Edmundo Tovar, received his Computer Engineering degree and Ph.D. degree in Informatics from the Madrid Technical University (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, UPM), Madrid, Spain, in 1986 and 1994, respectively. He is currently with the UPM as a Professor of Information Technology in Enterprise. He has served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the OpenCourseWare Consortium (2009–2013), Executive Director of the OCW Office of the UPM (2008–2012), and Executive Director of the Open Education Office at UPM (2013-2016). Prof. Tovar is a Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) (2005 -), Professional Software Engineering Master Certification (2015- ) of the IEEE Computer Society Member of the IEEE Education Society Board of Governors (2005–2012) he is currently President (2017–2018) and President (2019-2020). He leads an Innovation Group in technologies applied to Open Education and he is Editor of the Information Technology / Information Systems Editorial Board of MERLOT .
He is professional member of ETA KAPPA NU.
Q: When did you know you wanted to become an Engineer or what lead you to becoming an engineer?
I was not aware of wanting to be an engineer until High School. I finally opted for being an informatics engineer. I think I decided on this discipline, rather than on knowledge of it, to discover new challenges that I sensed could be presented to me.
Q: What was your university experience like? did you have an internship experience while in school?
It was the 80s. From the current mentality it is not conceivable: but we had to reserve hours of use to be able to have our first contact in front of a computer. Already in the last years of studies I joined a research group in Artificial Intelligence. I had an internship for the development of Expert Systems for Public Administration. It was fascinating to glimpse the potential they could acquire.
Q: How did you get your first job?
I was offered a position in the private company as a knowledge engineer in the development of Expert Systems to control air conditioning in buildings. In those early years I asked for a reduction in working hours to make my schedule compatible with my collaboration in research projects with the University.
Q: What’s the most rewarding thing about being an Engineer?
NO doubt, its social character. Be aware of the impact it has in terms of benefits to society.
Q: What other advice do you have for students?
I have been fortunate to be able to learn from truly brilliant people throughout my professional life. They have taught me values that I would like to convey here: the passion for learning, respect for others, humility, friendship … as the basis for success.