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Comprehensive Guide About The Zaragoza Engineer Academy in Spain

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If you are passionate about engineering and want to serve your country as a military officer, you might want to consider applying to the Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy. This academy is the center of higher education of the Spanish Army Corps of Engineers, and it is located in the city of Zaragoza, in the northeast of Spain.

The academy offers a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that combines academic excellence, military training, and personal development. Graduates from the academy receive a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a commission as a lieutenant in the Spanish Army. They also join a distinguished community of alumni who have made significant contributions to the fields of engineering, science, and defense.

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History of the School

The Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy has a long and rich history that dates back to the 17th century. The academy traces its origins to the Academia Militar del Ejército de los Países Bajos (The Military Academy of the Netherlands), which was founded in Brussels in 1674 by Sebastián Fernández de Medrano, a veteran of the Spanish Tercios and a renowned military theorist.

This academy was the first modern military academy in Europe, and it trained officers for the Spanish Army in various disciplines, including engineering, artillery, infantry, and cavalry. The academy was famous for its innovative and practical approach to education, and its graduates were known as the “Great Masters of War”.

The academy was closed in 1699, due to the War of the Spanish Succession, but its legacy continued in the following centuries, as Spain established several military colleges and academies for different branches and specialties of the army. The first academy dedicated exclusively to engineering was the Real Academia de Matemáticas de Barcelona (Royal Academy of Mathematics of Barcelona), which was founded in 1720 by King Philip V. This academy was later moved to Madrid in 1772, and renamed as the Real Academia de Ingenieros (Royal Academy of Engineers).

The academy underwent several changes and reforms throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, adapting to the political, social, and technological developments of the times. In 1882, the academy was relocated to Guadalajara, and in 1904, it was merged with the Artillery Academy to form the Academia General Militar (General Military Academy), which aimed to provide a common and unified education for all army officers.

However, this project was short-lived, as the academy was closed in 1928, due to the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, and reopened in 1931, after the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic. The academy was again closed in 1936, at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and remained so until 1940, when it was reestablished in Zaragoza by the Franco regime.

The academy in Zaragoza was initially intended to train officers for all arms and corps of the army, but in 1978, it was decided to specialize it in engineering, and to create separate academies for infantry, cavalry, artillery, and logistics. Thus, the academy became the Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy, and it has been operating under this name ever since. The academy has also incorporated new engineering specialties and degrees, such as telecommunications, electronics, computer science, and aerospace engineering, to keep up with the advances and demands of the modern world.

How to Gain Admission into the School

The admission process to the Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy is highly competitive and selective, as only a limited number of candidates are accepted each year. The academy offers two different modes of access: direct and internal. The direct mode is for candidates who have completed high school or equivalent studies, and who meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Spanish citizen or a citizen of a country with which Spain has a cooperation agreement in defense matters.
  • Be between 18 and 21 years old on the date of joining the academy.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent, with a minimum grade point average of 5.5 out of 10.
  • Have passed the university entrance exam (EBAU) or equivalent, with a minimum score of 5 out of 14 in the general phase, and a minimum score of 5 out of 10 in the specific phase, in the subjects related to the engineering degree of choice.
  • Have a good physical and mental health, and meet the minimum height and weight requirements.
  • Have a good moral and disciplinary record, and not have any criminal convictions or pending charges.
  • Not have been previously expelled from any military academy or institution.

The internal mode is for candidates who are already serving in the Spanish Armed Forces or Civil Guard, and who meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Spanish citizen or a citizen of a country with which Spain has a cooperation agreement in defense matters.
  • Be between 18 and 29 years old on the date of joining the academy.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent, with a minimum grade point average of 5.5 out of 10.
  • Have passed the university entrance exam (EBAU) or equivalent, with a minimum score of 5 out of 14 in the general phase, and a minimum score of 5 out of 10 in the specific phase, in the subjects related to the engineering degree of choice.
  • Have good physical and mental health and meet the minimum height and weight requirements.
  • Have a good moral and disciplinary record and no criminal convictions or pending charges.
  • Have at least two years of service in the Armed Forces or Civil Guard and have the approval of their unit commander.

In addition to these requirements, all candidates must also obtain a nomination from a member of the Spanish Parliament or Senate or a high-ranking military officer. This nomination is a formal endorsement of the candidate’s suitability and potential to become an officer, and it must be submitted along with the application form and the required documents. The nomination does not guarantee admission, but it is a necessary condition to participate in the selection process.

