Mr. José Ramón Irisarri Yela

Medalla nº VII (01/12/1994-15/08/2015)
Académico constituyente


Ph.D. in Mining Engineering. Polytechnic School of Mines, Madrid. 

IESE (PADE) Senior Management Program. University of Navarra.



In association with Holman Bross. Ltd., one of the UK leading companies in Europe, foundation and start-up in 1959 of the factory Compair Holman Ibérica, S.A. for the manufacturing of mining and public works equipment in Spain. Later, using its own technology, the factory developed water well drilling equipment for the national and export markets as well as non-combat equipment for Defence. The company soon became the leader in Spain in the various businesses in which it was active.


In association with Unión Española de Explosivos and Compair, foundation and start-up in 1964 of the subsidiary Compañía Auxiliar de Voladuras, S.A. (Cavosa), bringing together both companies’ experience in drilling and rock blasting. It soon became the most important company in its sector in Spain, expanding its business to Portugal and South America.


Later, it diversified its activities and began operating its own coal, magnesite, sodium sulphate and tin mines in Venezuela and Argentina, either directly or through subsidiaries.




Professional appointments

Founder and Managing Director of Compair Holman Ibérica, S.A. and later on, Board member of Compair Ltd. U.K.

Board member of Exminesa (company specialising in the production of zinc concentrates). Canadian Cominco Group.

Board member of Magnesitas de Rubián, S.A. (produces and exports magnesite).

Board member of Minera Santa Marta, S.A. (produces and exports sodium sulphate).

Chairman of Hölter-ABT Iberia, S.A. (company specialised in environmental matters and the treatment of urban, clinical and industrial solid waste).

Board member of Wärtsila Diesel, S.A. (company specialised in co-generation and marine engines with a plant in Bermeo, Vizcaya, Spain).

Board member of M.B.O., S.A. (Investment Company).

Board member of Promotora de Minas de Carbón, S.A.

Board member of Tirmadrid, S.A. (company, owned by the Madrid County Council, that erected a power plant to generate electricity from urban solid waste).


Honorary positions

Member of the Board of Representatives of the Engineering Institute of Spain (IIES).

Representative of the Engineering Institute of Spain in the World Federation of Engineering Organisations and member of its Executive Committee.

Member of the European Council of Applied Sciences and Engineering (Euro-CASE) and of its Executive Committee.


Other positions

Chairman of the Founding Council of the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering.

Vice-president of the Engineering Institute of Spain.

Dean and President of the Council of Mining Engineering Associations.

Member of the Council of the World Mining Congress.

Member of the Council of Euro-Minerals

Commander of the Spanish Order of Civil Merit.