Board of Directors

The A4U is an independent legal entity with a transparent, flexible and participative organizational structure. It has a Board of Directors and a General Assembly, which hold ordinary meetings at least once a year.

The Board of Directors is appointed for a two-year term, and the presidency rotates between the four partner universities. The A4U’s Board of Directors consists of a president, a secretary and a treasurer, all from the university holding the presidency, and three vice-presidents, representing each of the three remaining universities.

The General Assembly includes the members of the Board of Directors as well as representatives of the other A4U partners. The Alliance’s various working groups report to the General Assembly on their work and the status of their projects.

In 2022, UC3M assumed the presidency of the A4U. Currently, the members of the Board of Directors are as follows.

Ángel Arias, rector of UC3M

An Industrial Engineer and a Doctor of Industrial Engineering from UC3M, Ángel Arias is a University Professor in the Continuum Mechanics and Structural Analysis Department. Author of numerous publications in internationally prestigious journals, he currently leads research projects focused on optimising 3D printing processes. He is a member of the Multibiostructures multidisciplinary team, part of a wide network of international collaborations.

He is its current rector since April 2023.

Javier Lafuente, rector of UAB

Javier Lafuente is University Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Department of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He graduated in Chemical Sciences, specialising in Technical Chemistry, in 1982, and obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering with cum laude in 1988. He has carried out research stays at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of
California and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Dr Lafuente is director of the BIO-GLS Technology Centre for the Comprehensive Treatment of Gaseous Emissions, Liquid Effluents and Solid Waste, which forms part of the TECNIO network, and is head of the consolidated research group for the Biological Treatment of Liquid and Gaseous Effluents and the Elimination of Nutrients, Odours and Volatile Organic Compounds (GENOCOV).

Dr Lafuente has been director of the Department of Chemical Engineering (2004-2010) and Vice-Rector of Innovation and Strategic Projects (from 2016 to 2020). He has also been coordinator of the degree in Chemical Engineering and Rector’s Delegate at the Polytechnic University School of the Environment (EUPMA). He has also been a member of the Economy and Organisation and International Relations committees on the UAB Governing Council.

He is rector of UAB since the 13th of November 2020.

Amaya Mendikoetxea, rector of UAM

Amaya Mendikoetxea Pelayo was elected rector of the Autonomous University of Madrid in July 2021, thus raising to 17 the number of women who currently lead public or private universities in Spain

Professor of English Linguistics in the Department of English Philology of the UAM since 2019, Mendikoetxea graduated in this subject in 1986 at the University of Deusto (Bilbao). After completing a Master’s degree in Theoretical Linguistics at the University of York, she received her doctorate from that institution in 1992 with a thesis on Syntactic Theory.

In the 1991-1992 academic year, she joined the Autonomous University of Madrid as a teacher. In 1993-1994 she obtained a Fulbright Fellowship for a postdoctoral stay in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This experience was followed by other stays at UCLA (1997) and at Lancaster University (2006-2007) with a Salvador de Madariaga Scholarship.

Prof. Mendikoetxea has been Vice-Rector for International Relations of the UAM between 2013 and 2017; director of the Department of English Philology in 2003-2006; and Vice Dean of Undergraduate Studies of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters in 2009-2013.

Laia de Nadal, rector of UPF

Laia de Nadal (Barcelona, 1972) graduated in Veterinary Medicine from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and later did her doctorate in the same discipline, specializing in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, in 2000. She later did postdoctoral research stays studies as a Ramón y Cajal researcher at Pompeu Fabra University and at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich.

She is currently a full professor with the Department of Medicine and Life Sciences (MELIS) at Pompeu Fabra University. She teaches on the bachelor’s degrees in Human Biology and Biomedical Engineering.

Regarding research, she co-directs the Cell Signaling and Transcription Research Group affiliated to the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Barcelona, which studies how cells respond and adapt to changes in their environment. She also sits on several scientific boards and has been awarded the ICREA Acadèmia in the editions of 2012 and 2020.

In the field of management, she has been deputy director at the Department of Health and Life Sciences, and vice-rector for Knowledge Transfer at UPF.

She is rector of UPF since March 2023.

Secretary: José Vida Fernández, Secretary General of UC3M

Treasurer: Salomé Abril-Martorell Hernández, Executive Administrator of UC3M

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