Raffaele Mezzenga, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Raffaele Mezzenga received his master degree (Summa Cum Laude) from University of Perugia, Italy, in Materials Science and Engineering, while actively working for the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, and NASA, Houston, in problems related to the interaction between elementary particles and polymer-based structures (NASA Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS91). In 2001 he obtained a PhD in the field of Polymer Physics (with honors), from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), focusing on the thermodynamics of thermoset-hyperbranched polymer reactive blends. He then spent 2001-2002 as a postdoctoral scientist at University of California, Santa Barbara, working on the self-assembly of polymer colloids for the design of new semiconductive organic materials. In 2003 he joined as research scientist the Nestlé Research Center (NRC), in Lausanne, working on the self-assembly of surfactants, natural amphiphiles and lyotropic liquid crystals. In 2005 he was hired as Associate Professor in the Physics Department of the University of Fribourg where he has been a board and founding member of the Fribourg Center for Nanomaterials (Frimat). He was appointed Full Professor at ETH Zurich on the fall 2009 to start a new group on Food and Soft Materials Science. Since 2010 he is also an Affiliated Professor of the Materials Department. His research focuses on the fundamental understanding of self-assembly processes in liquid crystalline polymers, supramolecular polymers, lyotropic liquid crystals, biological and food colloidal systems. Prof. Mezzenga has been a visiting Professor from Helsinki University of Technology and a Nestlé Distinguished Scientist. He is a board member of the Polymer and Colloid Division of the Swiss Chemical Society, winner of the 2004 Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship, recipient of the 2011 Young Scientist Research Award (PDF, 68 KB), the 2011 John H. Dillon Medal (American Physical Society) and the 2013 Biomacromolecules/Macromolecules Young investigator Award (American Chemical Society).