The Technical University of Madrid (Spanish: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, UPM) is a Spanish university, located in Madrid. It was founded in 1971 as the result of merging different Technical Schools of Engineering and Architecture, originated mainly in the 18th century. Over 35,000 students attend classes during the year.
It is part of the TIME network, which groups fifty engineering schools throughout Europe
In Spain there are two levels of technical studies. For engineering studies there is a 3-year degree called Ingeniero Técnico (Technical Engineer) and a 5 or 6-year degree called Ingeniero (Engineer). In the case of architecture studies there is a 4-year degree called Arquitecto Técnico (Technical Architect) and a 5 or 6-year degree called Arquitecto (Architect). Those degrees will disappear due to the Bologna process and the new structure, at least for engineering studies, will most likely feature 4-year degrees with master's degrees on top. The current situation of 5 or 6-year undergraduate degrees follows the formerly widespread tradition of technical universities in Continental Europe, that awarded their students an Engineer's degree, being that degree comparable to a master's degree.
The Intermediate Band Materials and Solar Cells Characterization Laboratory of the Institute of Solar Energy from Technical University of Madrid receives the IQNet and AENOR Certification for the Quality Management ISO9001:2008.
The presentation of the Certification to the IES-UPM by AENOR took place at the ETSI-Telecomunicación (UPM). During the ceremony, opened by Carlos del Cañizo, Director of IES-UPM and brought to a close by Guillermo Cisneros, Director of the ETSI-Telecomunicación, the importance of the implementation of quality systems on public research laboratories was emphasized as a sign of distinction and excellence.
Prof. Antonio Luque, with the Certification before some representatives of the regional government, delegates of the Spanish photovoltaic industry, directors of Technical Schools and Research Centers of UPM and the staff of the Institute of Solar Energy.
In 1997, professors Antonio Luque and Antonio Martí, both at Instituto de Energia Solar, patented a new concept of solar cell, known as Intermediate Band Solar Cell, whose theoretical efficiency limit, 63.2% was rather higher than the 40.7% reached by conventional cells. Thus, a theoretical idea developed on a simple PC, became twelve years later, and according to the report elaborated by the US Department of Energy1 –DOE–, one of the three most viable concepts to launch a real revolution on the photovoltaic field, being nowadays one of the priority research lines in the EU VII Framework2.
“The quality of the results of our theoretical and experimental works is, in our opinion, recognized by the International Community. Nevertheless, the logic consequence of this success is the progressive increase in the number of international groups working in this concept and, therefore, the increase of competition” the responsible persons point out.
Before this situation, the Laboratory decided to profit all the experience and knowledge gathered along the years and put it at the disposal of the International Scientific Community, aiming to boosting this research line, now under the sign of distinction and quality guarantee, granted by the ISO9001.