100+ years of Engineery!


The School’s origin dates to 1881, when its direct predecessor, the Escola d'Arts i Oficis, was established. The development of this school led to the founding in 1901 of the Escola Superior i Elemental d'Indústries and the introduction of higher technical studies (diploma and master level). The technical school was established to meet needs closely linked to the growth of industry and the economic and urban development societies were undergoing in the 19th century. In Vilanova i la Geltrú, this process was accompanied by the arrival of the railway (also in 1881), which opened the city up to the rest of Catalonia.



Founding of the Centre Teòric i Pràctic d'Arts i Oficis

The Centre Teòric i Pràctic d'Arts i Oficis, the first technical school in Vilanova i la Geltrú, is located in Can Lluch i Rafecas on the Rambla Principal. The school is established to meet needs closely linked to the growth of industry and the economic and urban development societies are undergoing in the 19th century. In Vilanova i la Geltrú, this process is accompanied by the arrival of the railway (also in 1881), which opens the city up to the rest of Catalonia.


Víctor Balaguer acts as a booster for the school

Víctor Balaguer, an influential political figure of the time, plays a key role in the school becoming the Escola d'Arts i Oficis, the true starting point for the school we know today.

On 7 November 1886, the local newspaper, the Diario de Villanueva y Geltrú, reports that a royal decree establishing the Escola d'Arts i Oficis in Vilanova i la Geltrú has been issued. The report includes the text of a telegram that Víctor Balaguer sent to local authorities in his capacity as MP for the district and Minister for Overseas Territories.



Founding of the Escola d'Arts i Indústries

The school, relocated to Escoles Ventosa, a building in the Plaça de la Vila, now has some 300 enrolled students each year.



Establishment of the Escola Superior i Elemental d'Indústries de Vilanova i la Geltrú

At this stage, the institution is a true school for higher technical studies (at the diploma and master level) in Mechanics, Electrical Engineering and Chemistry. In 1902, textile studies are added to the course offering. This addition is a natural and necessary step in the development of the school’s predecessor, the Escola d'Arts i Oficis, since 1881.

Buiding in Plaça de la Vila


Pirelli sets up operations in Vilanova i la Geltrú

There is a shift in industry in Vilanova i la Geltrú (mainly textile) when Pirelli, an Italian electrical cable manufacturer, sets up operations in the city. Pirelli and the Escola Superior d'Indústries have a close working relationship from this point on.

Electrical workshop


The school changes its name to Escola Industrial

The school now offers four diploma courses in Industrial Engineering (rather than six as it initially had) as well as a basic-level preparatory course. Night classes are also taught for workers, with enrolment reaching 139 students in 1912.


Peak of activity

Between basic and higher-level programmes, a total of 644 students are enrolled. The Escola Industrial is now a technical school that sets the bar for quality. There is no longer enough room in the building where it is located, and in 1919, the Vilanova i la Geltrú City Council makes available a plot of land located in the Plaça de l'Estació for the construction of a new building.



Elimination of higher studies

When the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera comes to power, higher studies are eliminated. Only basic-level courses are taught at the school.


Laying of the foundation stone in the Plaça de l'Estació

The foundation stone for the new school is laid on the land provided by the City Council (acquired in a swap with the MZA rail company). Carpentry workshops, a machine shop and a textile workshop are set up in the period up to 1936.

Re-establishment of the Escuela Superior y Elemental del Trabajo | With the end of the dictatorship, the school becomes a vocational training centre. Students can earn an auxiliar industrial qualification (journeyman and master level) or a diploma in Mechanics. Two years later, a diploma in Electrical Engineering is introduced. In the 1932-1933 academic year, enrolment once again reaches 300 students.

Course opening


The Civil War and post-war period

For the second time, diploma courses are eliminated. Once again, the school can only offer basic-level courses that allow students to qualify as industrial journeymen and masters.


Higher studies are reintroduced

After the post-war years, higher studies are reintroduced. The school, now known as the Escuela de Péritos Industriales, offers a diploma in Mechanics and, from 1949, another in Electrical Engineering.

First postwar promotion


Workshops are opened at the new location in Plaça de l'Estació

The electrical workshop is moved to the new location, together with others set up there before the outbreak of the Civil War.

Electrical workshop


Summer technical courses are introduced

Summer courses continue to be offered until 1972. The programme is an ambitious one in which many city residents and outsiders enthusiastically participate, including Josep Baltà i Elias, a professor from the University of Madrid, economist Fabià Estapé i Rodríguez, and the young Ernest Lluch i Martín (a Catalan economist and politician).


A tuna is established at the school

The establishment of a tuna (a group of students who play traditional instruments and sing serenades) at the school takes place in the context of an easing of repression under the Franco dictatorship. The group performs a representative and symbolic function for the University and remains active until 1961. The tuna becomes very popular in the city, offering increasingly ambitious performances at a variety of events and festivals.

