Professor Dr Ursula Röthlisberger

Outstanding researcher in the field of computational chemistry

Professor Dr Ursula Röthlisberger is a professor of computational chemistry and biochemistry at the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). In her area of research, she deals with the development of new methods of simulation for chemical and biological systems. With her research work, she has made an outstanding contribution to the development of complex, computer-aided multiscale simulation methods and their application in physical, chemical and biochemical systems.

Born in Solothurn, she completed her diploma in physical chemistry at the University of Berne in 1988. After completing her Ph.D in 1991, she worked for some time in the IBM research lab in Zurich before doing research as a postdoctoral research assistant at first the University of Pennsylvania and then the Max-Planck Institute for Solid State Physics in Stuttgart. In 1996, she moved to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, where she was appointed assistant professor for computer-aided inorganic chemistry in 1997. Since 2002, she has taught and performed research at the EPFL.

Numerous awards underscore the extraordinary achievements of Professor Ursula Röthlisberger. In 2004, she received the Dirac Medal awarded in honour of outstanding work in the field of theoretical and computational chemistry. Professor Röthlisberger is considered a globally recognised expert in her area of research. This makes her a role model for young female scientists whom she actively supports in numerous research groups. During her time as an assistant professor at the ETH in Zurich, Ursula Röthlisberger already encouraged young women to study the natural sciences by holding seminars for schoolgirls. In addition, she is involved in the “Réseau romand de mentoring pour femmes”, a mentoring programme for female researchers in French-speaking Switzerland.