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UC Santa Barbara
Department of Geography
UC Santa Barbara
Department of Geography

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UC Santa Barbara Geography / /

March 14, 2011 - A Fond Farewell to Martin Raubal and Family

Martin Raubal has formally accepted a Full Professorship at ETH Zurich. Consistently ranked the top university in continental Europe, ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is a leading player in research and education in Switzerland and worldwide. 21 Nobel Laureates (including Albert Einstein) have studied, taught, or conducted research at ETH Zurich, underlining the excellent reputation of the institute ( source).

The ETH Zurich Media Release of September 29, 2010 states: “Upon application of the President of the ETH Zurich, Prof. Dr. Ralph Eichler, the ETH Board has appointed the following individuals as full professors at the ETH Zurich: Prof. Dr. Martin Raubal, currently Associate Professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara (USA), as Full Professor of Geoinformation Engineering. Martin Raubal is an internationally leading researcher in the field of geoinformation sciences. His interdisciplinary approaches to research combine geoinformation sciences with information technology and cognitive sciences. One of his focal points is the development and personalisation of mobile geoinformation services.”

A total of five appointments to full professor were made at ETH Zurich in 2010. Apart from Dr. Raubal, they include two internationally acclaimed Swiss researchers in the fields of architecture and digital fabrication (Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler); Dr. Nicola A. Spaldin, currently Professor and Director of the International Center for Materials Research at UCSB; and Dr. Rainer Wallny, currently Associate Professor of Particle Physics at UCLA. Martin is in good company: “I feel both honored and really excited, as you can imagine!”

Martin will take up his new position April 1, 2011. Sadly, we also will lose his wife Gwen who was a Computer Network Technologist for the department; indeed, we’ll miss all the Raubals, including their sons Eric and Ian, who have been part of our extended geography family since Martin joined the Department in 2006. While our loss will be ETH Zurich’s gain, we all agree that Martin made the right decision. Not only is his appointment a great honor, but he will be close to family and friends in his native Austria – and we know that he will stay in touch, if only to tell us how great the skiing is in Switzerland!

A farewell party for the Raubals was organized by Dan Montello and Kathy Davis and took place 3-7 pm on March 12 at the Mercury Lounge in Goleta. There was a good turnout, and Kathy’s husband Carl & his band, “Jump Drive,” provided entertainment. According to an online blog about local taverns, "The Mercury is one crazy, 60's, retro bar filled with hipsters, craft beers, and tons of microwave popcorn”—in short, a very appropriate place from which to give Martin and Gwen a California send-off. Dan also presented the Raubals with a parting gift from the faculty and staff—a lavishly illustrated book, (“The Book of Santa Barbara,” photographs by MacDuff Everton, essay by Pico Iyer), about Santa Barbara—something for their coffee table perusal when snowed in by Zurich’s weather. Martin has promised to send regular “Letters from Zurich,” and he will be back in Santa Barbara fairly regularly in order to deal with academic commitments, so the Department will simply say auf Wiedersehen to the Raubal family for now - literally auf, “until” + Wiedersehen, “seeing again.”

Editor’s notes: Photos (at least 50 so far) of the farewell party for the Raubals at the Mercury Lounge will be posted on our web site’s Event Photos page - if anyone took others that they'd like to share, please contact the editor. Previous Geography web site articles about the Raubal family include “Dr. Martin Raubal Joins Geography Faculty,” “Croeso y Gwen,” “The Department’s Youngest Geographer,” and “The Secret Lives of UCSB Geographers.”

Image 1 for article titled "A Fond Farewell to Martin Raubal and Family"
Dr. Raubal earned a M.S. in Spatial Information Science and Engineering from the University of Maine (1997) and a Dipl.-Ing. in Surveying Engineering from the Vienna University of Technology (1998). He received his Ph.D. (Honors) from the Vienna University of Technology in 2001 with a thesis on agent-based simulation of human wayfinding. His research interests are in semantic interoperability, action-based ontologies, spatial cognition, location based services, formal cognitive models of human activities, and agent-based modeling
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Gwen and Martin Raubal, Goleta sunset, 2007
Image 3 for article titled "A Fond Farewell to Martin Raubal and Family"
Prof. Martin Raubal is taking lessons for his private plane pilotís license
Image 4 for article titled "A Fond Farewell to Martin Raubal and Family"
Bon voyage party at the Mercury Lounge
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We'll miss Gwen's sense of humor!
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