Mr. Manuel Doblaré Castellano

Medalla nº LX

 

Short biography
Manuel Doblaré was born in Córdoba in 1956. In 1973, he started his studies in industrial engineering at the University of Seville, finishing the mechanical and electrical specialties simultaneously in 1978 ranking number 1 of his class. After a year in the same school as assistant professor, he moved to the Polytechnic University of Madrid to do the doctorate, which made compatible with his contract as lecturer at the Higher School of Industrial Engineers and with the studies of Mathematical Sciences and Physical Sciences in the UNED. After a brief stay in 1980 at the University of Southampton (UK), he finished his doctorate studies in 1981 with extraordinary award at UPM, and also received the JA Artigas Foundation award for the best doctoral thesis in Spain in Mechanical Engineering for that year. He then obtained a Fulbright scholarship for postdoctoral studies at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University during the 1982-83 academic year. In 1982, he obtained the associate professorship of Structural Mechanics at the UPM and in 1984, after his return from the US, the chair of the same discipline at the University of Zaragoza, where he still works. He was also visiting professor at Stanford University in the 1990-91 academic year.
Thanks to a special permit, at the end of 2011, he accepts the scientific management of Abengoa Research (AR), a research company created in that same year. In 2013, AR became the Corporate Research Center of the entire Abengoa group, one of the 35 largest Spanish companies at that time (30,000 employees in 80 countries and 8500 million euros in annual revenues). In June 2016, when Professor Doblaré leaves AR, this company had 400 employees (300 researchers and technicians, 82 doctors and 15 PhD students), with centers in Spain and the US, a budget of more than 60 million euros and first class laboratories. At that time, AR generated around 60 patents, dozens of JCR publications and worked in more than 25 EU projects per year, being one of the most important private research centers in Spain, with the responsibility of turning Abengoa into a leader world in renewable energies and sustainability.

 

Teaching
During all these years, Doblaré has taught all the disciplines related to Solid and Structural Mechanics to thousands of students and has supervised thirty-seven doctoral theses. Seven of these doctors are full professors in Spain and America, fifteen are assoxiate professors and many others are researchers in different countries of Europe and America. Doblaré has also been guest professor at multiple conferences, plenary sessions and lectures, and has taught courses at prestigious congresses and universities around the world. It is also worth noting the creation in 1996 of the "Ateneo CPS", a series of conferences, unique in the Spanish engineering centers and that recently celebrated its three-hundredth session, where scientists from all disciplines, artists and intellectuals debate with professors and students about any topic of interest.

 

Research
In the field of research, the main contribution of Doblaré has been, without doubt, the construction of a school of international recognition in the fields of Numerical Methods in Mechanics of Solids, Biomechanics and Mechanobiology. In the first field, his contributions have been related to new developments in boundary elements, non-linear dynamics, meshless methods, model reduction techniques, multiscale and multiphysics modeling, behavior of complex materials and hybrid numerical-data models, while in the biomedical field, his work has focused on bone-implant interaction, bone remodeling, consolidation and osseointegration, modeling of soft tissues and joints and, finally, tissue engineering. In recent years, his work focuses on the study of cell-environment interaction and the development of biomimetic environments focused on Regenerative Medicine and "in vitro"tumor models. This work has given rise to about 250 publications in international journals with impact factor, more than 500 national and international congress presentations, several books and book chapters, both as author and editor, where his collaboration as editor and author of Volume I. Biomechanics of the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, promoted by UNESCO is especially remarkable. This set of publications has been the subject of a number of important citations that make Doblaré one of the three most cited scientists in Spain in Biomedical Engineering.

 

Technology transfer
His transfer work, in addition to his work in AR, has resulted in more than one hundred contracts of collaboration with companies in very different fields of structural and biomedical engineering, as well as in the development and commercialization of associated software. As scientific director of AR, he set out Abengoa's research strategy, changing the focus from direct application to research based on the generation of new knowledge, opening up new ways of doing and promoting strategic alliances with world-class centers. As a result of this work, Doblaré has registered eight patents and has been the promoter of three spin-off companies of the University of Zaragoza, TALCO SL, Ebers Medical Technology and Beonchip SL. The last two, in full development, are dedicated respectively to the design, production and commercialization of bioreactors for tissue engineering and machines for the normothermic organ preservation for transplantation the first one and microfluidic devices for cell assays and "organ-on-chip" applications the second.

 

Management and evaluation

Doblaré has also held various university management positions and promoted different research initiatives in the academic environment. Thus, he was the first director of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (1987-89) of the University of Zaragoza, where he promoted the inclusion of this university in the ECTS Pilot Plan of the Erasmus Program. As a result, the UZ was for a long time the Spanish university with the highest number of exchanges in engineering. He was also elected director of the Higher Polytechnic Center of the UZ (1993-96), where he promoted the implementation of the Chemical Engineering degree. Doblaré was the main promoter and first director (2002-07) of the first Research Institute of the UZ, the Aragon Institute  for Engineering Research (I3A), today one of the most important in technology in Spain. At the regional level, he held various positions as a member of the Aragón Research Advisory Board and was the promoter and first president of the Tecnoebro association (2006-09), which grouped the main technological and research centers of Aragón. He was also appointed coordinator of the area of Mechanical, Naval and Aeronautical Engineering. of the National Agency of Evaluation and Prospective (2001-04), member (2002-03 and 2007-08) and president (2008-09) of the engineering committees of the National Commission of Evaluation of the Investigative Activity, and member ( 2007-09) of the ANECA Engineering and Architecture Commission for the accreditation of associate professors. Especially remarkable was the creation, at his proposal, of the National Center for Biomedical Research in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), of which he was named founding director (2007-11). The CIBER-BBN, whose first structure, strategy and work plan was proposed and implemented by the direction headed by Doblaré, now comprises 49 groups of excellence throughout Spain, being the Spanish reference in these fields.
In the international context, he has been evaluator of practically all the scientific journals of interest in his field and external evaluator of doctoral theses and research programs in the EU, Switzerland, Israel, United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Austria, Italy or Portugal among others. He was elected member of the International Council on Bioengineering of the Italian Interpolitechnical School of Doctorate (2007-12) and is currently member of the International Scientific Councils of IBIS, IMDEA Materials or the SysNum initiative of the University of Bordeaux, and belongs to or has belonged to the editorial boards of some of the most prestigious journals in Bioengineering.

 

Main recognitions
As main acknowledgments to his work, we can mention the “Aragón Investiga Prize” for his individual scientific career, the O.C. Zienkiewicz Prize of the Spanish Society of Numerical Methods in Engineering 2019, in addition to his election in 2006 as academician of the Royal Society of Physical, Chemical, Exact and Natural Sciences of Zaragoza and in 2009 academician of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain. He is Doctor Honoris Causa at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca in Romania and was elected Fellow of the European Association for Medical and Biological Engineering and Sciences and member (only Spaniard) of the World Council of Biomechanics (2008-20).