Josep A. Planell

Rector of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Born in Barcelona the 5th of September 1951.

He was awarded a teacher training qualification in 1971, a bachelor’s and master’s degree (licenciatura) in Physics from the University of Barcelona in 1975, and a PhD in Materials Science from Queen Mary University of London in 1983.

He was appointed associate professor in 1984 and full professor in 1991 in Materials Science and Metallurgy at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) Barcelona School of Industrial  Engineering. He was director of the UPC’s Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy from 1994 to 1999.

He was director of the UPC’s Biomedical Engineering Research Centre (CREB) from its foundation in 1997 to 2005; director of the Catalan Centre of Reference for Bioengineering, created jointly by the  University of Barcelona and the UPC with funding from the Government of Catalonia, from its foundation in 2003 to 2005; and director of the Catalan Bioengineering Institute (IBEC) from its foundation in 2005 until 2013. He is the president of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya since 2013.

He is author of more three hundred research papers in indexed journals (Google Scholar h-index of 72 and ISI h-index of 57).

Principal investigator for 13 national projects, 3 networks and 2 EC-funded projects (as coordinator). Co-investigator for 12 national projects, 3 networks and 15 EC-funded projects (as sub-project leader).

Supervisor of 14 doctoral theses.

Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE), awarded by the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering, 2004.


Vice president of the European Society for Biomaterials from 2005 to 2009.

Editor in chief of the Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine (Springer)
from 2007 to 2013.

Member of the editorial board of the Journal of Engineering in Medicine of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Biomaterials, and Biomedical Materials, among others. Due to the demands of his work as UOC president, he had gradually given up all these  positions by 2015.

Chair of the 17th European Conference on Biomaterials, Barcelona, 2002.

Chair of the organizing committee for the 2nd China-Europe Symposium bringing together the European Society for Biomaterials and the Chinese Society for Biomaterials, 2009.

Member of the scientific committee for all the European Society for Biomaterials conferences since 1999, and the China-Europe symposiums on biomaterials between 2006 and 2013, among other international conferences.

Award for promoting research from the Government of Catalonia, 2001.

Member of Barcelona’s Royal Academy of Doctors since 2006.

Member of Barcelona’s Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts since 2010.

City of Barcelona Award for technology research, 2006.

Honorary member of the European Society for Biomaterials, 2018.

President of the Centro Interuniversitario de Desarrollo Andino (CINDA) since 2016.

Josep A. Planell