Kiel University at the Hannover Messe 2019

Jean-François Ricci

Campus Development Manager, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

"We need to take into account that science and technology are becoming more and more central, more and more complex and increasingly global. An international culture is required to relentlessly push the limits of fundamental knowledge on which innovation is based today. Science is global in essence. At the same time, our European roots should help us to go beyond over-specialization, as the success of universities in the European sense is historically characterized by a determination to confront all forms of knowledge."

Jean-François Ricci

Jean-François Ricci was born in Geneva on October 29, 1965. He studied civil engineering at the EPFL and obtained his engineering degree in 1989.

After completing his studies, he began working as an assistant at the Institute of Metal Construction at the EPFL. In particular, he worked on the development of the Swiss SIA construction standards for metallic structures and contributed to a reference work in this field. Between 1991 and 1992, he completed a one-year training placement in Japan as a research assistant funded by means of a grant from the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, conducting analyses, studies and research on metallic bridge structures. Returning to Switzerland in 1992, he joined WGG Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, working as a structural engineer on various large-scale projects (bridges, stadiums, buildings).

He joined the EPFL in 1997 as Head of Strategic Planning. In 2000, he became a member of the EPFL management team, serving first as Delegate of the EPFL President then as Secretary General until the end of December 2016. During these 17 years, he played a key role in the strategic management of the institution, the implementation of major structural reforms, and strategic projects both internally and in partnership with other institutions. He was also heavily involved in the development of the EPFL campus, particularly in defining and steering the construction of the Rolex Learning Center, the EPFL central library and architectural landmark building. Through his numerous interactions at the national and international levels, he developed an in-depth knowledge of the academic world and its particularities.

Since January 1, 2017, he is developing new strategic initiatives within the unit directed by Prof. Patrick Aebischer at the heart of the EPFL Innovation Park.