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April 9, 2024

New Leadership Team

ISTA welcomes three new Vice Presidents to strengthen institute management

The Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) has appointed three new Vice Presidents to its management team: Neuroscientist Gaia Novarino serves as Executive Vice President and Vice President for Science Education, physicist Georgios Katsaros is Vice President for Scientific Resources, and computer scientist Monika Henzinger takes over the position of Vice President for Technology Transfer. 

Group Photo Management Team
The new ISTA management team. From left to right: Georgios Katsaros, Martin Hetzer, Monika Henzinger, Barbara Abraham, Georg Schneider, Gaia Novarino and Eva Benková. © Peter Rigaud/ISTA

Yesterday, ISTA’s new Vice Presidents were introduced to the campus community at the Raiffeisen Lecture Hall. Gaia Novarino, Georgios Katsaros and Monika Henzinger complement the management team alongside ISTA President Martin Hetzer, Managing Director Georg Schneider, Graduate School Dean Eva Benková, and Deputy Managing Director Barbara Abraham.

Martin Hetzer stressed the important agenda of the leadership team, which is to “firmly establish ISTA as one of the most vibrant hubs for science not only in Europe but worldwide.” He also emphasized that the ISTA Board of Trustees had confirmed the three new Vice Presidents unanimously. Hetzer proceeded by conveying the Institute’s sincere gratitude to Michael Sixt, who served as Executive Vice President for over a decade, for his invaluable contributions: “Michael’s unwavering dedication to ISTA has been vital in building up structures and processes for the future of ISTA. He will remain a trusted and valued member of our faculty.” The President also thanked former Vice President for Technology Transfer Bernd Bickel, who now works at ETH Zurich, for his service to the ISTA mission.

Gaia Novarino took over the position as the new Executive Vice President on April 1, 2024. Prior to this, she was the Vice President for Science Education and will continue to oversee this area at the institute. The neuroscientist joined ISTA in 2014. Together with her research group, she studies genes underlying inherited forms of neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy or autism. As Executive Vice President, she will be responsible for the strategic development of ISTA. “I’m very much looking forward to shaping the future of ISTA together with my fellow members of the management team and the entire campus. To me, it is particularly important to protect an environment in which everyone can thrive to their fullest potential, regardless of their background, and to build strong interpersonal relations between the members of our community,” said Novarino at yesterday’s gathering.

Also effective April 1, 2024, Georgios Katsaros, who joined ISTA in 2016, became Vice President for Scientific Resources, and in this capacity is responsible for the Institute’s Scientific Service Units as well as space management. At ISTA, Georgios Katsaros helped build up the Nanofabrication Facility and served as head of the Miba Machine Shop. His research group studies nanoelectronics, in particular qubits which are the basic unit of information in quantum computing. At yesterday’s event, Georgios Katsaros emphasized, “In my capacity as Vice President, my primary goal is to maintain the high standards set by our Scientific Service Units, which play a pivotal role in facilitating cutting-edge research.”

On March 1, 2024, Monika Henzinger assumed the position of Vice President for Technology Transfer. Having joined ISTA in early 2023, she is a computer scientist with former positions, amongst others, as professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and first Director of Research at Google. Her research group investigates the efficiency of computer algorithms, privacy protection of data, and the design of simple, practical algorithms. In her remarks, Henzinger stressed, “An important part of the ISTA mission is the transfer of our research to industry. As Vice President, I’m looking forward to fostering this goal with the help of my experience in the world outside academia.”

In a lively question-and-answer session and a subsequent get-together, the management team discussed further significant topics for the Institute’s future with ISTA staff, including questions of campus development and leadership culture.


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