The selection process consists of several tests and evaluations designed to assess the candidate’s academic, physical, psychological, and linguistic abilities, as well as their motivation, leadership, and teamwork skills. The tests and evaluations include:

  • A written exam on general culture, mathematics, physics, and chemistry based on the high school curriculum.
  • A physical fitness test includes running, swimming, push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups.
  • A psychological test includes personality, aptitude, intelligence tests, and an interview with a psychologist.
  • A medical examination includes a complete physical check-up, blood, urine, vision, hearing, and dental tests.
  • A language test includes a written and oral exam on English, French, or German, depending on the candidate’s preference and level.
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The candidates who pass all the tests and evaluations are ranked according to their scores, and the best ones are admitted to the academy according to the number of available places for each engineering degree. The candidates who are not admitted are placed on a waiting list, and they may be called if any vacancies arise.

The admission process usually occurs between May and July of each year, and the admitted candidates join the academy in September. The Ministry of Defense regulates the admission process, and the details and dates are published in the official gazette (BOE) and on the academy’s website.

Tuition Fees at Zaragoza Engineer Academy

The Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy is a public institution; therefore, it does not charge tuition fees to its students. However, the students are required to pay a registration fee, which covers the administrative costs of the enrollment process, and a maintenance fee, which covers the costs of accommodation, food, clothing, equipment, and medical care. The registration fee is around 200 euros, and the maintenance fee is around 600 euros monthly. These fees are subject to change and may vary depending on the student’s personal situation and financial aid.

The students of the academy may also apply for scholarships and grants, which are offered by the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Education, and other public and private entities. These scholarships and grants are based on academic merit, economic need, or other criteria, and they may cover part or all of the fees and provide additional financial support for books, travel, or other expenses. The scholarships and grants are competitive, and the students must meet the eligibility and application requirements of each one.

Zaragoza Engineer Academy Current Rankings

The Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy is one of the most prestigious and respected military academies in Spain and in Europe. It is also one of the top engineering schools in the country, and it ranks highly in national and international rankings of universities and colleges. Some of the current rankings of the academy are:

  • According to the U-Ranking 2024, which measures the performance of Spanish universities in teaching, research, and innovation, the academy ranks 8th out of 62 universities and 1st among the military academies.

Academic Programs Offered at Zaragoza Engineer Academy

The Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy offers five different engineering degrees accredited by the Ministry of Education and the European Higher Education Area. The degrees are:

  • Civil Engineering: This degree focuses on the design, construction, and maintenance of civil infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, buildings, dams, and water systems. The students learn the principles and techniques of structural, geotechnical, hydraulic, environmental, and transportation engineering, project management, urban planning, and sustainability. The degree lasts four years and consists of 240 ECTS credits.
  • Telecommunication Engineering: This degree focuses on the design, development, and operation of telecommunication systems and networks, such as radio, television, mobile, satellite, and optical communications. The students learn the fundamentals and applications of signal processing, communication theory, network engineering, electronics, and programming. The degree lasts four years and consists of 240 ECTS credits.
  • Electronic Engineering: This degree focuses on the design, development, and testing of electronic devices and systems, such as sensors, microcontrollers, embedded systems, robotics, and automation. The students learn the basics and applications of analog and digital electronics, circuit design, microelectronics, control engineering, and instrumentation. The degree lasts four years and consists of 240 ECTS credits.
  • Computer Engineering: This degree focuses on the design, development, and implementation of software and hardware solutions for various domains and problems, such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data science, and web development. The students learn the concepts and skills of programming, algorithms, data structures, operating systems, databases, networks, and software engineering. The degree lasts four years and consists of 240 ECTS credits.
  • Aerospace Engineering: This degree focuses on the design, analysis, and optimization of aerospace vehicles and systems, such as aircraft, rockets, satellites, and drones. The students learn the fundamentals and applications of aerodynamics, flight mechanics, propulsion, materials, structures, and systems engineering. The degree lasts four years and consists of 240 ECTS credits.

All the degrees have a common first year, which covers the basic subjects of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and engineering. The students then choose their specialization in the second year and follow a specific curriculum for the remaining three years. The curriculum includes theoretical and practical courses, laboratory sessions, projects, and internships. The students also have to complete a final degree project, which consists of research or development work on a topic related to their degree, under the supervision of a tutor. The final degree project is presented and defended before a panel of experts, accounting for 12 ECTS credits.

