Plenary Speakers

UK_Foto 2011-1
Prof. Ursula Keller

ETH, Zurich, Switzerland



Lecture title: Gigahertz Laser Frequency Combs








Ursula Keller has been a tenured professor of physics at ETH Zurich since 1993 (, and also a director of the Swiss multi-institute NCCR MUST program in ultrafast science since 2010 ( She received the Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1989 and the Physics “Diplom” from ETH in 1984.  She was a Member of Technical Staff (MTS) at AT&T Bell Laboratories from 1989 to 1993, a “Visiting Miller Professor” at UC Berkeley 2006 and a visiting professor at the Lund Institute of Technologies 2001.  She has been a co-founder and board member for Time-Bandwidth Products (acquired by JDSU in 2014) and for a venture capital funded telecom company GigaTera (acquired by Time-Bandwidth in 2003). 

Her research interests are exploring and pushing the frontiers in ultrafast science and technology. She invented the semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (SESAM) which enabled passive modelocking of diode-pumped solid-state lasers and established ultrafast solid-state lasers for science and industrial applications. Pushed the frontier of few-cycle pulse generation and full electric field control at petahertz frequencies. Pioneered frequency comb stabilization from modelocked lasers, which was also noted by the Nobel committee for Physics in 2005. In time-resolved attosecond metrology she invented the attoclock which resolved the electron tunneling delay and observed the dynamical Franz-Keldysh effect in condensed matter for the first time.

Awards include the OSA Charles H. Townes Award (2015), LIA Arthur L. Schawlow Award (2013), ERC advanced grant (2012), EPS Senior Prize (2011), OSA Fraunhofer/Burley Prize (2008), Leibinger Innovation Prize (2004), and Zeiss Research Award (1998). OSA, SPIE, IEEE and EPS Fellow, member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Academy Leopoldina and Swiss Academy of Techical Sciences. She supervised and graduated more than 60 Ph.D. students, published more than 400 journal publications and has more than 15’000 citations and h-index of 70 (Web of Science, 28. Feb. 2016).