Sarah Springman is Professor for Geotechnical Engineering at ETH Zurich since January 1997 and Rector of the university since January 2015. She studied engineering sciences at Cambridge University. She then worked for five years as an engineer on several geotechnical projects in England, Fiji, and Australia before returning to Cambridge, where she earned her PhD in soil mechanics in 1989. She uses geotechnical modelling of soil-structure interaction to develop solutions to improve the design of structures and has led several large scale multidisciplinary field tests to explore geotechnical aspects of natural hazards, in particular concerning surficial landslides and melting permafrost. Professor Springman served on the Swiss Science and Technology Council (2000–2007) and is currently a member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) and a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, as well as the Chair of the Building Award Jury (2019 and 2021).
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