VMI (Verein des Mittelbaus der Informatik an der ETH Zürich) is the association of scientific staff of the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich. The scientific staff (Mittelbau) includes PhD students, postdocs, and other scientific employees of the Department (excluding professors). VMI is part of AVETH, the academic association of scientific staff at ETH Zurich.

The following links contain more detailed information about VMI and services provided by AVETH and VMI. See also our mission statement below.

How to become a member

Departmental committees

Current board members

Our constitution

Scientific excellence and well-being initiative

Counseling services

General AVETH services

Mission statement

The mission of VMI is to contribute in making the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich an exceptionally attractive place to teach and research. To this end, VMI

  • represents the interests of the scientific staff within the relevant decision‐making bodies of the Department,
  • provides information and support to the scientific staff, and
  • fosters networking and collaboration among members of the scientific staff.

You can find more information about how VMI is run in practice by looking at all our positions and active members on our People page.


The VMI was founded 7th of March 2001 by former Mittelbau member Michael Baumer. The interests of the Mittelbau had been represented by single persons only while the Mittelbau itself was not recognised as a group of people with common interests. Furthermore, the single representatives had poor means of communicating with all members of the Mittelbau. In general, there was a lack of a platform and assistants with a will to get involved had no point of contact to get informed about demands and opportunities.

As a first activity, the VMI tackled the issue of the workload of assistants within teaching. The issue was addressed by increasing the number of supporting assistants, i.e. students involved in teaching.

After a couple of years of activity, Michael Baumer resigned due to the end of his employment at ETH Zurich. Due to a lack of interest, no follow up could be found which led to the suspension of all activities of the VMI.

In the beginning December 2006, Hermann Lehner, then president of the UK and former board member of the student association VIS, requested Alexandre de Spindler, also a former board member of the VIS, to candidate for VMI presidency so he could resume its main purpose, i.e. the appointment of the candidates for the department committees. This led to the second period of activities of the VMI, starting at the MV of the 11th of December 2006.

Together with Silvia Santini and with the counseling support of Hermann Lehner, the VMI reorganised itself by working out a revised constitution which would cater for the generally little interest and involvement of Mittelbau members for department affairs by reducing the workload to a minimum while still assuming its purpose of appointing committee representatives.