Patrick Anquetil Portal Instruments, Inc.
Founder and CEO

Patrick Anquetil
Founder and CEO
Portal Instruments, Inc.

I am fluent in German because my mother came from Germany even though I grew up in Paris. When the time came for me to decide on a course of study, I was looking for a university that would be outstanding and where I could utilize my second language. I felt strongly that there was an opportunity in Switzerland. What drew me to ETH specifically was the combination of theory and practice: using your hands lubricates the brain. This philosophy really suited me, and I also knew about the industrial history of Switzerland having visited often when I was young. That modern Switzerland is to a large extent the result of ETH really stayed with me. When I came to visit ETH, it was love at first sight! When you walk into the Main Building (Hauptgebäude), you feel like you walk into a church – I was hooked, and I just had to go there.

After my studies at ETH I went to MIT for my PhD, and before I was accepted I got in touch with ETH alumni there to help me understand the local context. The whole ETH alumni community in Boston was very welcoming. This motivated me many years later to become the President of the ETH Alumni Association in New England, which currently has about 200 members.

While this role keeps me busy and connected to ETH, what excites me about the ETH Circle project is that it came from the Office of the President. Being associated with it gives me a sense as to what the administration of ETH is thinking and the possibility for impact. Working together with the rest of the group on a vision for how we can contribute to this vision is something I feel I can help with and want to deliver on.

The ETH Circle should set ambitious goals that we, the Members, can work towards, aligned with the mission of ETH and what the President wants to achieve. We should act as the catalysts for implementing his vision and leveraging the ETH community to achieve this. The ETH alumni are an amazing set of people, and this is a great resource that should benefit the school. I believe that most people, if you ask them, will tell you that they had a fantastic experience studying at ETH and want to give back to the community and the school.