerous awards for promoting the transfer of knowledge to industry. As a professor and head of the department, Wood has demonstrated leadership qualities and expanded her network within ETH Zurich and industry. Her expertise will thus be of great value to the ETH board.

“I’ve always had a keen interest in the interface between research and industry; I’m delighted that I can now assist ETH at an institutional level in facilitating the transfer of knowledge to society,” says Wood.

“Given the rapid pace of technological change, it’s crucial that research findings from ETH labs find their way swiftly to industry and society. I have no doubt that Vanessa Wood will succeed in enhancing and expanding knowledge transfer at our university,” asserts Joël Mesot, President of the ETH Board.

Detlef Günther, acting Vice president to focus on research
The reorganisation of the ETH Board and the establishment of the new domains comes after the university saw a remarkable increase in the number of students, employees, ETH spin-offs and collaborations with large companies and SMEs. Until the end of 2019, the Executive Board comprised five members including Detlef Günther, Vice President for Research and Corporate Relations, who led ad interim the new knowledge transfer and corporate relations domain. As of 1 January 2021, Günther will focus entirely on the research domain.

(Press release/RAN)

Picture: ETH Zurich