1245 students graduate with EPFL Master’s degrees

Today, EPFL hosted its annual graduation ceremony called La Magistrale, held for the 9th time at the SwissTech Convention Center and honoring the graduation of 1245 Master’s students in the presence of family members.

With contemporary dance performed by quantum physicist and professional dancer Merritt Moore, and MC’d by civicLab director Anja Wyden Guelpa and EPFL+ECAL Lab director Nicholas Henchoz, as well as interludes of guitar music provided by Maxance Dell’Orefice & Eric Willimann, the ceremony was a moment to celebrate the student’s accomplishments and their role in serving society in an ever changing world.

EPFL president Martin Vetterli invited the audience to reflect upon technology, innovation and the potential roles of the graduates in society and the world at large. “Your diploma is the passport to the world, the one you will build by engaging in science, industry, startups, administration or non-governmental organizations, in one word, by engaging in society. It’s society that enabled you to get a degree, and I hope, that you will serve to the extent of your talents.” Raising the issue of the climate crisis, he added, “As scientists and engineers, EPFL has given you the education and the tools to think beyond dogma. The world needs you. Stand-up to meet the challenges of the future, and that of climate change is of the most pressing.” He reminded the graduates, “ If you can be proud of your diploma, you must also remain humble. You are not masters of the world, but servants of society.”

Federal councilor and former president of the confederation Simona Sommaruga provided valuable insight into the challenges and engineering solutions for the future. “The current situation reminds us how vital the production of renewable energy in our country is. And how it is wise to consume in moderation.” She also highlighted the importance of EPFL’s endeavors in training the next generation of engineers and thinkers, “I know that this high place of knowledge is a powerful stimulant and from your minds, your practical experiences and your collective intelligence, answers to the questions that torment our world will emerge,” and, “If you are looking for meaning in your work, I think that you will have a good chance of finding it in professions that, thanks to your training, you will practice.”

The Magistral ceremony was the opportunity to award the 170th Doctor Honoris Causa to Patrick Chappatte, cartoonist for the press, who provides critical, sharp and intelligent insight into our world, and defends freedom of expression.

Vetterli paid tribute Maryna Viazovska, EPFL professor of mathematics, this year’s laureate of the prestigious Fields Medal, “The Nobel Prize of mathematics has recognized seemingly esoteric research: sphere-packing in 8 and 24 dimensions. But thanks to this major prize, EPFL’s excellence in the basic sciences is internationally recognized, and I can now say that our young school is playing in the big leagues.”

The Outstanding Commitment Award recognizes an employee’s exceptional contributions to the EPFL community, and was awarded to its very first laureate, Eric Du Pasquier, director of EPFL’s Security, Safety and Facilities Operations, handed over by Martin Vetterli on behalf of the selection committee for his commitment to security during the pandemic.

The Alumni Awards were awarded to Nathalie Brandenberg and Sylke Hoehnel, co-founder and General Director of SUN bioscience, to Christoph Aeschlimann, CEO of Swisscom, and to Raquel Urtasun, Professor at the University of Toronto and specialist in the development of self-driving cars.

Awards for students
Highest Master’s GPA:
Linus Erik Rösler, mathematics, 5,94
Second-highest Master’s GPA (tied) :
Guillaume Beaulieu, Microengineering, 5,93
Second-highest Master’s GPA (tied):
Matteo Delladio, physics, 5,93
Highest Bachelor’s GPA:
Florent Jean Draye, mathematics, 5,88
Second-highest Bachelor’s GPA:
Bruno Jean Dular, mathematics, 5,87
Third-highest Bachelor’s GPA (tied):
Gaëtan Emmanuel Mancini, mathematics, 5,85
Third-highest Bachelor’s GPA (tied):
Alexandre Michael Hayderi, computer science, 5,85
Highest first-year GPA:
Mathis Duguin, mathematics, 5.97
Youth award:
Anne Aurélie Marie Fayolle, born 14.09.2001
Merit award:
Julien Erard
Sports award:
Gaëlle Audrey Wavre

Awards for teachers
The Credit Suisse award was given to Jean-Philippe Ansermet.

The EPFL student association, AGEPoly, handed out awards to the School’s best teachers. This year’s winners are:
School of Basic Sciences and PolySphère d’Or award:
Nicolas Grandjean
School of Life Sciences:
Johannes Gräff
School of Engineering:
Pedro Reis
School of Computer and Communication Sciences:
Katerina Argyraki
School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering:
Fernando Porté-Agel

Author(s): Hillary Sanctuary
Imported from EPFL Actu