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Annual Report

The annual report highlights our year 2017 in pictures, text and figures.

A year full of change

The ten-person Executive Board, which is responsible for the operational management of the ZHAW, welcomed new members and bade farewell to retiring ones in 2017.

The Executive Board consists of the President, the Managing Director and the Deans of the eight Schools. To ensure that the university is run on uniform principles and to encourage cooperation, individual members of the Board are also responsible for trans-departmental affairs. In 2017, three Deans took office after being appointed by the Council of the Zurich Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts, taking over from three Deans who had retired. Oya Atalay Franck took over the School of Architecture, Design and Civil Engineering from Stephan Mäder, Daniel Perrin succeeded Urs Willi as Dean of the School of Applied Linguistics, and Reto Steiner follows André Haelg as Dean of the School of Management and Law. Oya Atalay Franck also took over as Head of Continuing Education and Andreas Gerber-Grote as Head of Research and Development.

Facts and figures

In 2017, there were 12,847 students enrolled at the ZHAW with 5,051 being first-year students. The students were distributed over 28 Bachelor's and 18 Master's degree programmes and 3,001 students successfully completed their studies. The ZHAW employed over 3,000 people.

We have interactively compiled the most important facts and figures of the ZHAW for you.

Download Annual Report 2017 (in German) (PDF 5,4 MB)

Editorials Annual Report 2017

Matthias Kaiserswerth, Silvia Steiner, Jean-Marc Piveteau and Andrea Schenker-Wicki (f.l.t.r.)

Research Highlights 2017

Computer games for senior citizens: playful ways of keeping fitter in old age

Senior citizens exercise their arms and shoulders with a 3D Sudoku puzzle.

ZHAW researchers and their international partners have developed interactive training games for elderly people. The stamina of the test participants improved significantly.

Article “Computer games for senior citizens: playful ways of keeping fitter in old age”

Robo-Mate: Intelligent, flexible exoskeleton

The Robo-Mate exoskeleton aims to reduce work-related accidents and illnesses in the industrial sector.

A wearable, power-assisted exoskeleton aims to improve working conditions in the industrial sector. The EU project was coordinated by the ZHAW and will be continued.

Article “Robo-Mate: Intelligent, flexible exoskeleton”

Knowledge transfer: revolutionising the world of chocolate

Dieter Meier with the ZHAW graduates in the chocolate production pilot plant.

In collaboration with the ZHAW, Dieter Meier, founder of the electro-pop band Yello, seeks to revolutionise the world of chocolate. ZHAW graduates are working in the pilot plant.

Interview with Dieter Meier

Four years of research for the energy transition

After four years of energy research, the ZHAW has drawn a positive balance. According to an external evaluation, the ZHAW has established a leading position among universities of applied sciences.

ZHAW is Leading House South Asia and Iran

The ZHAW is the Leading House for Switzerland’s research collaboration with South Asia and Iran since the beginning of 2017.

Exploring societal change

Interdisciplinary ZHAW project: What is the integration potential of public urban spaces such as Röschibachplatz in Zurich?

The ZHAW is tackling pressing societal issues with its research focus on societal integration. Fourteen projects are receiving support over the next two years.

World’s lightest concrete bridge

Five times lighter than conventional bridges

ZHAW engineers have developed concrete panels reinforced with carbon. These are not only extremely sturdy, light and rust-proof, but they can also be produced industrially and cut to any shape. They have recently been awarded with a German industrial innovation prize.

Media release “Novel ultra-thin precast concrete panels with carbon”

Prosthetic hands for children from a 3D printer

Besides this everyday model, there are prostheses for different sport activities.

ZHAW students have developed prosthetic hands that are affordable even for children in developing countries. They work without any high tech and their parts are made with a 3D printer. 

Media release “Low-cost prosthetic hands for children from a 3D printer”

Teaching Highlights 2017

Studying in times of digitisation

ZHAW Engineering degree programmes are an example of how virtual reality can be put to good use in teaching.

ZHAW students have developed prosthetic hands that are affordable even for children in developing countries. They work without any high tech and their parts are made with a 3D printer. 

Article “Studying in times of digitisation”

New perspectives for young scientists

Cooperation programmes with Swiss universities now allow for doctoral studies at Swiss universities of applied sciences. Seven such programmes at the ZHAW are supported by the Swiss government.

Article “New perspectives for young scientists”

Continuing Education Highlights 2017

Majority experience digitisation positively

A ZHAW study looked into digitisation of the workplace. Based on this, a continuing education programme placing people at the centre of the digital revolution was developed.

Responding to changing career profiles

One of the most important tasks of continuing education is to react to the ever-accelerating changes to many career profiles. The focus lies on digitisation.

Article “Responding to changing career profiles”

Campus Highlights 2017

Ten years with an eye to the future

Highlight of the tenth anniversary: summer party at StageOne Hall in Zurich-Oerlikon.

The ZHAW has earned an excellent reputation in the national and international educational landscape since it was first founded. However, a university has to develop further, which is why the ZHAW made its anniversary an occasion to look towards the future. The ZHAW’s tenth University Day focused on the future of higher education and how the development of digital technologies is leading to new forms of teaching and learning and bringing about a cultural change for teaching staff. Innovative examples from the ZHAW demonstrated how these forms of teaching and learning can be used and what benefits they have to offer for teaching staff and students. Keynote speaker Martin Ebner, Head of the Department of Educational Technology at Graz University of Technology, presented an academic perspective on the future of higher education. In an interview with the university magazine ZHAW-Impact, Government Councillor and Head of the Department of Education of the Canton of Zurich Silvia Steiner, and ZHAW President Jean-Marc Piveteau spoke about the upcoming challenges and the responsibility of the ZHAW towards society. However, an anniversary would not be an anniversary without a celebration: Some 560 employees from all schools celebrated together at the first ZHAW summer party, experiencing outside the office and laboratory the interdisciplinarity set out in the university strategy.

Growth requires space

The ZHAW is in continuous need of more space. While some construction projects have already been realised, further renovations and new buildings in Winterthur and Wädenswil are planned.

Article “Growth requires space”

ZHAW quality strategy is reflection at a high level

As part of the ZHAW quality strategy, the Executive Board underwent a peer review in 2017. The outcome is largely positive. 

Article “ZHAW quality strategy is reflection at a high level”

Mentoring Pro Diversity

Achieving professional goals, reconciling family and work, opening new perspectives – mentors share their experiences at the ZFH mentoring programme.