The Choir


A variety of extracurricular activities are launched

Around this time, a variety of extracurricular activities are launched, including the Estudiantina, a student magazine founded in 1955; the Club Universitari, a nightclub set up on the ground floor of the old school in 1959; and sports activities, such as basketball and football, with teams of students from Mechanics and Electrical Engineering going head-to-head. Events such as the pas de l'equador (celebrations marking the mid-point of the academic year) and special trips for students completing their studies also begin to be organised.


Official opening of the long-awaited new building

The new building is located opposite the Víctor Balaguer Library-Museum, named after the local MP who was such a powerful advocate for the school in its early days. The opening is the culmination of the process that began in 1930 with the construction of the workshop buildings.

Building in Plaça de l'Estació


The school’s name is changed to Escola d'Enginyeria Tècnica Industrial

The name is changed under a new law on the organisation of technical studies, intended to harmonise engineering degrees with qualifications in other EEC countries. Under the new legislation, having a school-leaving certificate becomes an admission requirement, and traditional specialisations are split up into more specific courses. The school flourishes, with enrolment reaching 2000 students.


The Institut Politècnic Superior is founded

The Institut Politècnic Superior brought together existing technical schools in Barcelona. It was the immediate predecessor of the Universitat Politècnica de Barcelona (the UPB, established in 1971), and also the germ of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (the UPC, founded in 1983).


The Escola Industrial de Vilanova becomes part of the UPB

The school, now renamed the Escola Universitària Tècnica Industrial, forms part of the Universitat Politècnica de Barcelona.


75th anniversary of the founding of the school


First enlargement of the building

In 1974, a decision is made to construct the part of the building facing the Plaça de l'Estació and modify the space that has until now housed the textile facilities by constructing a new ground floor and first floor. Chemistry laboratories, the foundry and technical department classrooms are moved to this new area. The work is completed in 1978.


Telecommunications degrees, with specialisation in Electronic Equipment, are introduced

The school is the first in Catalonia to offer courses of this kind – a clear bet on technological evolution, set in motion in 1977 by the team headed by Joan Majó i Cruzate. At this point, the school becomes the Escola Universitària Politècnica (EUPB).

Telecommunications laboratory


A diploma in Informatics is introduced

The new course is in the Physical Systems and Computer Systems specialisation. Three years later, in 1992, the course is replaced by a diploma in Business Informatics.


Vocational training courses are separated from the school

Vocational training courses are relocated to a building that will bear the name of Francesc Xavier Lluch i Rafecas, the Vilanova engineer who founded the first Escola d'Arts i Oficis. After 90 years during which basic and higher courses have shared the same space, this is a significant development in the school’s evolution.


Opening of a new classroom building in the Plaça de la Bòbila

The new building is opened to meet increasing demand: in 1994, 3300 students enrolled in the school. Remodelling work on the building is also started, with the addition of an annex on Rambla de l'Exposició.

Courses are reclassified under an ambitious new plan, and substantial improvements are made to the structure and content of courses launched in the 1995-1996 academic year:

Diploma in Electronic Systems for Telecommunications, diploma in Mechanical Engineering, diploma in Electrical Engineering, diploma in Industrial Electronics, and diploma in Industrial Chemistry.



The new century is ushered in with new facilities that transform the school

As the school celebrates its first centenary, in addition to the new classroom building, the following facilities are opened:

The Technology Centre (CTVG), a research facility for professors and investigators; a new library, with a variety of rooms and halls, able to accommodate up to 250 people; and the Vila Nova University Residence, with 45 apartments.

The new buildings create what amounts to a new UPC campus centred around Rambla de l'Exposició.



The school celebrates 100 years of history that stand as a testament to its quality.



Second-cycle degrees in Automatic Control and Industrial Electronics are introduced.

Given that the school is now offering advanced studies, a process is initiated to change its name to Escola Politècnica Superior d'Enginyeria de Vilanova i la Geltrú (Vilanova i la Geltrú School of Engineering, EPSEVG).


New bachelor’s degrees are introduced

New bachelor’s degrees – in Industrial Design and Product Development Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Industrial Electronics and Automatic Control Engineering – are launched.

The new degrees are developed in line with the guidelines of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

New degrees


A master’s degree in Automatic Systems Engineering and Industrial Electronics is launched.


The MBDesign programme – a master's degree in design offered jointly by the UPC and the UB – is introduced.

MBDesign is a multidisciplinary master’s degree in which creativity, innovation and research are applied as tools for knowledge and to come up with the designs of the future. The programme offers five specialisations and the expertise of expert teaching staff from leading academic institutions: the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB), the Vilanova i la Geltrú School of Engineering (EPSEVG), and the Terrassa School of Industrial, Aerospace and Audiovisual Engineering (ESEIAAT) – all Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) schools – and the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Barcelona (UB).

New design master degree