Born in 1973 and of Egyptian-Swiss nationality, Simon Henein grew up in Cairo. He obtained an engineering degree at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 1996 and went on to complete his doctorate at the EPFL in 2000. In 2001, he published the book “Conception des guidages flexibles” which has become a reference in precision engineering. He then joined the Centre Suisse d’Electronique et Microtechnique (CSEM), Neuchatel, Switzerland, where he conceived and developed mechanisms for robotic, aerospace, medical and watchmaking applications. He pursued his research career at the Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland, where he developed instruments for the Swiss Light Source Synchrotron (SLS). Since November 1st, 2012, he is associate professor in microengineering at the EPFL, holder of the Patek Philippe Chair and director of the Micromechanical and horological design laboratory (Instant-Lab).
Following the April 2011 announcement of a partnership between watchmaking manufacture Patek Philippe and the EPFL, the Patek Philippe Chair in Micromechanical and Horological Design was established on November 1st, 2012, with the nomination of Professor Simon Henein. Instant-Lab, the name chosen for the new laboratory, is located in Microcity, the EPFL Microtechnology centre in Neuchatel, Switzerland. Instant-Lab currently consists of a dozen senior scientists, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students. The laboratory’s specialty is the creation of new mechanisms featuring kinematic and technological innovation at the centimetre scale. The scientific approach is inspired from mechanical design in fields such as new and classical horology, robotics and aerospace. Current projects apply to mechanical watchmaking and biomedical instrumentation, these fields being quite close, both technologically and in their industrial fabric. Beyond the laboratory’s academic mission to pursue excellence in fundamental research and teaching, the Patek Philippe Chair is also committed to strengthen ties with the Swiss watchmaking industry and therefore welcomes collaboration with all its industrial partners.
Fields of expertise
3D meso-scale silicon systems
High precision robotics
Instrumentation for accelerator facilities