École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

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École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
(EPFL, ETH Lausanne)
founding 1969
Sponsorship Federation
place Ecublens VD , Switzerland
President Martin Vetterli
Students 11,134 (2018)
Employee 5,713 FTE
including professors 319 FTE
Annual budget 943 million CHF, of which 271 million CHF third-party funding
Networks CESAER , CLUSTER , IAU , Swissuniversities , TIME
Website epfl.ch
Federal universities and research institutes
ETH Domain

Ordinary budget 2019 (CHF million)

ETH domain




Research institutes


EPFL (aerial photo, 2009)

The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne ( EPFL , German  Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Lausanne , ETHL) is a technical and natural science university in Lausanne , Switzerland . The campus is located outside the city center, in the immediate vicinity of Lake Geneva , and is directly connected to the campus of the University of Lausanne - all together the largest education and research center in Switzerland.

EPFL is divided into seven faculties and offers 13 bachelor's degree programs and 26 master’s degree programs. 319 FTEs professors and over 1,800 doctoral students work for EPFL. As of the end of 2017, 10,686 students were enrolled. Neuroscientist Patrick Aebischer has been president since 2000 , and Martin Vetterli has held the office since January 1, 2017 . EPFL is integrated into the federal ETH domain , which, in addition to EPFL, includes the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and four research institutes ( PSI , WSL , Empa and Eawag ).


It was founded in 1853 as a private school based on the principle of the Paris Ecole centrale under the name École spéciale de Lausanne by Louis Rivier , Jean Gay , Pierre-Joseph and Jules Marguet . In 1869 it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne . When the latter was reorganized and received university status in 1890, the name of the technical faculty changed to École d'ingénieurs de l'Université de Lausanne . In 1946 it was renamed the École polytechnique de l'Université de Lausanne (EPUL).

In 1969 EPUL separated from the University of Lausanne . The EPUL became a federal institution under its current name and has merged with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). These two federal universities are controlled directly by the federal government, in contrast to all other Swiss universities that are subordinate to the cantons .

To research nuclear fusion , the nuclear fusion reactor Tokamak à configuration variable (TCV) was commissioned in 1992 .

The school

There are more than 100 nationalities represented; more than 50% of the teaching staff is of foreign origin.

The school is divided into seven faculties :

EPFL offers a wide range of club activities and sports. Thanks to the more than 70 associations of all kinds, students can acquire social skills as well as professional skills.

Study conditions

  • Admission to EPFL takes place with a Swiss Matura or an equivalent school leaving certificate without any further conditions.
  • For holders of a French baccalauréat with a final grade that is well above average, admission is also granted without further conditions.
  • Students without honors or without equivalent education can visit the support course Mathematics at EPFL or a private school.


From 1943 the school was located in the former Hotel Savoy on avenue de Cour No. 29–33 in Lausanne. In 1971, construction began on the new building at the Dorigny site in Ecublens , in the immediate vicinity of the University of Lausanne. The inauguration of the first EPFL building in Dorigny took place in 1978.

Since then, the location has continued to develop; numerous new buildings have been added to the campus. The last project to date is the Rolex Learning Center , a building by the Japanese architecture firm SANAA . The main sponsor is Rolex , which has named the building the Rolex Learning Center .

A congress center for up to 3000 people is under construction, which also includes 344 student rooms and shops.


In the 2008 Leiden ranking it took 3rd place in Europe, the first in continental Europe.

In the 2009 Shanghai ranking in the ENG field (Academic Ranking of World Universities in the field of "Engineering / Technology and Computer Sciences"), it was ranked 15th worldwide and, together with the University of Cambridge, 1st outside the USA (2nd . Place outside the US in 2008).

In 2009, it took 3rd place in Europe in the Computer Science Subject Ranking.

In the ranking of The Times Higher Education Supplement 2012, EPFL was in 40th place worldwide (50th in 2008) and therefore 8th in Europe.

Times Higher Education also annually evaluates the world's 150 best universities that were founded less than 50 years ago. With the ranking, the magazine wants to give a glimpse of “the rising stars with great potential”. In this ranking list for 2016, EPFL is in 1st place.

In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Ranking of the Top 100 Global Universities, it is in 14th place worldwide and 6th in the whole of Europe.

Scientific partners

  • Alinghi : EPFL is the official scientific advisor to the Alinghi team, double winners of the America's Cup in 2003 and 2007.
  • Breitling Orbiter 3: Non-stop balloon flight around the earth in 1999, piloted by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones .
  • Swiss Post : Swiss Post is intensifying its cooperation with EPFL. With the opening of her incubator (PostLab) on the EPFL campus, she clearly shows her ambition to take a place among the innovation pioneers in Switzerland .
  • Hydroptère : The Hydroptère is an experimental sailing yacht equipped with hydrofoil trimaran design and based on the Archimedes principle.
  • IBM : EPFL has owned a BlueGene supercomputer designed by IBM since summer 2005 . This most powerful computer in Switzerland ranks 22nd worldwide with a theoretical speed of 22.8 teraflops (as of November 2006).
  • Logitech : Logitech and EPFL have announced the launch of the innovation incubator. The aim of this joint project is to promote innovation and to support a certain number of technically innovative student and research projects financially, educationally and functionally every year.
  • Merck Serono : Research partnership with EPFL in neuroscience , oncology and drug delivery.
  • Nestlé : Nestlé has signed a five-year agreement with EPFL to “study the relationship between nutrition and the brain”. The university receives five million francs annually, and the food company sponsors two chairs .
  • Nokia : EPFL and ETH Zurich have entered into a research and technology partnership with Nokia. The Nokia Research Center was opened at EPFL for this purpose.
  • Patrouille des Glaciers : Poly-PDG, the academic partner with the most extreme high mountain race Patrouille des Glaciers.
  • Solar Impulse : Solar plane by Bertrand Piccard .



