Mr. Manuel Silva Suárez

Medalla nº XLIV


Docteur Ingénieur Automaticien by the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble  (1978), and Doctor en Ingeniería Industrial from the Universidad de Sevilla (1979). Professor of Systems Engineering and Automation at the Centro Politécnico Superior (CPS), today transformed into Escuela de Ingeniería y Arquitectura (EINA), of the University of Zaragoza (UZ) since 1981. Founder of the Group of Systems Engineering and Informatics, predecessor of the current Department of Computer and Systems Engineering, is director of the Engineering Group of Discrete Event Systems (Grupo de Ingeniería de Sistemas, GISED) belonging to the Aragón Institute for Engineering Research (Instituto de Investigación de Ingeniería de Aragón, I3A).


Deputy Director (1981-86) and Director (1987-1989) of the Escuela de Ingeniería Industrial at the UZ, conducted the transformation into CPS, and was its first Director (1989-93). In this period, Telecommunications (1989) and Computer Engineering (1992) were incorporated; moreover, the incorporation of studies in Chemical Engineering was prepared, being installed in 1994. While director of the institution, were also introduced post-graduate courses or masters on Informatics (1988), Agri-Food Process Engineering (1988), Environmental Engineering (1988), Bioengineering (1990) and Industrial Organization (1990).


President of the Consejo Asesor de Investigación (CONAI) of the Government of Aragón (1993-1995), has also been president of the Research and Technological Innovation Committee of the Comunidad de Trabajo de los Pirineos (CTP, 1994-96). Collaborator in activities related to entrepreneurship and innovation as: CEEI (Centro Europeo de Impresas e Innovación) of Aragón, or IDEA (Iniciativas De Empresas en Aragón) and president of the committee of the Programa Europa de Estancias de Investigación, CAI-DGA.


His preferred area of research are Discrete Event Systems (DES), more recently Hybrid Systems (SH), basically within the paradigm of Petri Nets, addressing issues of preliminary design, performance evaluation, implementation, control and supervision. The applications concern manufacturing systems, logistics, software or workflows, for example. In Robotics became interested on the control and programming of industrial robots. He Participated in the steering group of the Salón Internacional ROBOTICA (Feria Oficial y Nacional de Muestras de Zaragoza), being the coordinator of courses, symposiums and workshops since the first edition (1984), until 1990. From this activity derives RoPeRT (Robotics, Perception and Real Time Group, University of Zaragoza). In the past decade has been especially interested in the problems associated with fluidization and fluid approximations of discrete event models of systems, particularly those with large populations or cadence at work.


Author or co-author of some three hundred publications, among its scientific and technical books is “Petri Nets in Automation and Informatics” (Las Redes de Petri en la Automática y la Informática, Ed. AC, Madrid, 1985; republish by Thomson-AC in 2002), with which the aforementioned formalism for discrete event systems was introduced in Spain.


He has participated in organizing about two hundred conferences, most of them international. Member of the Steering Committees of several international conferences (in particular the International Conference on Application and Theory of Petri Nets and Other Models of Concurrency, ICATPN, and IFAC International Conference on the Analysis and Design of Hybrid Systems, ADHS; also past chair of the Steering Committee of the international Workshop on Discrete Event Systems, WODES), has collaborated or belongs to the editorial boards of several international journals.


He is coordinator or editor of books such as: Impacto socioeconómico de la ampliación del CPS (Centro Politécnico Superior, Confederación Regional de Empresarios de Aragón e Instituto Aragonés de Fomento, 1993); Ingenieros para un nuevo siglo: Objetivos de formación en el CPS (Universidad de Zaragoza, 1993); Una década de política de Investigación en Aragón (Diputación General de Aragón, 1994); y Programa Europa de Estancias de Investigación (Caja Inmaculada y Diputación General de Aragón, 2003).

In his humanistic facet, is author of a book about “Uniforms and Emblems of the Spanish Civil Engineering, 1835-1975” (Uniformes y Emblemas de la Ingeniería Civil Española, 1835-1975, Institución "Fernando el Católico", DPZ/CSIC, 1999). He was also co-director of the collection CAI-100 (1998-2001), consisting of one hundred pocket books on the culture of Aragón, which includes volumes relating to the economy, science, engineering, industry and subsequent patrimony. (In 2000, this collection received the awards from the Asociación de Amigos del Libro de Aragón, and “Aragoneses del Año de la Cultura”, from El Periódico, a newspaper).


Director of a series of courses on Technology and Engineering in Spain is editor of the eponymous collection of research, of which eight volumes have been already published: El Renacimiento (vol. I, 2004; it received a second expanded edition: El Renacimiento. De la técnica imperial y la popular, 2008); El Siglo de las Luces. De la ingeniería a la nueva navegación (vol. II, 2005); El Siglo de las Luces. De la industria al ámbito agroforestal (vol. III, 2005); El Ochocientos. Pensamiento, profesiones y sociedad (vol. IV, 2007); El Ochocientos. Profesiones e instituciones civiles  (vol. V, 2007); El Ochocientos. De los lenguajes al patrimonio  (vol. VI, 2011); and El Ochocientos. De las profundidades a las alturas  (vol. VII, 2013). This collection —more than 6.000 pages edited so far— is published by the Real Academia de Ingeniería with the Institución “Fernando el Católico” (DPZ/CSIC) y Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza. At present is being prepared the first volume devoted to the twentieth century.


Medal of the city of Lille (1996), Prize of the Asociación de Ingenieros de Telecomunicación y el Centro Politécnico Superior (2001), and Doctor Honoris Causa by the Université de Reims-Champagne-Ardenne (2005), is National Award in Automatic Control (2018), delivered by the Comité Español de Automática (International Federation of Automatic Control, IFAC). Prof. Silva is member of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain (2000) and of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Zaragoza (2014).