Education / Research

since 2008 Lecturer ETH Zurich.
since 1997 Head research group "Protection Measures" at the WSL-Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF Davos.
since 1989 Senior Consultant at the WSL-Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF Davos.
1988–1989 Research Assistant, Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, ETH Zurich.
1985–1986 Norwegian Railway (Oslo) and Dr. Halter Engineering & Consulting (Zurich): Internship and Research Fellow.
1982–1987 Diploma-Studies in Civil Engineering, ETH Zurich.


  • Measurement and calculation of snow forces acting on avalanche defense and rockfall structures
  • Effectiveness of avalanche defense measures
  • Design of avalanche defense measures (e.g. avalanche sheds, dams)
  • Failure analysis and back-calculation of snow pressure or avalanche loads
  • Maintenance of avalanche defense measures
  • Back-analysis of avalanche events
  • Risk and cost-benefit analysis
Galtür_l Chüenihorn_l GrJorasses_l
Investigation of the catastrophic avalanche in Galtür, 1999. Analysis of the effectiveness of supporting structures. Safety concept for ice and snow avalanches at Gr. Jorasses.


  • Avalanche defense consulting and hazard mapping (e.g. elaboration and review of hazard maps, application and maintenance of supporting structures, design of avalanche sheds, deflecting and catching dams, snow drift fences), more than 150 consulting reports in Switzerland and countries as Germany, Italy, Austria, Iceland, Japan, Russia, Turkey and Iran.
  • Protection and design of buildings and infrastructure against avalanche impacts and snow pressure.
  • Risk calculations and cost-benefit analysis.
  • Snow loads on buildings.
  • Expert witness in court cases especially on hazard mapping and avalanche accidents (e.g. on the catastrophic avalanche event in Galtür in 1999).
  • Proofing engineer of new defense structures in avalanche starting zones.


  • Graduate Course on “Snow and Avalanches: Processes and Risk Management” at ETH Zürich (together with Jürg Schweizer)
  • Lecturer in avalanche engineering at the European Summer University on Natural Hazards, 1992 in Chamonix (France), 1995 in Sion (Switzerland), 2000 in Salardu (Spain) and 2004 in Courmayeur (Italy).
  • Courses, excursions and lessons for practitioners in avalanche engineering and hazard mapping.
  • Course on avalanches for technical directors of ropeways (Swiss Ropeways Association).


since 1997 FAN (Natural Hazard Experts Switzerland) since 1989 EKLS (Expert Commission for Avalanches and Rockfall) since 1988 SGBF (Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Boden und Felsmechanik)

Other interests

Barre des Ecrins_l JoshuaTree_l Avers_l
Ski touring Rock climbing Ice climbing