Fulbright Scholar Award

Mechanical Engineering at the Universidad de Vigo (Centro Universitario de la Defensa)


Application Deadline
Monday, September 16, 2024
Award Code
Activity Type
A combination of teaching and research as described above. Refer to the award description for any specifications on percentages of time that should be devoted to teaching vs research.
Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) required
Career Profile
Mid-Career Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than seven, and less than 13, years.
Awards are open to individuals who have more than seven years of experience in a particular profession.
Senior Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than 13 years.

Number of recipients

Award Start Period
August 2025
Award Length
4 months
Flex Option
Multi-Country/Area Award
Scholars selected for this award will be required to
Conduct a research project designated by the host institution
Conduct a research project of the applicant’s choosing
Teach graduate and/or undergraduate courses of the applicant’s choosing

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.

Award Activity

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)

Complete degree contents can be found (in Spanish) on the Center’s website or on the University of Vigo website, where the courses are also described in English.



The visiting professor will be invited to present his/her research in seminars and to attend research seminars by UVIGO’s and CUD’s lecturers. There are resources for research in fields of interest to the Spanish Navy and/or the Ministry of Defense. Some examples include:

  • Data analytics and artificial intelligence
  • Natural language processing applied on human interactions
  • Computer graphics and Geospatial technology
  • Software defined radio applications on radar and communications
  • Signal processing for radar and communications
  • Electronic and Navigation Warfare
  • Unmanned vehicles in naval applications
  • Ship maintenance using advanced acoustic techniques  
  • Modeling 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
  • 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 Naval Ship design and operation
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Hydrogen production and storage

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.

Locations Detail

Centro Universitario de la Defensa (CUD), Spanish Naval Academy, Marín, Pontevedra (affiliated with the Universidad de Vigo)

Award Length and Period

Four months. Mid-August to mid-December 2025. Dates cannot be postponed to the Spring 2026 term.

Fall semester classes begin on September 1st and end on December 22nd.

Areas of Interest

Mechanical/Naval Engineering and Telecommunications Engineering.

Special Features

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.

All applicants must meet the Program eligibility requirements (click to review the requirements).

Citizenship/Residency Requirement
Applicants residing in the award country at the time of application or thereafter are not eligible to apply for this award.
Dual citizens of the award country are not eligible to apply for this award.
Permanent residents of the award country are not eligible to apply for this award.
Invitation Requirement
A letter of invitation is optional.
Invitation Requirement Additional Information

A letter of invitation is not needed.

The CUD welcomes scholars to seek more detailed information.

Contact: Dr. Iván Puente Luna, CUD International Programs Coordinator 

Email: international@cud.uvigo.es

Language Proficiency Requirements
None, English is sufficient
Additional Language Requirement
  • 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 (population: 83,000) and Vigo (population: 300,000) are nearby, the level of English is also low.
Additional Qualification Information
  • 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.


Additional Comments

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 core is composed of 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 obtained in 2020 the EUR-ACE® accreditation and is 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.

Future Spanish Navy officers must remain at the Academy for five years. 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 of taking all the undergraduate courses that conform to 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 promoting military values and ethics.

The Spanish Ministry of Defense has stated as a priority the improvement of the English language skills of 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 student’s English language skills by teaching part of the courses (in the last years) in English. To make this possible, Fulbright U.S. lecturers are very welcome.

In addition to teaching activity (the 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 are encouraged, especially in fields of interest to the Spanish Navy and/or the Ministry of Defense.

One last consideration in applying for 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, making 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 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 traveling 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 (Rías Baixas, in Galician). More touristic information can be found here.

Award Allowances
  • €3,200 per month. This amount covers the monthly stipend, housing and living allowances. 
  • The allowances will be paid by the Spanish Commission as a lump sum once the Grant is formalized (in Euros or in Dollars, at a conversion rate to be determined on April 15, 2025. View conversion rates).
Estimated Travel and Relocation Allowance for Grantee
  • Travel and relocation allowance for scholars: €1,300. Authorized dependents' travel allowance: €750 per person, for up to two dependents.
  • The allowances will be paid by the Spanish Commission as a lump sum once the Grant is formalized (in Euros or in Dollars, at a conversion rate to be determined on April 15, 2025. View conversion rates).
Estimated Book and Research Allowance


Do you offer additional dependent benefits
  • Scholars accompanied by dependents for at least 80 percent of the grant period will receive a monthly dependent allowance of €150 for one dependent or €300 for two or more dependents.
  • The allowances will be paid by the Spanish Commission as a lump sum once the Grant is formalized (in Euros or in Dollars, at a conversion rate to be determined on April 15, 2025. View conversion rates).
  • 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.

Estimated Cost of Living

Apartment monthly rent: from 500 to 1000€ depending on the city (Marín or Pontevedra), the location (center, surroundings), and views, etc. Normal price of a lunch menu in a restaurant in Marín or Pontevedra: around 10; € Lunch menu in the Naval Academy canteen: 6€; Bus transportation Pontevedra-Marín: 1.40€

For information about the cost of living in Vigo, see: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Vigo

For information about the cost of living in Pontevedra, see: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Pontevedra-Spain

Special Award Benefits

Funding of up to 5000€ is provided for housing, as well as schooling expenses for dependent children.

Final grant amounts will be determined prior to the start of the academic year and are subject to the availability of funds. The United States Department of State and the Fulbright Commission in the host country reserve the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.


What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?

To learn more about Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards in Spain for 2024-25, please view our archived webinar and slides to hear directly from the Fulbright Commission, IIE staff, and U.S. Scholar alums regarding award details, the scholar experience, and application guidance.


Contingent upon the 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 processes, 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 infrastructure add to the country’s appeal as one of the most popular tourist destinations. Additionally, Spain’s relatively low cost of living makes it very affordable when compared to most other countries in the EU.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Spain has the highest life expectancy out of all European Union member states, at just above 80 years, and it is the 8th safest country in which to live out of all OECD member states. In fact, 82% of Spanish citizens report that they feel safe walking alone at night (World Gallup Poll).

Spain is comprised of excellent public transportation networks throughout the country. With its metropolitan public transport systems, including metro networks, buses, and trains, it is very easy to get around cities, smaller towns, or even across the country.

If you plan to come to Spain with your family, you will love the child-friendly environment. Although the Commission cannot provide assistance with school placements, rest assured that there are many options for high-quality and bilingual education. In Spain, there are public schools, private schools (religious and international), and semi-private (concertados).

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, 20 of which are private. 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 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 they 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 many academic and research institutions are closed for all or part of the month.

Additionally, there are various 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 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 variation in 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 help make it easy for you to engage in multidisciplinary research groups and collaborate with your host institution. 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.

Prospective applicants may contact the Spanish Fulbright Commission for further information at: informacion@fulbright.es or by visiting  www.fulbright.es

Previous Fulbright Recipients

If you wish to hear from previous US Fulbright Scholars and Researchers about their experiences in Spain, check our Fulbright Spain- Alumni Voices reel here.

Enrichment activities: depending on the grant dates, Scholars and Researchers are welcome to participate in enrichment activities. Research seminars are organized during the Fall and Spring semesters. For reference, take a look at the 2023 Mediterranean Research Seminar organized in Alicante:  https://fulbright.es/mediterraneanresearchseminar/

Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.