Oral-History:Vincente Ortega

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About Vincente Ortega

Ortega was born in 1944 in La Mancha, near Toledo. He went into telecommunications engineering and got his degree from Madrid in 1967, along with a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford in 1969. He did some research on microwave electronics, particularly integrated circuits for radio receivers and radio transmitters. Ortega has been more concerned with the administrative aspects of education in his career, however. He mentions the growing demand for telecommunications engineers (particularly with the growing importance of computers); the accompanying rise in status of telecommunications engineering from the bottom of the engineering pecking order to the top between the 1960s and the present; the reorganization of engineering in the 1960s from schools attached to state ministries to being part of the regular ministry; and the increase in the number of telecommunication engineering schools from 1 to 24 in the last generation. Personally, Ortega became a professor of engineering at Madrid from the late 1960s, and was among the first to work there full-time, with a full-time salary, rather than working most of the time in industry and government. As a researcher and administrator, he tried to forward the Americanization/Europeanization of Spanish engineering, with engineering professors dedicated to original research collaborating with industry and the government. His administrative roles included Director of the School of Telecommunications (1981-1985), Vice Director of the University of Research and Post-Graduate Training (1985-87), Director of the new department of system signals and radio communication (after an administrative reorganization of the University that emphasized departments) (1989-1994), Director of the first private university in Spain, the University of Alfonzo del Sabio (resigning when a new administration decided to turn it more-or-less into a for-profit diploma mill) (1994-1995), General Director of for Universities for the Madrid regional government (1995-1999), General Secretary of the Council of Universities for all Spain (1999-recently), and is now retired, teaching classes part-time at Madrid.

About the Interview

VINCENTE ORTEGA: An Interview Conducted by Frederik Nebeker, IEEE History Center, 3 July 2002

Interview # 421 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Copyright Statement

This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.

Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, Rutgers - the State University, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8538 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
Vincente Ortega Castro, an oral history conducted in 2002 by Frederik Nebeker, IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.