Research news

List of news published in the Press Room on research and innovation

  • The Urban Mobility Jam provides solutions to urban mobility challenges

    University community and professionals offer solutions to urban mobility challenges from 30 June to 2 July. The event is being held on the UPC’s North Diagonal Campus and focuses on prototyping by teams within 54 hours.

  • ICFO researcher Maciej Lewenstein received the 2021 Catalonian National Research Award

    For his theoretical contributions to atomic physics and quantum optics. Presented by the Government of Catalonia, the awards have also recognised the BSC’s Som Investigadores initiative, in the Scientific Communication category.

  • The UPC is the top Spanish university in Engineering according to the 2021 NTU Rankings

    In the latest edition of the NTU Rankings, the UPC is the top Spanish university in Engineering in terms of research productivity, impact and excellence. The University is also the top Spanish university in four subjects: Mathematics, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering.

  • The UPC is ranked the world’s 15th best university in Architecture and the top Spanish university in seven subject areas in the 2022 Scimago Institutions Rankings

    In the 2022 edition of the Scimago Institutions Rankings, the UPC is ranked the world’s 15th best university in Architecture and the top Spanish university in seven subject areas: Architecture, Computer Science, Building and Construction, Engineering, Ocean Engineering, Energy and Mathematics.

  • The UPC is the top technical university in Spain and ranks among the 350 best universities in the world in the latest edition of the QS Rankings

    The UPC maintains its leading position among Spanish technical universities in the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings, in which the UPC also ranks 343rd in the world and 146th in Europe.

  • Fireball from a stellar explosion detected for the first time by eROSITA X-ray telescope

    When Sun-type stars use up all their fuel, they shrink to form white dwarfs. Sometimes these dead stars come back to life in a thermonuclear explosion and produce a fireball of intense X-ray radiation. A research team led by the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) was able to observe, for the first time, this type of X-ray light explosion. Glòria Sala, a researcher in the UPC’s Astronomy and Astrophysics Group and the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), participates in this study, which made the cover of Nature.

  • The UPC, among the world’s top 100 in the SDGs Climate Action, Life Below Water and Life On Land according to the THE Impact Rankings

    In the 2022 THE Impact Rankings, which assess the impact of universities’ contributions to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UPC is ranked the world’s 71st university in Climate Action, 74th in Life Below Water and 85th in Life On Land. In the global ranking, the UPC remains in the 201-300 band.

  • Europe committed to bringing to market an innovative treatment for bone cancer created by UPC researcher Cristina Canal

    The European Research Council has awarded professor Cristina Canal a Proof of Concept grant, which aims to bridge the gap between frontier research and the market. With this grant, the researcher from the UPC’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering will assess the feasibility of bringing to market a novel therapy to treat osteosarcoma with fewer side effects and that also aids bone regeneration.

  • The Vallès School of Architecture presents a construction prototype made from corn and sunflower stalks

    The Interdisciplinary Group on Building Science and Technology (GICITED), linked to the UPC’s Vallès School of Architecture (ETSAV), participates in the cross-border project SAVASCO, which aims to develop new bio-based materials to minimise the environmental impact of construction. In this context, the ETSAV has developed a sustainable building prototype made from corn and sunflower stalks, which was presented on 6 May.

  • The UPC’s CD6 participates in the construction of the world’s largest telescope

    The UPC’s Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development (CD6) participates with IDOM in the construction of the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), promoted by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The ELT will be the world's largest ground-based optical and near-infrared telescope and is being built at an altitude above 3,000 m, on the Armazones Hill (Atacama Desert, Chile). It is expected to come into operation in 2027.

  • The UPC, SEAT and Volkswagen Group Innovation look for new strategies to improve the performance of the powertrain and batteries of future electric vehicles

    The UPC’s inLab FIB collaborates with SEAT and Volkswagen Group Innovation (Wolfsburg, Germany) in the Predictive eBoost project, focused on designing new strategies, based on machine learning algorithms and data analysis, to improve the efficiency and performance of electric vehicle motors and batteries.