The academy also offers the possibility of pursuing a double degree, allowing students to obtain two engineering degrees in five years instead of four years each. The double-degree combinations are:

  • Civil Engineering and Telecommunication Engineering
  • Civil Engineering and Electronic Engineering
  • Telecommunication Engineering and Electronic Engineering
  • Telecommunication Engineering and Computer Engineering
  • Electronic Engineering and Computer Engineering
  • Electronic Engineering and Aerospace Engineering
  • Computer Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

The double degree requires the students to complete 360 ECTS credits and two final degree projects, one for each degree. The double degree is more demanding and challenging. Still, it also provides more opportunities and advantages for the students, such as broader and deeper knowledge, higher employability, and greater recognition.

The academy also offers the possibility of pursuing a master’s degree, which allows the students to deepen their knowledge and skills in a specific field of engineering and to prepare for a doctoral degree or a professional career. The master’s degrees are:

  • Master in Civil Engineering: This master’s degree provides advanced training in civil engineering, focusing on structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, or hydraulic engineering. The master’s degree lasts one year and consists of 60 ECTS credits.
  • Master in Telecommunication Engineering: This master’s degree provides advanced training in telecommunication engineering, focusing on communication systems, communication networks, or signal processing. The master’s degree lasts one year and consists of 60 ECTS credits.
  • Master in Electronic Engineering: This master’s degree provides advanced training in electronic engineering, focusing on electronic systems, control engineering, or instrumentation. The master’s degree lasts one year and consists of 60 ECTS credits.
  • Master in Computer Engineering: This master’s degree provides advanced training in computer engineering, with a focus on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, or data science. The master’s degree lasts one year and consists of 60 ECTS credits.
  • Master in Aerospace Engineering: This master’s degree provides advanced training in aerospace engineering, focusing on aerodynamics, flight mechanics, or propulsion. The master’s degree lasts one year and consists of 60 ECTS credits.
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The master’s degrees have a common structure, which includes compulsory and elective courses, seminars, and a master’s thesis. The master’s thesis is a research or development work on a topic related to the master’s degree under the guidance of a tutor. The master’s thesis is presented and defended before a committee of experts, accounting for 30 ECTS credits.

The academy also offers the possibility of pursuing a doctoral degree, which allows the students to conduct original and innovative research in a specific field of engineering and contribute to advancing knowledge and technology. The doctoral degrees are:

  • Doctoral Program in Civil Engineering: This doctoral program covers the research areas of structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, hydraulic engineering, environmental engineering, and transportation engineering.
  • Doctoral Program in Telecommunication Engineering: This doctoral program covers the research areas of communication systems, communication networks, signal processing, electronics, and programming.
  • Doctoral Program in Electronic Engineering: This doctoral program covers the research areas of electronic systems, control engineering, instrumentation, microelectronics, and robotics.
  • Doctoral Program in Computer Engineering: This doctoral program covers the research areas of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data science, web development, and software engineering.
  • Doctoral Program in Aerospace Engineering: This doctoral program covers the research areas of aerodynamics, flight mechanics, propulsion, materials, structures, and systems engineering.

The doctoral programs have a common structure, including a period of training, research, and a doctoral thesis. The training consists of taking courses, seminars, and workshops related to the research area and obtaining at least 60 ECTS credits. The research period consists of conducting a research project under the supervision of a director and obtaining a minimum of 120 ECTS credits. The doctoral thesis is the result of the research project and must be an original and significant contribution to the engineering field. The doctoral thesis is presented and defended before a tribunal of experts, granting the highest academic degree of doctor.

The academy also offers the possibility of pursuing a postdoctoral degree, which allows the graduates to continue their research in a specific field of engineering and to collaborate with other researchers and institutions. The postdoctoral degrees are:

  • Postdoctoral Program in Civil Engineering: This postdoctoral program offers the opportunity to conduct research in civil engineering in collaboration with the University of Zaragoza, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and other national and international partners.
  • Postdoctoral Program in Telecommunication Engineering: This postdoctoral program offers the opportunity to conduct research in telecommunication engineering in collaboration with the University of Zaragoza, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and other national and international partners.
  • Postdoctoral Program in Electronic Engineering: This postdoctoral program offers the opportunity to conduct research in electronic engineering in collaboration with the University of Zaragoza, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and other national and international partners.
  • Postdoctoral Program in Computer Engineering: This postdoctoral program offers the opportunity to conduct research in computer engineering in collaboration with the University of Zaragoza, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and other national and international partners.
  • Postdoctoral Program in Aerospace Engineering: This postdoctoral program offers the opportunity to conduct research in aerospace engineering in collaboration with the University of Zaragoza, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and other national and international partners.

