Mechanical Engineering at the Universidad de Vigo (Centro Universitario de la Defensa)
Number of recipients
In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities.
A) Teaching Mechanical/Naval/Telecommunication Engineering courses at the undergraduate level:
The Fulbright professor, along with a local instructor, will co-teach one or two courses at the undergraduate level (which includes third, fourth, or fifth year Naval Academy students completing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering) for an average weekly teaching load of eight hours, divided between theory and laboratory practices. The courses are expected to have 60-70 students.
The professor's expertise should either be in mechanical/naval or telecommunications engineering disciplines. He/she is expected to teach part of one or two courses to be chosen from:
Mechanical/Naval engineering courses:
- Electronics (third year)
- Materials Engineering (third year)
- Advanced Strength of Materials (third year)
- Graphics Engineering (third year)
- Fundamentals of Automation and Control Systems (fourth year)
- Advanced Thermodynamics (fourth year)
- Structure Theory and Industrial Building (fourth year)
- Manufacturing Engineering (fourth year)
- Ship Theory (hydrostatics/stability) (fifth year)
- Automotive Design (fifth year)
Telecommunications engineering courses:
- Computer networks (fifth year)
- Naval sensors (radar, sonar, etc.) (fifth year)
The visiting professor will be invited to present his/her research in seminars and to attend research seminars by UVIGO’s and CUD’s professors. There are resources for research in fields of interest to the Spanish Navy and/or the Ministry of Defense. Some examples include:
- Radar, sonar, and optoelectronic devices
- Artificial intelligence applied to Maritime Situation Awareness
- Software defined radio applications on radar and communications
- Unmanned vehicles in naval applications
- Ship maintenance using advanced acoustic techniques
- 3D scanning and photogrammetry for civil engineering and land surveying applications
- Modelling of fire propagation and extinction
- Radon in buildings: modeling, measuring and mitigation techniques
- Energy efficiency: simulation and experimental analysis of energy storage systems
- Application of non-destructive testing techniques for the evaluation of civil engineering structures and infrastructure
- Calibration and development of thermal energy models
- Transient simulation of multizone building energy models, HVAC systems and cogeneration devices
- Scalable and Intelligent Information Systems
- Natural language processing applied on human interactions
- Dynamic digital twin models of vessels
- Development of hydrodynamic models
- Offshore renewable energy
- Experimental analysis of heat transfer performance and thermophysical characterization of heat transfer fluids
- Energy efficiency in ship design and operation
Research collaboration with CUD faculty in the above topic areas or any other common areas of interest is encouraged. Opportunities also exist to conduct research through co-advising of students in final degree projects.
The balance between the two activities in this Teaching/Research award is 70% - 30%.
Please note that, although the online information on the host institution website is in Spanish, most faculty in the Centro Universitario de la Defensa/Naval Academy speak English, and the scholar will only be expected to teach in English. Detailed information about their tasks will be provided to candidates in a timely manner and in English, after being selected.
Centro Universitario de la Defensa (CUD), Spanish Naval Academy, Marín, Pontevedra (affiliated with the Universidad de Vigo)
Four months. Mid-August to mid-December 2023. Dates cannot be postponed to the spring 2024 term.
Fall semester classes begin on September 1st and end on December 22nd.
Mechanical/Naval Engineering and Telecommunications Engineering.
The CUD sponsors this award and, in addition to the financial benefits, offers logistical assistance in finding housing and, if necessary, a school for dependent children. A contact will be available to help the professor with everything related to his/her adaptation. The professor will be granted access to all digital resources available at the Universidad de Vigo.
A letter of invitation is not needed.
The CUD welcomes scholars to seek more detailed information.
Contact: Dr. Alicia V. Carpentier, CUD International Programs Coordinator
Classes will be taught in English. Some proficiency in Spanish is recommended for daily life. Marin, where the Naval Academy is located, is a small town with a population of 25,000 people and English is not widely spoken. Although larger towns like Pontevedra (83,000 inhabitants) and Vigo (300,000 inhabitants) are nearby, the level of English is also low.
