THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Pursuant to the ESM bylaws, the Board of Trustees is vested with full control over the activities of the ESM. Among other responsibilities, the Board elects the president and chairman, adopts an annual plan of financial operation and defines the strategy. Day-to-day responsibility for administration of ESM is delegated by the trustees to the CEO who is selected by the Board.

The Board of Trustees consists of an appropriate number representing a good balance of industrial and academic members, all with equal voting rights.

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Dr. Ernst Lutz

Position: President and Chairman of the Board
Ernst Lutz has spent most of his career dealing with Industrial Innovation and Technology Management. Under his responsibility and guidance Alcan Engineered Products developed and implemented an internal innovation management system and a best in class customer driven innovation partnership framework. In addition, he focused on technology road-mapping and strategic product portfolio alignment. Ernst Lutz studied Mechanical Engineering at ETH Zurich, Switzerland and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg VA, USA, where he also received his PhD. In addition, he holds a master´s degree in business management. He has been working in the metals and mining industry for 16 years (alusuisse, Alcan, RioTinto), during which he has held various technology management positions. He spent significant time in Switzerland, Japan, Canada, France and China. In 2011 he relocated from Shanghai to Winterthur, Switzerland, to take over corporate-wide responsibilities as Chief Technology Officer and member of the extended Executive Committee of Sulzer. During this time he restructured and realigned the global engineering for Sulzer Pumps in order to create a clear focus on customer needs combined with operational excellence. From 2015 to 2016, Ernst was CEO of EIT RawMaterials in Berlin, Germany. In this function he was responsible to build up and manage the largest global consortium in the area of raw materials, with the aim to develop raw materials into a major strength for Europe. Since 2016, Ernst Lutz is Group Executive Vice President for Business Development at Grundfos, a worldwide acting pump manufacturer with its Headquarters in Bjerringbro, Denmark.
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Dr. Stefan Kohler

Position: Member of the Board, legal councel
Stefan Kohler primarily advises companies in legal issues concerning the development and marketing of innovative technologies. He first studied science at the ETH in Zurich which enables him to accurately legally classify technical-scientific facts. Stefan has extensive experience in IP/technology-related litigation and arbitration, in particular in patent and licensing matters. He advises companies on regulatory matters in the life sciences and represents companies in administrative proceedings, including proceedings before the administrative Tribunal. Stefan is a lecturer at the University of St. Gallen and teaches aspiring patent attorneys at the Swiss Institute for Intellectual Property in the field of cooperation agreements and technology transfer. In his field of expertise Stefan is the author of a wide range of publications.
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Prof. Dr. Armin Reller

Position: Member of the Board
Armin Reller, former professor for Solid State Chemistry at the Institute of Physics, University of Augsburg, is currently professor for Resource Strategy at the same institution. Besides, he is Chairman of the Environmental Science Center (ESC) and a member of the board of the AMU (Application Center for Materials and Science). He also chairs the Graduate School “Resource Strategy Concepts for Sustainable Energy Systems” at the University of Augsburg, Germany. His research focuses on the synthesis and properties of functional materials relevant for energy and environment technologies. He pays specific attention to ecological and socio-economic impacts of exploring and applying strategic resources. He is Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Progress in Solid State Chemistry (Elsevier). On January 1st, 2009 he has been appointed as full professor for Resource Strategy at the University of Augsburg. Since 2011, as one of the founder members, he is chairman for resource strategy of the Fraunhofer Project Group IWKS (Alzenau and Hanau, Germany). Recently he has been appointed as Expert of the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences as well as member of the Raw Materials Council of the Umweltbundesamt, UBA (Berlin, Germany).
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Dr. Christian Hagelüken

Position: Member of the Board
Christian Hagelüken heads Umicore’s advocacy activities in the EU. He has over 25 years experience in (precious) metals recycling and sustainable metals management and has made numerous contributions to professional books, journals and conferences. He represents Umicore in related associations, work groups, scientific panels and university co-operations, among others the UNEP Resource Panel, the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials, and the German Acatech working group on resources for energy applications. Between 2003 and 2011 he headed the department for Business Development & Market Research in Umicore’s Precious Metals Refining business unit. Before that, he had held various management positions in the precious metals department of Degussa AG Christian holds university degrees in mining engineering and industrial engineering from RWTH Aachen, Germany, where he also received his Ph.D. in 1991.
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Dr. Patrick Wäger

Position: Member of the Board
Dr. Patrick Wäger is the Head of Laboratory at the Technology & Society Laboratory at Empa. He studied organic, bio-organic and analytical chemistry at ETH Zurich, where he also received his PhD. Patrick’s research interests are circular economy, critical raw materials, emerging technologies, societal metabolism, and sustainability transitions. Amongst others, he is leading work package 2 of the EU H2020 project "Prospecting Secondary Raw Materials in the Urban Mine and Mining Wastes" (ProSUM). Patrick is Swiss National Delegate and Management Committee member of the COST Action "Mining the European Anthroposphere" (MINEA), member of the steering group "Sustainable use of limited resources" of the Swiss Academies of Science, member of the managing board of the Swiss Academic Society for Environmental Research and Ecology (saguf) and Chair of its working group "Integrative Research on Natural Resources".
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Dr. Hans-Jörg Althaus

