Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL)
The roots of modern-day EPFL can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris and John Gay, the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception, it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne.
When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d'ingénieurs de l'Universite de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École Polytechnique de l'Universite de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL, like ETH Zurich, is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government.
In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.
A world-class diploma
13 complete courses in bachelor and 25 in the master are offered in engineering, basic sciences, computer science and communication, life sciences, as well as in the field of construction, architecture, and environment. They are accompanied by exchange programs in the world’s best institutions and internships in companies to better understand the realities of the business world.
The Doctoral School allows doctoral students in the same discipline to work in a community that goes beyond their laboratory. EPFL doctoral students benefit from unique skills and infrastructures to conduct their research, and continuing education makes it possible to strengthen their knowledge or develop new ones in a rapidly changing professional environment.
Research: unique competence centers
With more than 350 laboratories and research groups on its campus, EPFL is one of the most innovative and scientifically productive institutions. Ranked in the top 3 in Europe and the top 20 in the world of many scientific rankings, EPFL has been able to attract the best researchers in their fields.
Innovation: the courage to undertake
The campus offers services and services to transform scientific excellence into economic value creation, jobs, and quality of life. Co-working spaces for new companies, coaching services, entrepreneurship training, and innovation programs stimulate links between laboratories and companies.
Ranking / Awards
- 2nd Young University Rankings 2019
- 48th World Reputation Rankings 2019
- Ranked joint 18th in the world overall in 2020
- Rated 72nd in the world by academics and 82nd by employers
- 52nd for faculty/student ratio
- 12th for research impact (citations per faculty member)
- 13th for both percentage of international students and the percentage of international faculty members
- Type of Accommodation: On Campus
- Route Cantonale, Lausanne, Vaud 1015, CH, Switzerland
Since 2015 the EPFL Fribourg has been housed at the Smart Living Lab, a research and development center for the future of the built environment, in the blueFACTORY innovation district. The construction phase for the new Smart Living Lab Building is slated for 2021 in Fribourg.
With their colleagues from the University of Geneva, the researchers are based in Campus Biotech. The site is located close to downtown Geneva and the city’s international airport. Biotech Campus hosts the Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering, where researchers develop technologies for the neurosciences. The Human Brain Project, an EU research endeavour coordinated by EPFL, is also based on the Geneva site.
At EPFL, students dive into a dynamic world driven by curiosity. Emphasis is given to collaboration and hands-on learning, all this in a harmonious and productive environment.
At the heart of the Microcity pole of innovation, the Canton of Neuchâtel is hosting an important part of EPFL’s Microengineering Institute (IMT). This institute’s research activities covers topics such as health, microsystems, photovoltaic or watchmaking.
With its 10 laboratories active in the key fields of energy, environment and health, 226 researchers, administrative and technical staff, 92 doctoral students, 43 nationalities, firmly integrated into the Energypolis project, the Valais campus plays its full part in promoting research and innovation in the heart of the Alps.