For academic candidates: Associate or Full Professor. Assistant Professors with substantial teaching experience will also be considered.
For professionals: candidates with wide and demonstrated experience in the discipline, and contact with teaching, education and/or outreach programs.
The CUD is located on the premises of the Spanish Naval Academy (Marín, Pontevedra). It belongs to the Ministry of Defense (MINISDEF). It is attached to the University of Vigo (UVIGO), within the framework of a signed agreement between both institutions, and its main core are the applicants and midshipmen of the Spanish Navy. It is a public center whose organization and operation take into account the principle of academic freedom.
The CUD began its journey in 2010, graduating in 2015 the first class of Navy officers with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Since 2019, the CUD has included a master's degree program within its educational offer, aimed at MINISDEF staff (master’s degree in management of ICT infrastructure for defense).
Regarding the bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, this program has recently obtained the EUR-ACE® accreditation, considered the most prestigious that an engineering degree can obtain in Europe. It is sponsored by the European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education (ENAEE), which guarantees the quality of engineering programs in Europe.
The future Spanish Navy officers must remain five years in the Academy. In the meanwhile, they are being prepared to perform in their first assignment on board Navy ships and Marine units when leaving the Academy. Part of this preparation, regarding the scientific-technical aspect, consists in taking all the undergraduate courses that conform the bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
CUD's lecturers must have the academic and professional skills required for their teaching. They have also committed themselves to promote the military values and ethics.
The Spanish Ministry of Defense has stated as a priority the improvement of the English language skills of the future officers. The Spanish Navy shares this same concern. During their stay at the Academy, the midshipmen must learn English as part of their regular academic education throughout their curriculum. They must also learn naval technical English during their military training at the academy, since the naval procedures use English as the main language. At present, as a parallel goal of the bachelor’s program, the CUD is trying to improve the students’ English language's skills by teaching part of the courses (in last years) in English. To make this possible, Fulbright U.S. lecturers are very welcome.
In addition to teaching activity (main goal of our Center), there is a research vocation as a University Center, carried out mainly by its lecturers and research staff. Research collaborations with CUD faculty in common areas of interest is encouraged, especially in fields of interest to the Spanish Navy and/or the Ministry of Defense.
One last consideration in order to apply to this award is the beautiful location in the north-western region of Spain: Galicia, with outstanding nature, history and gastronomy.
Galicia overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea. Its rich 2,000-year-old history is immediately perceived during a visit to this region which makes for a unique adventure packed with tradition, lush scenery and beautiful cities. Galicia melts the borders between land and sea, and both elements merge over 1,300 kilometers of coast, which is home to 772 beaches and their traditional estuaries, or rias, which are navigable all year round. The Lower and Upper Rias melt into the landscape, creating an unparalleled site for engaging in water tourism.
The Way of St. James was – and still is – the most traditional, most popular and most celebrated pilgrimage route in Europe. For over one thousand years, the Way of St. James has offered millions of people from around the world a unique religious, spiritual and cultural experience. Pilgrims have been travelling to Santiago de Compostela since the 9th century, after the discovery of the remains of the apostle St. James. Over the following eight centuries, the constant flow of pilgrims from all around Europe outlined different routes that converge in Spain as they head towards Santiago de Compostela, their final destination.
Galicia's varied gastronomic delights all have one thing in common: the patient, loving way in which meals are prepared. Galician cuisine is traditional and the portions are generous.
Marín is located in one of the Lower Rias (Rias Baixas, in Galician). More touristic information can be seen here.
Direct grant benefits (stipend, travel and relocation allowances) are provided by the host institution, the Centro Universitario de la Defensa (CUD - Naval Academy), affiliated with the Universidad de Vigo.
€3,200 (approximately $3,850) per month. This amount covers the monthly stipend, housing and living allowances. Scholars accompanied by dependents for at least 80 percent of the grant period will receive a monthly dependent allowance of €150 (approximately $165) for one dependent or €300 (approximately $330) for two or more dependents.
