Olaf Kübler

Prof. Dr. Olaf Kübler


Professor Emeritus

Contact Data

Organisations Professor Emeritus at the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering
Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Olaf Kübler is Professor and President emeritus of ETH Zurich and President (elect) of the Council of the Einstein Foundation Berlin.

Olaf Kübler was born in Berlin in 1943. Post-war, his family moved to Karlsruhe where he attended school, graduating with distinction in 1962. He received an education in Theoretical Physics initially at TU Karlsruhe, switched to ETH Zurich in 1965 supported by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (diploma 1967) and obtained his PhD at the University of Heidelberg (1970).

In 1972, he joined the Institute for Cell Biology of the ETH Zurich where he was tasked with setting up computer processing of high resolution electron microscope images of biological structures, which he completed in 1978 with his habilitation “Image Processing in Electron Microscopy”. In 1979, he was appointed Professor of Image Sciences, founded the Computer Vision Laboratory (CVL) at the EE Department of the ETH and built a focus in computer supported analysis and applications of medical imaging. The CVL initiated and led the National Center for Competence in Research (NCCR) “Computer Aided and Image Guided Medical Interventions” (2001 - 2013).

Olaf Kübler chaired the Swiss National Science Foundation's National Research Program 23 "Artificial Intelligence and Robotics" (1987 - 1995), served as Dean of the EE Faculty (1990-1992), and chaired a number of permanent and ad-hoc committees within ETH. In October 1996 he took office as Vice-President of the ETH, responsible for research. He was elected President, took office in December 1997 and served two terms until 2005, the year of the ETH’s 150th anniversary. He used the opportunity to reposition the ETH nationally and internationally in education, research as well as technology transfer and to launch systematic fund raising by establishing the ETH Zurich Foundation.

In 2006, Olaf Kübler became director of the private “Branco Weiss Fellowship - Society in Science” scholarship program and brought it to fruition. In 2010, the program was transferred to the ETH with an endowment exceeding CHF 100m. President emeritus Olaf Kübler served as the international member on the Board of Trustees of National University Singapore (NUS) (2006 – 2018, Public Service Medal (Friends of Singapore)) and on the Scientific Commission of the German Council of Science and Humanities (by appointment of the President of the FRG, 2011 - 2017). He was a founding member of the Board of Trustees of IST Austria (Institute of Science and Technology Austria) (2006 - today), of the President’s International Advisory Council of KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) (2008 – 2015) and of the Council of the Einstein Foundation Berlin (2009 – today, President elect 2019).

Beyond academia, Olaf Kübler was regent of Siemens Schweiz (2001 – 2006) and limited partner of the Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG as well as member of the Supervisory Council of BOSCH Global (2006 – 2016).

 Olaf Kübler is married to Dr. Gunhild Kübler; they have 2 sons and five grandchildren.


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