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).
The Instant-Lab conducts research in micromechanical design. The key application field on which the research is focused is horology. A wider spectrum of applications is also concerned including: medtech applications, precision robotics, space applications, astrophysics applications and instrumentation for accelerator facilities. Moreover, the laboratory is strongly involved in the teaching of design to students of all levels. It focuses on training the creative processes from which the act of design originates and its complementarity with the analytical mind necessary to model, simulate and predict the behaviour of machines.