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History of IIT

The Institute for Research in Technology (IIT) was created on March 6 1984 and it celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2024. As indicated in the minutes of the meeting of the Governing Board, the core initial investigators formed the group dedicated to the area of energy in the late Technological Institute for Postgraduates (ITP). The ITP project emerged in 1974 to bring to Spain the academic-business collaboration structure from the American postgraduate. The ITP was funded by Spanish companies and driven by Antonio Barrera de Irimo, Minister of Finance, President of Telefónica and the Board of trustees at ICAI. He sent to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston about 40 graduates in engineering and applied sciences to study and research in that institution and bring to Spain its innovative spirit and quality of research, to make them serve a thriving industry Postgraduates Institute of Technology. The group completed their training, but did not finish their final purpose, as Spain in the 70's and 80's was focused on political change and lacked public instruments to support research.

Ignacio Pérez Arriaga, ICAI engineer and professor at the School of Engineering (ICAI), was in the group sent to MIT. Since his return in 1981, he had made compatible lectures at ICAI and research for ITP. He had innovated in his subject, Projects for Power System Specialty, and had some emerging research projects with ITP in collaboration with his students. These group will constitute the first nucleus of the IIT.

In February 1984, Pérez Arriaga proposed to the Board of the university to create an own institute. His idea was accepted immediately. IIT was created and Pérez Arriage as promotor was nominated for director, and started with the researchers Emilio Buquerín, Antonio Fernández, Tomás Gómez San Román, Carmen Illan, Javier Jarauta, Daniel Lanzas, Antonio Lozano, Francisco Nieto, Andrés Ramos, Carlos Román and María Jose González Balandín. Most of them were ICAI engineers, and also from Polytechnic and science graduates. Alongside previous research projects with ITP, the first project of IIT was on methods of pricing power in the United States, José María Arraiza developed for Union Fenosa and would be the starting point for the new Spanish regulatory framework of 1987. More projects for Endesa, Spanish Hydroelectric, Iberduero and Red Electrica follow that initial project on pricing. New courses and studies for institutions and Latin American companies also started, being the interconnection of Central America power systems the most relevant project. Meanwhile thesis were becoming similar in quality to those of best foreign universities.

The aim of IIT, part of the School of Engineering (ICAI), is to promote research and postgraduate training in various technological fields through participation in projects for the industry and the administration. Now it has 175 researchers, of which 89 are school professors, and the rest researchers in training graduate program of Comillas-ICAI. The IIT has had eight directors, has made more than 3,000 projects, has trained more than 435 researchers, has defended 289 theses and has published more than 2,835 jobs. He has received more than 86 foreign teachers and more than 70 of its members have come to further their studies.

Directors and Deputy Directors

Mar. 1983 – Sep. 1992
Director: José Ignacio Pérez Arriaga
Deputy Director: Luis Pagola y de las Heras

Oct. 1992 – Sep. 1994
Director: José Ignacio Pérez Arriaga
Deputy Director: Tomás Gómez San Román

Oct. 1994 – Sep. 1997
Director: Tomás Gómez San Román
Deputy Director: Jaime Román Úbeda

Oct. 1997 – Feb. 2000
Director: Tomás Gómez San Román
Deputy Directors: Miguel Ángel Sanz Bobi, Andrés Ramos Galán (until June 1999) y Michel Rivier Abbad (since June 1999)

Feb. 2000 – Jun. 2002
Director: Miguel Ángel Sanz Bobi
Deputy Directors: Michel Rivier Abbad y Antonio Muñoz San Roque (since March 2000)

Jun. 2002 – Sep. 2004
Director: Michel Rivier Abbad
Deputy Directors: Antonio Muñoz San Roque y Pedro Linares Llamas

Oct. 2004 – Sep. 2006
Director: Michel Rivier Abbad
Deputy Directors: Pedro Linares Llamas y José Villar Collado

Oct. 2006 – Ago. 2008
Director: Michel Rivier Abbad
Deputy Directors: Efraím Centeno Hernáez y José Villar Collado

Sep. 2008 – Apr. 2010
Director: Antonio Muñoz San Roque
Deputy Directors: Efraím Centeno Hernáez y José Villar Collado

Apr. 2010 – Mar. 2016
Director: Efraím Centeno Hernáez
Deputy Director: José Villar Collado

Mar. 2016 – Sep. 2020
Director: Tomás Gómez San Román
Deputy Directors: Pablo Frías Marín (until September 2019), Javier García González, Pablo Rodilla Rodríguez (until September 2017) y Lukas Sigrist

Sep. 2020 – Oct. 2023
Director: Andrés Ramos Galán
Deputy Directors: Javier García González (until June 2022), Paloma Cucala García (since June 2022), José Pablo Chaves Ávila y Sara Lumbreras Sancho

Oct. 2023 – Current
Director: Paloma Cucala García
Deputy Directors: Paloma Cucala García (until October de 2023), Lukas Sigrist (since October 2023), José Pablo Chaves Ávila y Sara Lumbreras Sancho