Gabriel Ferraté, rector of the UPC and founder of the Open University, dies at 91

The rector of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) between 1972 and 1994, Gabriel Ferratewho founded the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and was general director of Universities and Scientific Policy of the Ministry of Education, died this Sunday at 91 years.

The death of Gabriel Ferraté has been confirmed by the UOC in a statement, in which it recalls that, in addition to founding this same university, he was its rector between 1995 and 2005.

Remember that one of the great objectives achieved by this industrial engineer born in Reus (Tarragona) was to create the UOC in 1994 at the request of the Generalitat.

Ferraté accepted the assignment on the condition that the Government trusted him and let him do “a different university”which “broke the barriers of space and time through new technologies” at a time when the Internet did not yet exist for the vast majority of citizens, as he himself explained in an interview.

Gabriel Ferraté i Pascual (Reus, 1932) was an industrial engineer and agricultural expert, and his professional, scientific and research activity focused on the fields of computing, automation and robotics.

Since 1968 he was a professor of Automation at the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineers of Barcelona, ​​a university center that he directed between 1969 and 1972.

Between 1972 and 1994 Ferraté was rector of the UPC, with a parenthesis between 1976 and 1978 in which he held the position of general director of Universities and Research, and later, general director of Scientific Policy of the Ministry of Education.

Gabriel Ferraté was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), director of the Institute of Cybernetics and vice president of the Interdepartmental Council for Research and Technological Innovation (CIRIT).

He was also president of the Institut Cerdà and member of the Institute of Catalan Studies, the Academy of Medical Sciences of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona and the Reus Reading Center.

He was invested honorary doctor by the Polytechnic University of Madrid and the University of Lleida.

In 1996 he received the Creu de Sant Jordi, and in 2017 the UOC awarded him the Medal of Honor, the University’s highest distinction.

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