Willy R. Gehrer takes over from Ulrich W. Suter

Further topics 02:00


The Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences SATW has a new president. Willy R. Gehrer succeeded Ulrich W. Suter, who led the Academy for six years.

On the occasion of the Annual Meeting on 9 May Ulrich W. Suter handed over the SATW presidency to Willy R. Gehrer. He takes over a modern Academy, which, according to Gehrer, is well prepared for the future thanks to the high level of expertise - both from individual members and experts. They should be increasingly and more actively integrated into SATW's projects and focus programmes with the aim of contributing their expertise. The focus programmes are currently on "cybersecurity", "artificial intelligence", "promoting young engineering talent" and "advanced manufacturing".

"We are also dealing with the introduction of new business areas and higher financial independence," adds Willy R. Gehrer. "We live in a very interesting world with a rapidly growing number of new technological developments. The public is gradually realising that this not only brings about positive social change. The SATW wants to start a dialogue with the population, to promote the understanding of technology as a neutral organisation and also emphasise potential social changes at an early stage."

Swiss industry expert

After an electro-mechanics apprenticeship, Willy R. Gehrer studied electrical engineering at what is now ZHAW and then completed a post-graduate course in business management at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. He worked at Siemens Switzerland for many years, most recently as CEO for the Energy and the Transportation Systems divisions. From 2009 to 2013 Willy R. Gehrer was president of Electrosuisse. For 15 years he has also been involved with "deep geothermals for electricity production", for example as president for the Swiss Association on Geothermal Energy.

Ulrich W. Suter, emeritus professor for macro-molecular chemistry at ETH Zürich, was the president of SATW for two periods of office, i.e. six years. During his time at ETH, he was also the vice-president for research for the ETH management from December 2001 to November 2005. Under his leadership, the SATW has been completely modernised and the requirements were thus created for SATW to be able to focus more strongly on relevant technical developments.