The postdoctoral programs have a flexible structure, which depends on the research project, the director, and the host institution. The postdoctoral programs usually last between one and three years, and they may include teaching, mentoring, publishing activities, and participation in conferences and workshops. The postdoctoral programs are funded by various sources, such as grants, fellowships, contracts, or agreements. The postdoctoral programs are regulated by the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Education, and the host institution.

Campus Life

The Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy is not only a place of learning, but also a place of living. The students of the academy, also known as cadets, live on campus, in a modern and comfortable residence hall, which has single and double rooms, bathrooms, closets, desks, and internet access. The residence hall also has common areas, such as lounges, study rooms, libraries, gyms, and laundry rooms. The cadets are assigned to a room and a roommate, according to their degree and year of study, and they are expected to keep their rooms clean and tidy, and to respect their roommate’s privacy and belongings.

The cadets also eat on campus, in a spacious and well-equipped dining hall, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, every day of the week. The dining hall offers a variety of healthy and balanced menus, which cater to the cadets’ nutritional and dietary needs and preferences. The cadets are required to wear their uniforms and to follow the etiquette rules when eating, and they are also encouraged to socialize and interact with their peers and instructors.

The cadets also train on campus, in a state-of-the-art military facility, which has indoor and outdoor fields, tracks, courts, pools, and equipment. The cadets participate in physical education classes, which aim to improve their fitness, endurance, agility, and coordination, as well as in military training sessions, which aim to develop their skills, discipline, and leadership, in various areas, such as weapons, tactics, survival, and first aid. The cadets are evaluated on their physical and military performance, and they are also rewarded for their achievements and merits.

The cadets also have fun on campus, in a lively and vibrant atmosphere, which offers many opportunities for entertainment, recreation, and personal growth. The cadets can join or create clubs and societies, which reflect their interests and hobbies, such as sports, music, art, literature, languages, and culture. The cadets can also participate in events and activities, which enrich their academic and social experience, such as competitions, festivals, concerts, lectures, and trips. The cadets can also enjoy the facilities and services of the city of Zaragoza, which is a historical and cultural hub, with a lot to offer in terms of attractions, entertainment, and nightlife.

The campus life of the Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy is a unique and rewarding experience, which shapes the cadets’ character, personality, and values, and prepares them for their future careers and lives. The cadets learn to balance their academic, military, and personal responsibilities, and to work as a team, with respect, solidarity, and camaraderie. The cadets also learn to appreciate the diversity and richness of the academy’s community, and to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the academy’s mission. The cadets become part of a family, which supports them, inspires them, and celebrates them.

Athletics

The Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy is also a place of sports, and it has a proud and successful athletic tradition, which dates back to its origins. The academy has a strong and competitive sports program, which offers the cadets the chance to practice and compete in various sports, such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, rugby, tennis, golf, swimming, fencing, judo, and skiing. The academy has its own teams, which represent the academy in national and international tournaments and championships, and which have won many trophies and medals over the years. The academy also has its own coaches, trainers, and medical staff, who provide the cadets with the best guidance, support, and care.

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The academy also encourages the cadets to participate in sports, not only as a way of improving their physical and mental health, but also as a way of developing their skills, values, and spirit. The cadets learn to play fair, to cooperate, to communicate, to lead, and to follow, through sports. The cadets also learn to overcome their limits, to face their fears, to cope with failure, and to celebrate success, through sports. The cadets also learn to respect their opponents, to appreciate their teammates, and to honor their academy, through sports.

The academy also recognizes and rewards the cadets who excel in sports, and who demonstrate outstanding athletic performance, talent, and potential. The academy grants scholarships and grants to the cadets who qualify for the sports program, and who meet the academic and military requirements. The academy also grants honors and distinctions to the cadets who achieve remarkable results and honors in sports, and who contribute to the academy’s prestige and reputation.

