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Charles Hirlimann was born in Paris in 1947. He majored in solid-state physics and later acquired competence in laser physics. He pioneered the use of femtosecond lasers applied to ultrafast spectroscopy of solids being at the time assistant professor at University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris. He then joined CNRS and moved to the Institute for Physics and Chemistry of Materials in Strasbourg (IPCMS) where he initiated femtosecond studies. His interest spanned from the ultrafast spectroscopy of electrons in semiconductors to basics researches in non-linear optics. In the recent past he served two years as a scientific expert in nanomaterials for the European Commission in Brussels and three years at the CNRS headquarters in Paris in charge of the European scientific policy of CNRS and the International policy for Physics. He is presently interested in the fast developments taking place in the field of electron microscopy.
Ephraim has authored 400+ publications (patents, technical papers, book chapters, books), presented numerous keynote and invited talks worldwide, and received many professional awards, including 1996 Bell Laboratories Distinguished Member of Technical Staff (DMTS) Award (for developing effective methods for predicting the reliability of complex structures used in AT&T and Lucent Technologies products), and 2004 ASME Worcester Read Warner Medal (for outstanding contributions to the permanent literature of engineering). Ephraim is the third “Russian American”, after S. Timoshenko and I. Sikorsky, who received this prestigious ASME award.