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Director from Tecnun, School of Engineering of the University of Navarra
Tecnun is 60 years old. It was born as a result of a request from the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa to the University of Navarra. St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei and at the time Chancellor of the University, thought it was great. Tecnun has grown well rooted in Gipuzkoa and at the same time open to the whole world. Its life is a story of identity and dynamism, to use the words of María Iraburu Elizalde, on her recent inauguration as the new rector.
Sometimes I hear that our students have "the Tecnun style". But what is Tecnun's identity? Tecnun is the School of Engineering of the University of Navarra. Many things could be said about the University of Navarra, but above all it is a University: a place where we grow through the coexistence of professors and students with the goal to learn, reflect and search for the truth. It is life, not theory. An organism thanks to which we all grow. The great ideals of Christian humanism are the hallmark of its identity and are responsible for its vocation of service. It is a non-profit university with a vocation to have a social impact wherever it is. And we are and we are from Gipuzkoa.
Tecnun cannot be understood without Gipuzkoa and its institutions (GV, DFG, City Council of SS), but it also seems legitimate to me to say that our School has had an important social impact on the territory, mainly thanks to the almost 6,000, -of the more than 9,000-, alumni that it has trained and currently work in the Gipuzkoa industry.
Dynamism. These six decades have been marked by dynamism and development. Like any other creature, Tecnun was born small, in the current Koldo Mitxelena building. However, its features could already be perceived in those years: to train good people, good engineers through the teaching and the research, which existed from the very first moment. Because teaching is supported and enriched by it. And Tecnun began to grow: the move to Ibaeta began in 1970, over the following years more buildings were built at campus and in 2006 we also moved to the Miramón technology park. Forty years ago it can be said that Tecnun had offspring with the birth of the technology center Ceit and since then the School has continued to grow and has consolidated four Departments and twelve groups of research.
January 24 is the International Day of Education and we can ask ourselves what training is all about and what challenges we face in the future. The core of training is that students learn engineering. A training that focuses on solid fundamentals because they are necessary for creativity and entrepreneurship. At the same time, it is important the effort made in the use of new teaching methodologies, new laboratories and a closeness to the business as can be seen in the more than 40 agreements signed with companies. But we want our students to remember us also for the humanistic training that we have given them, for the one that goes beyond the classroom and will allow them to reflect on the great questions of the human being.
Forming good people implies that everything has to form: counseling -those conversations between teachers and students-, the smile and kindness of teachers and employees, recognizing that we don't know how to answer a question and the next day coming up with the answer, asking for forgiveness when we make a mistake or listening attentively to the people around us.
The University is exciting, so its future will also be exciting and will always be based on the coexistence of teachers and students. A technological revolution is approaching that will affect all educational centers. Technology will be important. It will be at the service of people. It will transform and revolutionize many things, but it should not detract from the identity of the university. Technology is not capable of transmitting passion and real concern for the student.
In the future I see our School aligned with the 2025 strategic plan of its alma mater: focusing on teaching transformative, research impact and multidisciplinary projects. The sustainable development and care for people and the environment will guide all our projects. At Tecnun we will see a commitment to sustainability at programs of study and campus.
"Izan zirelako gara eta garelako izango dira. Because they were we are and because we are they will be". The reality of Tecnun is also thanks to all those who have preceded us. We are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, giants who with their lives created this institutional culture, this identity. And the responsibility of those of us who are currently working is great because we are called upon to pass the baton to those who will succeed us. Thanks to all former and current students and employees!