The Governing Council of Universidad Europea has recognized Pedro Duque, the first Spanish astronaut, for his contributions to global scientific and technological progress.
Miguel Carmelo, President of Universidad Europea and CEO of Laureate International Universities Europe, served as the sponsor of the new doctor. Pedro Duque joins a distinguished group of individuals who have been thus recognized by Universidad Europea, which includes Placido Domingo, Nelson Mandela, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Mario Vargas Llosa and Shirin Ebadi.
The event started with an introduction from Universidad Europea’s Rector, Agueda Benito. As Dr. Benito noted, "we celebrate this honor today, coinciding with the International Day of Human Spaceflight, to commemorate the leading Spanish exponent in the field of aerospace engineering, a high growth industry in which Spain is a leader in Europe." Llorens Antonio Fuentes, former chief operating officer of Airbus Military, former SVP Strategy EADS and partner of Universidad Europea, delivered the Laudatio.
In his acceptance speech, Pedro Duque said that "there are between 3,000 and 4,000 people in Spain working in the space sector. The most important thing now is for Spain to work to retain its place. This is the responsibility of companies and the government, which must be able to distinguish between spending and investment. Leaders need education."
He has shared a message with students "for engineering students and, more particularly, to aerospace engineering students, you made the right decision. We get afraid that people will stop developing themselves, because knowledge is the most valuable thing you can earn, even more important than money. The current crisis will not last forever and we need people with a lot of knowledge to pick up the baton. "
Students at Universidad Europea had the opportunity to personally meet Pedro Duque before the ceremony. After talking with them about the situation of the sector and encouraging them to continue excelling every day, Duque also agreed to sponsor the Aerospace Club, a group of students in the Aerospace Engineering Degree, which promotes interest in the field of aviation and creates opportunities for students to network.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.