Research news

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

  • 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.

  • 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, 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.

  • 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.

  • Terrassa hosts the AMBER laboratory for ultra-high-voltage electrical tests

    The AMBER laboratory is a research centre equipped with cutting-edge technology for electrical energy analysis and testing. Inaugurate by the Motion Control and Industrial Applications (MCIA) research group of the UPC and the company SBI CONNECTORS, AMBER has the capacity to perform very high voltage testing. It has two machines that are unique in Europe and can work with a voltage of up to 1.5 million volts (MV) DC.

  • MareNostrum 4 begins operation

    The MareNostrum 4 supercomputer has begun operating and executing applications for scientific research. Provides 11.1 petaflops of processing power for scientific research.

  • Scientists from the UPC investigate reconfigurable and programmable metamaterials

    Creating materials with programmable electromagnetic properties, called software-defined reconfigurable metamaterials, is the goal of the scientists working on the European VISORSURF project, in which the interdepartmental group NaNoNetworking Center in Catalonia (N3Cat) of the UPC participates. It is seen as a revolutionary technology with multiple applications in electronics, medicine, photovoltaic solar energy, optics and other uses that are as yet unimaginable.

  • UPC technology in the design of a road safety barrier that reduces maintenance costs and the impact of accidents

    Researchers belonging to the Concrete Structure Technology research group of the UPC, along with the companies GIVASA, SERVIÀ CANTÓ, EIFFAGE INFRAESTRUCTURAS and Applus+ IDIADA, have designed and built a prototype of a concrete crash barrier for interurban roads that, in comparison with the concrete barriers already in place, reduces the degree of severity of vehicle impact in accidents and therefore of injury to vehicle occupants.

  • UPC patents system for cardiovascular pre-diagnosis—in under a minute—based on contact with user’s hands or feet

    The UPC patented an affordable, easy-to-use electrocardiograph that can provide a cardiovascular pre-diagnosis in less than a minute. It is the first system to measure both the electrical activity of the heart (electrocardiogram) and its mechanical activity (arterial pulse wave) based on data collected via two metal sensors in contact with the user’s hands or feet. The prototype has already been granted patents in Spain, the United States and China, and applications have also been filed in Europe, Japan, Korea and India.

  • UPC presents EMPRÈN UPC Terrassa, with support of Terrassa City Council

    The UPC and the Terrassa City Council have signed an agreement to create a facility called EMPRÈN UPC Terrassa—an initiative that will help UPC students make their business ideas a reality, foster entrepreneurial talent, attract investment, and strengthen the business sector in the city of Terrassa.

  • UPC project receives ESA’s Sentinel Small Satellite Challenge award and is overall winner of the Copernicus Masters

    An initiative presented by UPC researcher Adriano Camps and Alessandro Golkar, a visiting professor from the Skoltech Institute of Science and Technology in Russia, in collaboration with the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), has won the Sentinel Small Sat (S^3) Challenge of the European Space Agency (ESA), the most important category of the Copernicus Masters awards, which have a reputation for being the ‘space Oscars’. The project also received the Overall Winner Award for the best initiative in the Copernicus Masters.

  • 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.