  • Starting Grant for UPC researcher Sergi Abadal to develop a new generation of faster and more efficient processors with wireless communication systems and quantum computing

    Professor and researcher Sergi Abadal, from the UPC’s Department of Computer Architecture, has won a European Research Council Starting Grant to study new ways to build faster and more efficient processors, based on wireless communications, massively parallel processing, specialised accelerators and disruptive technologies such as quantum computing.

  • The UPC’s Baix Llobregat Campus will host the business incubator ESA BIC Barcelona for three more years

    The UPC’s Baix Llobregat Campus in Castelldefels will host ESA BIC Barcelona for three more years to accelerate start-ups based on innovative space technologies or infrastructures. The incubator will continue to be located in the RDIT building of the Parc UPC with the support of the Government of Catalonia, the Mediterranean Technology Park, the Baix Llobregat County Council, the Barcelona Provincial Council, the Barcelona Metropolitan Area and the Barcelona City Council.

  • The UPC participates in a global competition to protect biodiversity in rainforests

    A team from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech is working with scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), the Instituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Mamirauá (Brazil) and the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) on a project to develop a technology that will revolutionise the protection of rainforest biodiversity. The project participates in the XPRIZE Rainforest, a 10-million-dollar international competition to transform our understanding of the complexity of rainforests.

  • UPC researcher Lluís Jofre Cruanyes wins an ERC Starting Grant to miniaturise turbulence at the microscale

    Researcher and professor Lluís Jofre Cruanyes has won a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant to create disruptive energy technologies and solutions that will allow the next generation of energy conversion systems and aircraft propulsion technologies to be developed. To that end, he will create the first-ever turbulence-on-a-chip prototypes, with a potential hundredfold performance improvement with respect to current technology.

  • The 2022 Industrial Doctorates Plan call for grants is underway

    Doctoral students who wish to do a doctoral thesis in the business sector can now submit their proposals online. The research projects must be developed between companies or entities and the University’s research groups.

  • A dominant negative sentiment prevails in public perception towards the cruise industry during the COVID-19 outbreaks

    Researchers from the URV and the UPC’s Biomedical Engineering Research Centre (CREB) have analysed more than 34 million tweets and have found a prevailing negative sentiment towards the cruise industry. One of the main conclusions of the study, published in the Tourism Management Perspectives journal, is the need for the cruise industry to reinvent itself and double down on green credentials.

  • Synchrotron light proves the effectiveness of two new drugs against sleeping sickness

    A team led by researchers from the UPC has unveiled the mechanism of action of two drugs, FR60 and JNI18, that cure 100% of mice with sleeping sickness, also called African trypanosomiasis. Using synchrotron light at the ALBA Synchrotron, the researchers observed how these drugs stacked perfectly on the DNA of Trypanosoma brucei, the parasite that causes the disease, blocking and damaging it specifically. The result is that the parasite cannot reproduce and finally dies after 4-5 days. Scientists conclude that the drugs are effective potential treatments against sleeping sickness, which threatens over 55 million people in sub-Saharan Africa countries. These drugs remain patent-free to attract the interest of pharmaceutical laboratories.

  • Quantum internet goes hybrid

    Researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), an associate institute of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), report the first demonstration of an elementary link of a hybrid quantum information network, using a cold atomic cloud and a doped crystal as quantum nodes and single telecom photons as information carriers. The study, published in Nature, demonstrates the communication and transmission of quantum information between two completely different types of quantum nodes placed in different labs. This achievement shows that it is possible to build a quantum hybrid network with heterogeneous elements that is fully compatible with the current fibre-optic telecommunication infrastructure.

  • More than 200 students at the UPC's Week of Engineering Competition

    From 25 November to 1 December, the 10th edition of the Week of Engineering Competition (WEC) will be held at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), with more than 200 engineering students enrolled. During the WEC, students from any school of the UPC can get out of the classroom and participate in competitions, activities and group dynamics with companies, to test their knowledge and skills and give them a real work experience for a few hours.