Position: Member of the Board
Hans-Jörg Althaus holds a PhD in environmental science and an MSc in material science, both from ETH in Zurich. His experience as an expert in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and natural resource management ranges from basic and applied inter- and transdisciplinary research to business and policy advice. In his research and consulting projects, Hans-Jörg was mainly concerned with metal production, with sustainable buildings, renewable energy generation and (electric) transports. From 1999 to 2013, Hans-Jörg worked at Empa, in a public research institution in the ETH domain, in the field of environmental science, focussing on LCA. As a founding member of the ecoinvent expert group, he was mainly responsible for Empa’s activities in the development of the ecoinvent database. Beside the academic research, Hans-Jörg worked in many LCA projects for commercial products or businesses. In 2014, Hans-Jörg was responsible for the development of a “resource strategy”, i.e. a compilation of the state and trends of the use of all relevant natural resources (from raw materials land, water and biodiversity to a clean air and a stable climate) with management options for a future sustainable use at swisscleantech business association. After the publication of the resource strategy, Hans-Jörg left swisscleantech and started LifeCycle Consulting Althaus, where he conducts research projects for the private or public sector. Today, Hans-Jörg is mainly working for INFRAS as an expert for environmental aspect of transports.
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Dr. Andreas Blatter

Position: Member of the Board
Andreas Blatter earned his PhD in physics at the University of Bern. For the next 8 years he directed a research group at the Institute of Applied Physics, focusing on non-equilibrium laser processing, thin film technology and metallic glasses. After his habilitation and a sabbatical year at the IBM Almaden Research Center, he changed from academic to industrial research. For almost 20 years, Andreas has been the Director of R&D at PX Group, a main supplier of metal products for watch industry and medical devices. Accordingly, his main interests cover precious metals and specialty alloys, related technologies, as well as aspects of corrosion and biocompatibility.
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Dr. Luis Tercero Espinoza

Position: Member of the Board
Luis Tercero Espinoza studied Chemical Engineering in Nicaragua (University of Mobile, Latin American Branch Campus/San Marcos) and USA (Christian Brothers University/TN, with a sabbatical at Clemson University/SC). Together with his Bachelor of Science, he received the "2000 Outstanding School of Engineering Graduate Award" from Christian Brothers University. Luis then went on to do his Master Degree in Chemical Engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison (until 2003), where he submitted his thesis on the detection of pathogenic viruses by means of nanostructured surfaces and liquid crystals. He did his PhD at the Faculty of Chemical and Process Engineering of the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, now Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, earning the certificate of Dr.-Ing. with Honors in 2010. For his doctoral thesis in the field of oxidative water treatment by means of heterogenous photocatalysis, he received the "Ron Malcolm Award" of the International Humic Substances Society in 2008, and was second in the youth competition "Understanding Science" for scientific communication (2008, UFZ Leipzig). Since 2009, Luis has been a Research Associate and Project Manager at the Competence Center Nachhaltigkeit und Infrastruktursysteme of the Fraunhofer ISI, where in 2011 he took the leading management position of the department "Systemic Risks" with a focus on materials supply. Since 2015, Luis has also been coordinating the newly established field "Material and Resources" (www.isi.fraunhofer.de/rohstoffe) of the Fraunhofer ISI. His thematic focus is on supply reliability and resources policy, dynamic material flow modelling, nexus technology and raw material requirements.
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CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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Ms. Alessandra Hool

Position: CEO, Managing Director
Alessandra Hool studied History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and holds a Master in Project Management from the University of Salford, GB. She worked as Project Manager for several European and Swiss projects, being especially responsible for the constitution, dissemination and exploitation of new R&D fields through workshops, surveys and the promotion of novel partnerships. Alessandra has been working for ESM Foundation since 2013 and heads the Foundation’s project acquisition and coordination since 2016. She is the Foundation's CEO since April 2017.
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FINANCIAL ADVISOR

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Mr. Denis Gonseth

Over his career Denis Gonseth has gained an international experience in establishing and managing companies in the USA, Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany and Italy. Denis serves on the board of a number of companies across the globe, ranging in size from early growth ($1m+) to large multi-nationals ($20B+). Denis is member of various foundations and professional associations and of the Rotary. He has written numerous articles both scientific and of general interest and holds numerous patents in the field of materials science and cutting tools. He has chaired the Industrial Advisory Board of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne and has been member of the EMPA (Swiss Federal Institute of Material Testing) Advisory Board. Denis was member of ESM's Board of Trustees for almost 43 years. After his resignation from this position in April 2017, he continues to advice ESM in all financial regards.
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PAST BOARD MEMBERS, CHAIRMEN AND CEOs

  • Prof. Dr. O.H.C. Messner, Zurich, Founding Chairman and President
  • Prof. E. Baumann, Zurich, Founding Member of the Board
  • Dr. O. Zipfel, Bern, Founding Board Member of the Board
  • Mr. Robert DuBois, Saint-Légier sur Vevey, Founding Member of the Board
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Böhni, Zürich, Chairman and President
  • Dr. Christoph Ramstein, Zürich, Member of the Board
  • Mr. Ulrich W. Suter, Oberentfelden, Member of the Board
  • Mr. Christopher Wasserman, Ecublens, Member of the Board
  • Dr. Brigitte Buchmann, Kaiserstuhl, Member of the Board 2015-2017
  • Dr. Bruno Walser, Winterthur, Member of the Board 1988-1991, Chairman and President 1991-2017
  • Dr. Margarethe Hofmann, Pully, CEO 1989-2017
  • Dr. Denis Gonseth, Founex, Member of the Board 1974-2017