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Prof. Dr. Jürg Schweizer



capo dell'unità di ricerca , capo dell'SLF, Membro della Direzione


Istituto Neve e Valanghe
Flüelastrasse 11
7260 Davos Dorf


Davos Da B 2 23


Academic Education

1989:  Dr. sc. nat., ETH Zürich (Ph.D. in Glaciology)

1985:  Dipl. Natw. (Umweltphysik), ETH Zürich

Professional Experience

  • Head of SLF, Member of the WSL Directorate, since May 2011
  • Head of Research Unit "Snow Avalanches and Prevention", since March 2011
  • Adjunct Professor at ETH Zürich since September 2019; Lecturer at ETH, since 2008
  • Head of Research Group "Formation of Alpine Natural Hazards" (2006-2011)
  • Senior Research Scientist at the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos, Switzerland, since 1990.
  • Canada International Research Fellow (NSERC) at Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary AB, Canada, 1995-1996.
  • Research Assistant, Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), ETH Zürich, 1985-1989.
  • Teaching Associate in physics at Kantonsschule Frauenfeld, Switzerland, 1986-1989.

Research Interests

Snow mechanics and avalanche formation, avalanche release, snow stability evaluation, avalanche forecasting, spatial variability of snow stability, natural hazards, risk management, avalanche education and rescue.

Professional Activities

Research: Mechanical properties of snow, fracture mechanical properties of snow, spatial variability of mechanical properties, snow stability evaluation, avalanche formation, verification of snow stability, avalanche forecasting, expert systems, risk management, avalanche accidents and rescue

Consulting: Expert witness in court cases on avalanche accidents (more than 36 cases, thereof 5 major, complex ones in Italy and Austria), several expert reports for insurances, a few technical reports on avalanche protection and risk management.

Education: Responsible for SLF avalanche courses for avalanche safety personnel and avalanche observers (in the IFKIS framework: Interkantonales Frühwarn- und Kriseninformationssystem) (2001-2010).

Teaching: Graduate Course on “Snow and Avalanches: Processes and Risk Management” at ETH Zürich (together with Stefan Margreth)