  • UPC students set for first in university space rocket

    The Cosmic Research team, made up of students from three schools of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Terrassa and Barcelona are carrying out a series of trials in order to become the first university students to launch a rocket into space. By 2022 they expect to be able to cross the 100-km barrier.

  • ICFO researchers create an ultradilute quantum liquid made from ultra-cold atoms

    The Institute of Photonic Sciencies (ICFO) researchers create a novel type of liquid one hundred million times more dilute than water and one million times thinner than air. The experiments, published in Science, exploit a fascinating quantum effect to produce droplets of this exotic phase of matter.

  • The UPC’s Gaudí Chair has inventoried 18% of the content for the Gaudí Digital Archive and digitised 11% of the material it will contain

    The Gaudí Chair of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), a documentation and research centre located at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB), offered a presentation on the current status of the Gaudí Digital Archive, which will serve as a single, extensive, hyper-connected catalogue focusing on the work of Antoni Gaudí and other architects, as well as architecture and urbanism studies in the 19th and 20th centuries. With a collection of 147,000 items – including drawings, designs, photographs, objects and bibliographic material of great heritage value – the Gaudí Digital Archive will be accessible to researchers and the public online.

  • The UPC participates in the 5GBarcelona initiative to turn Catalonia into a European 5G digital hub

    The Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the i2CAT Foundation, the Telecommunications Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTTC), Atos and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) have presented the agreement they have signed in support of the 5GBarcelona initiative, which aims to turn the city and Catalonia into one of the European digital innovation hubs in the field of 5G technology.

  • ICFO researchers try out a stroke device at the Hospital de Sant Pau

    A non-invasive bedside optical device has been used for the first time at the Hospital de la Santa Creu and Sant Pau in Barcelona to monitor the treatment of patients with acute ischaemic stroke in real time. The mechanism, developed by ICFO researchers led by ICREA professor Turgut Durduran, has the potential to become a future tool for non-invasive medical monitoring.

  • The Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics warns that noise pollution is threatening the natural balance of the oceans

    Within the programme The Winds of Change, the Swiss Ocean Mapping Expedition is making a four-year (2015-2019) journey round the world in the wake of Magellan on board the Fleur de Passion sailing boat. The expedition has already identified many zones of high emission of methane and carbon dioxide between Mactan in the Philippines and Singapore, where the expedition arrived on 13 March. Another project, 20,000 Sounds Under the Seas, is being carried out on board the boat by the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). One of this project’s findings is that the only area of the globe free of noise pollution is between French Polynesia and Australia.

  • The Nativity Facade of the Sagrada Família, in 3D

    The UPC’s Virtual Innovation in Modelling Architecture and the City Laboratory (VIMAC) has participated in creating a digital model of the elevation of the Nativity Facade of the Expiatory Church of the Holy Family (Sagrada Família). The project was led by the assistant architect of the Sagrada Família, David Puig Bermejo. The study will be used to analyse the state of the facade and will form the basis for future studies that will determine the pathologies to be taken into account in the restoration.

  • ESEIAAT-UPC researchers participate in space mission to study gigantic lightning jets

    The Lightning Research Group (LRG) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), based on the Terrassa Campus, is participating in the ASIM space mission to observe, record and analyse the most violent electrical storms that occur in the atmosphere. The aim is to verify data collected by an observatory installed on the International Space Station (ISS), which will measure high-energy terrestrial emissions in the atmosphere, by comparing it to data obtained by the UPC at various points around the planet.

  • Researchers from UPC, Brazil and Australia get the first images and sounds of an observatory installed in the Amazon

    The Applied Bioacoustics Laboratory (LAB) of UPC and scientists from Brazil and Australia have installed in the Brazilian reserves of Mamirauá and Amanã the first two sensors for real-time monitoring of biodiversity in the Amazon. In the framework of the Providence project, this action will help fight the extinction of species in the rainforest.

  • The UPC leads a European project to study the behaviour of complex geometric networks

    The aim of the European project Combinatorics of Networks and Computation (CONNECT) is to understand complex geometric networks such as those that model the internet and the spread of infections. Coordinated by the UPC, the project connects researchers from 14 universities in Europe and the American continent.