Gabriel Ferraté, rector of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and entrepreneur, dies at 91 | tradition | EUROtoday
Dr. Gabriel Ferraté, who died final Sunday on the age of 91 in Barcelona, belonged to a decisive era of rectors, whose mandates through the Democratic Transition and consolidation led to the enlargement and modernization of the Catalan and, by extension, Spanish college community. . An instance of the primary was his administration on the head of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) between 1972 and 1976 and between 1978 and 1994. The UPC had been created in 1971 as “of Barcelona” from the union of various increased technical faculties , and definitively renamed in 1983, thus recognizing its territorial deployment.
The second was witnessed by the creation of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), the place he served as rector-founder between 1995 and 2005. After reaching free management from the Generalitat, he imagined a brand new pedagogical mannequin, with a versatile construction and a venture unique that would crystallize due to the then nascent web. Thus the primary college emerged on-line of the world to, in his phrases, “break the barriers of space and time through new technologies”, able to opening as much as the world from Barcelona.
An exponent of the wealthy and cultured humus of the industrial-commercial bourgeoisie of Reus, the place he was born in 1932 (his first cousins have been the eponymous poet Gabriel and the critic Joan), he benefited from an eclectic coaching by attending college in France through the Civil War, realizing England as a delegate of the household enterprise and procure the titles of commercial engineer and agricultural skilled in Barcelona. Quickly, he oriented his analysis and instructing in direction of automation and robotics, being a pioneer in each fields. Thus, as an entrepreneur, he based one of many first firms specialised in automated site visitors gentle regulation programs. Since these have been virtually non-existent in Spain at the moment, he targeted on the worldwide market, with milestones as curious because the set up of the primary site visitors gentle in Moscow's Red Square. Furthermore, in 1968 he gained the primary chair of Automation within the nation on the then Technical School of Industrial Engineers of Barcelona, of whose middle he was director between 1969 and 1972, and from the place he promoted the primary research in telecommunications engineering.
During his temporary parenthesis outdoors the UPC, in January 1976, he accepted the General Directorate of Universities and Scientific Policy of the primary Government after the dying of the dictator and, shortly after, he additionally joined the —lastly unsuccessful— Commission for the research of a particular regime of the 4 Catalan provinces. His time within the post-Franco energy constructions was not straightforward, because the preliminary go to of a commissioner reminded him, warning him: “Look, nothing has changed here because if anything had changed, they would have changed me.” Three months later, Ferraté took benefit of the division of his powers into two new organizations to stay in command of the General Directorate of Scientific Policy. Victim of rising battle and a authorities with little dedication to alter, on the finish of the 12 months he deserted all accountability to return to his college. Beyond good phrases and a few tasks later discarded, he was capable of obtain official recognition from the Institut d'Estudis Catalans.
Exceptionally gifted for creativity, unique pondering and disobedience with respect to the given path or goal limitations, he mixed his obsession, since childhood, with expertise with an excellent multiplicity of pursuits. In his non-public residence, the customer was overwhelmed by collections of automatons, archaeological items, (deactivated) bombs from the Civil War, samples of stationery from the assorted positions held or movies from all occasions. Some of those teams linked him to their universities, such because the multitudinous repertoire of frogs – as a result of supposed homophony of their tune with the acronym UOC – or his spectacular assortment of poetry donated to the library of the North Campus of the UPC, which bears his identify. . Since January 2023, his private and institutional documentation has been preserved within the UOC historic archive.
Married since 1966 and father of three youngsters, he was additionally president of the Institut Cerdà and Caixa Tarragona (1995-2010), amongst many different positions. In addition, he accrued numerous nationwide and worldwide awards and honors within the area of science and data. As his successor, Rector Àngels Fitó, has said, Ferraté “leaves a legacy that constitutes—especially for the UOC community—a precious, living, challenging incentive.”
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