Student association AGEPoly

AGEPoly is the association of EPFL students in Lausanne. The student body was founded in 1951 under the name AGEPUL (Association Générale des Étudiants de l'École Polytechnique Universitaire de Lausanne). It has had its current name since 1964. The AGEPoly is made up of the board of directors, to which six to ten students belong, the assigned three poles, which are also the main tasks (service, animation & sport, student representation), and about twenty commissions.

AGEPoly was a founding member of the Association of Swiss University Student Unions (VSH), which has now been dissolved, and has been a member of the Association of Swiss Student Unions (VSS) since 2008 .

Alumni organization A3-EPFL

A3-EPFL (formerly AEPFL for Association Amicale des Anciens Élèves de l'École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) is the association of EPFL graduates (graduates, masters , doctorates, postgraduate studies). Its aims are to promote the togetherness of former graduates, to represent them at EPFL and to foster relationships with the school.


  • A subscription for the A3 newspaper and for the Reflex magazine, published by EPFL
  • The electronic newsletter is sent ten times a year
  • Evaluation of the online business platforms LinkedIn and Viadeo , in collaboration with the Center de Carrière of EPFL
  • The sponsorship of the university graduates by an alumni
  • A lifetime email address
  • Keeping the only database that contains all graduates
  • Loans for postgraduate studies
  • Organization of the Back on Campus conference and numerous other visits and conferences
  • The publication of a directory containing the coordinates of more than 7,000 EPFL graduates in over 100 countries
  • Job placement
  • Support and development of the regional and international sections

The regional sections ( Geneva , Vaud - Valais , Eastern Switzerland and Bern - Neuchâtel - Friborg - Jura ) organize numerous events (technical or cultural visits, conferences, business lunches, aperitifs, cozy get-togethers, etc.). These gatherings allow participants to expand their personal and professional network.

Forum EPFL

Forum EPFL is the EPFL student association responsible for organizing the EPFL forum . The group consists of 18 people in 2009. The forum, founded in 1982, has always been a preferred platform for exchange and encounter for university and professional communities. Their task is to support the recruitment and professional integration of graduates. Today the EPFL Forum is one of the most important recruiting events in Switzerland and one of the largest in Europe.

Association for Sustainable Development UniPoly

UniPoly is the EPFL and the University of Lausanne's student association for sustainable development . With more than 50 students, they campaign to raise awareness of sustainable development throughout western Switzerland.

Since 2005 UniPoly distributes the free brochure Astuces Durables to eleven topics ( water , transportation , nutrition , waste , fair trade , drugs and cosmetics , electrical appliances, cleaning products , electric appliances , heating and electricity , shopping ) and suggests simple everyday use measures for sustainable consumption before .

UniPoly is part of the World Student Community for Sustainable Development , an international network of student associations for sustainable development, consisting of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich , the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the universities of Tokyo , Regina, Chalmers , St. Petersburg and Yaoundé .


See also

Web links

Commons : École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. https://www.epfl.ch/about/overview/history-of-epfl/
  2. https://www.epfl.ch/about/presidency/
  3. https://www.epfl.ch/about/overview/figures/
  4. https://www.epfl.ch/about/overview/figures/
  5. https://www.epfl.ch/about/overview/figures/
  6. ^ List of IAU Members. In: iau-aiu.net. International Association of Universities, accessed August 18, 2019 .
  7. ^ Members. In: www.swissuniversities.ch. swissuniversities, 2019, accessed on August 31, 2019 .
  8. Financial report of the EHT Council on the ETH Domain 2019 , on ethrat.ch
  9. ETHL in the online edition of Duden , accessed in September 2018.
  10. EPFL Annual Report 2017. Accessed November 4, 2018 .
  11. ^ Federal Council elects Martin Vetterli as President of EPFL. In: admin.ch . Federal Council , February 24, 2016, accessed on February 29, 2016 .
  12. a b Graduated from the École centrale de Paris in 1843
  13. Site of the Learning Center
  14. SANAA architecture office. In: arch INFORM ; Retrieved December 14, 2009.
  15. Conference Center on epfl.ch ( Memento from April 26, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  16. Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2012
  17. Academic Ranking of World Universities in Engineering / Technology and Computer Sciences - 2009 ( Memento of November 4, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  18. Academic Ranking of World Universities in Computer Science - 2009 ( Memento from November 1, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  19. The Times Higher Education Supplement site
  20. The Times Higher Education Supplement site
  21. The World's Top 100 Universities 2021
  22. TOP500 list - November 2006 (1–100) / TOP500 Supercomputing Sites
  23. Welcome to Nokia Research Center ( Memento June 11, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) on research.nokia.com
  24. AGEPoly site
  25. ^ Site of the VSH ( Memento from May 18, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  26. ^ Minutes of the 148th Assembly of Delegates of the VSS in Lausanne
  27. A3-EPFL website
  28. ^ Site of the Center de Carrière
  29. ^ Website of the EPFL forum
  30. UniPoly site
  31. Site of the wscsd

Coordinates: 46 ° 31 '13 "  N , 6 ° 33' 56"  E ; CH1903:  533004  /  152482