ETH Zurich, EPF Lausanne and the four research institutions EAWAG, WSL, PS Iand EMPA are linked to form the national ETH Domain.
ETH Zurich was founded in 1855 as the "Eidgenössisches Polytechnikum" (Federal Polytechnic Institute). Today, ETH Zurich forms a community of 18’000 people from 80 nations who study, do research or are employed there. About 360 professors in 15 departments teach mainly in the technical, mathematical and natural sciences areas and carry out research that is highly valued worldwide.
Within ETH Zurich the School Domain of Earth, Environment and Natural Resources (S-ENETH) deals with the functionality of earth, its natural systems, the sustainable use of natural resources as well as environmental management and remediation. S-ENETH consists of the three departments Agricultural and Food Sciences, Earth Sciences and Environmental Sciences. S-ENETH leads the activities of CCES at ETH Zurich.
EPF Lausanne is the other one of the two Ecoles Polytechniques Fédérales in Switzerland, it has three missions: education, research, and technology transfer at the highest international level. EPFL, in its idyllic location on the shores of Lake Geneva, brings together a campus of more than 10,000 people. By its novel structure, the school stimulates collaboration between students, professors, researchers and entrepreneurs leading to innovative advances in science, technology and architecture. EPFL is one of the top technical universities in Europe, the Times Higher Education Supplement recently named EPFL as the world's most "international" university with more than 100 nationalities represented on campus and 50% of the teaching staff originating from abroad.
Environmental research at the EPFL is carried out at the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC). The disciplines united in ENAC are called upon to produce innovative solutions that enable them to face up to the most important challenge of our time: guaranteeing a sustainable environment. This multi-faceted field requires long-term research at a multidisciplinary and international level. This research is conducted in terms of a creative interaction between art, science and engineering. The range of courses includes studies for a Bachelor's or Master's degree in architecture, civil engineering and environmental engineering, postgraduate course cycles, and doctoral programs.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology EAWAG is a Swiss-based and internationally linked aquatic research institute committed to an ecological, economical and socially responsible management of water – the primary source of all life. It carries out research, teaching and consulting and forms a link between science and practical application.
It is the goal of EAWAG to understand quantitatively and qualitatively the mechanisms, dynamics, regulation, and effects of water-related processes at the molecular level, system level, and societal level and the interactions between these levels.
The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL focuses on the use and protection of habitats in natural and peri-urban environments. The aim of WSL research is to promote the sustainable use of landscapes and forests as well as the careful handling of risks from the natural hazards that are typical of mountainous countries. In its research fields, WSL occupies an international top position and provides solid foundations for sustainable policies on environmental issues.
The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is a multi-disciplinary research centre for natural sciences and technology. In national and international collaboration with universities, other research institutes and industry, PSI is active in solid state physics, materials sciences, elementary particle physics, life sciences, nuclear and non-nuclear energy research, and energy-related ecology. It is the largest national research institute with about 1,300 members of staff. PSI develops and operates complex research installations which call for especially high standards of know-how, experience and professionalism, and is one of the world’s leading user laboratories for the national and international scientific community.
EMPA is the materials science and technology research institution of the ETH domain. It specializes in applications, focused research and development, and provides high-level services in the field of sustainable materials science and technology. Its core tasks are innovative collaboration with industry and public institutions, ensuring the safety of people and the environment, knowledge propagation and university-level teaching.
EMPA's key areas of research are grouped in five programs entitled Nanotechnology, Adaptive Materials Systems, Materials for Health and Performance, Materials for Energy Technologies and Technosphere – Atmosphere. Over 800 people work at its three sites in Dübendorf, St. Gallen and Thun.