Travel and relocation allowance for scholars: €1,285 (approximately $1,400). Authorized dependents' travel allowance: €735 (approximately $800 per person for up to two dependents).
The host institution (CUD) offers tuition in a private school affiliated to the Spanish Navy or, alternatively, assistance in finding a suitable school and some funding for tuition costs.
Dependents must accompany the grantee for at least 80% of the period abroad and a minimum of one semester in order to qualify for additional dependent benefits. Dependent benefits are not provided to Flex grantees.
Funding of up to 5000€ is provided for housing, as well as schooling expenses for dependent children.
Contingent upon availability of funds, up to 11 All Discipline awards for postdoctoral researchers, and a variety of co-sponsored awards for Senior Research, Teaching or Teaching/Research are available. The co-sponsored awards have unique scopes and features and detailed information can be found in each individual award description.
The U.S.-Spain Fulbright Commission provides extensive support to selected candidates regarding administrative issues, such as the visa and documentation process, and ample pre-departure and arrival information. However, assistance in establishing contacts at prospective host institutions cannot be provided.
Please note that candidates with dual U.S./Spanish citizenship, or candidates who are residing in Spain at the time of application or anytime thereafter, are not eligible for the Fulbright Program in Spain.
What is life like for Fulbrighters in Spain?
Although Spain may be known for its nice weather and beautiful beaches, there are many other reasons why Spain has long been held as one of the most desirable destinations for Fulbright grantees. Spain’s higher education and research institutions, technological advancement, cultural opportunities, and modern infrastructures add to the country’s appeal as one of the most popular tourist destinations. Besides, Spain’s relatively low cost of living makes it very affordable when compared to most other countries in the EU.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Spain has the third highest life expectancy among the 38 OECD member countries at just above 83 years, and is ranked as the 8th safest country in which to live. In fact, 82% of Spanish citizens report that they feel safe walking alone at night.
Spain has an excellent public transportation system. With its large-city public transport systems including metro networks, buses, and trains, it is very easy to get around cities in Spain or even across the country.
If you plan to come to Spain with your family, you’ll love the child-friendly environment; although finding a good school in Spain will probably be one of your main concerns, you’ll find that there are many options including public, private, international and semi-private (concertados) schools.
For more detailed information about Spain, please see the OECD's Spain profile.
General Information about Spanish Universities and Research in Spain
There are 76 universities in Spain, most of which are supported by state funding. 24 Spanish universities are private, and seven are affiliated with the Catholic Church. Spain's universities are increasingly focused on internationalization. By offering degree programs taught partially or entirely in English, they are attracting students from a wide variety of other countries, providing viewpoints in studies and discussions that are often unique and enriching for U.S. Scholars. Depending on the award, Scholars will be afforded the opportunity to teach both undergraduate and/or graduate students and/or carry out research, and are often invited to work with faculty on curriculum development. Research groups are usually multicultural and English is the language predominantly used in lab settings.
The academic year in Spain broadly runs from September to June, with breaks during the Winter and Spring holidays (approximately December 22-January 6 and coinciding with the weeks surrounding and including Easter). Research activity continues in July, whereas August is a very quiet month, and most institutions are closed.
Additionally, there are eight national and public research institutions that, together with universities, form the basic core of the Spanish public system of scientific research and technological development in Spain. These include:
The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
The Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT)
The Geological and Mining Institute of Spain (IGME),
The Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO),
The National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA),
The Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII),
The Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC)
The National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA).
Researchers are usually fluent in English, although there may be wide differences in the students' English proficiency. For day-to-day life, a working knowledge of Spanish is useful, especially in smaller cities and towns. Language proficiency should be commensurate with the project's scope. Please discuss this point with your host institution in advance.
The friendly and open nature of most Spaniards will make it easy for you to engage in multidisciplinary research groups and collaborate with your host institution much more than you initially expected. Many former Fulbright Scholars to Spain maintain and nurture the mutual engagement and joint research they initiated with their Spanish hosts while they enjoyed their Fulbright grant.
Fulbright Spain Scholar Alumni Voices
Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.