The academy also supports and promotes the cadets who pursue a professional career in sports, and who aspire to become elite athletes. The academy provides the cadets with the necessary resources, facilities, and opportunities, to help them reach their goals and dreams. The academy also maintains contact and collaboration with the cadets who graduate and become professional athletes, and who represent the academy and the country in the highest levels of sports.

The athletics of the Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy is a source of pride and joy, for the cadets, the instructors, the alumni, and the whole academy’s community. The athletics of the academy is also a source of inspiration and motivation, for the cadets, the instructors, the alumni, and the whole academy’s community. The athletics of the academy is also a source of learning and growth, for the cadets, the instructors, the alumni, and the whole academy’s community.

Notable Alumni at Zaragoza Engineer Academy

The Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy has a long and illustrious list of alumni, who have graduated from the academy and have gone on to make significant contributions to the fields of engineering, science, and defense, as well as to the society and the country. Some of the notable alumni of the academy are:

  • Sebastián Fernández de Medrano: He was the founder and director of the first modern military academy in Europe, the Academia Militar del Ejército de los Países Bajos, in 1674. He was also a veteran of the Spanish Tercios, and a renowned military theorist, who wrote several books and treatises on the art of war, such as the “Arte Militar” and the “Compendio Matemático”.
  • Jorge Juan y Santacilia: He was a naval officer, a scientist, and an explorer, who participated in the French Geodesic Mission to measure the length of a degree of meridian at the equator, in 1735. He was also a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, and a promoter of the Enlightenment in Spain, who introduced many scientific and technological innovations, such as the pendulum clock, the lightning rod, and the steam engine.
  • Agustín de Betancourt y Molina: He was an engineer, a scientist, and a diplomat, who worked in various projects and fields, such as roads, bridges, canals, railways, mines, and machines. He was also a founder and director of several engineering schools and institutions, such as the Royal School of Roads and Canals, the School of Mines, and the Institute of Engineers, in Spain, France, and Russia.
  • Leopoldo O’Donnell y Joris: He was a military officer, a politician, and a statesman, who served as the Prime Minister of Spain, on four occasions, between 1856 and 1866. He was also a leader of the Moderate Party, and a supporter of the constitutional monarchy, the liberal reforms, and the national unity. He was also involved in several wars and conflicts, such as the First Carlist War, the Crimean War, the Moroccan War, and the Chincha Islands War.
  • Emilio Herrera Linares: He was an engineer, a scientist, and an inventor, who specialized in aeronautics and astronautics. He was also a pioneer of the stratospheric flight, and he designed and built the first pressurized suit, the “escafandra estratonáutica”, which was intended to be used for a balloon flight to the edge of space, in 1936. He was also a president of the Spanish Republican Government in exile, and a promoter of the European integration and cooperation.
  • José Ortiz-Echagüe: He was an engineer, a photographer, and an entrepreneur, who founded and directed the company Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA), which is one of the leading aerospace companies in Spain and in Europe. He was also a renowned and influential photographer, who captured and portrayed the landscapes, the people, and the culture of Spain, in his works, such as “España, tipos y trajes”, “España, pueblos y paisajes”, and “España mística”.
  • Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado: He was a military officer, a politician, and a reformer, who played a key role in the transition from the Franco dictatorship to the democracy, in Spain, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was also a vice president of the government, and a minister of defense, who promoted and implemented the modernization and democratization of the Spanish Armed Forces, and who supported the integration of Spain into NATO and the European Union.
  • Federico Trillo-Figueroa: He was a lawyer, a politician, and a diplomat, who served as the Minister of Defense of Spain, from 2000 to 2004. He was also a president of the Congress of Deputies, and a spokesman of the People’s Party, in the 1990s. He was also an ambassador of Spain to the United Kingdom, from 2012 to 2017.

Conclusion

The Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy is a prestigious and respected institution, which offers a high-quality education and training in engineering and military sciences, to prepare the future officers and leaders of the Spanish Army Corps of Engineers. The academy has a long and rich history, a highly competitive and selective admission process, a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum, a unique and rewarding campus life, a proud and successful athletic tradition, and a long and illustrious list of alumni.

The academy is also a place of innovation and excellence, which contributes to the advancement and development of engineering, science, and defense, as well as to the society and the country. The academy is more than a school, it is a family, a community, and a mission. The Zaragoza Engineer Military Academy is a place where dreams are born, where challenges are faced, where goals are achieved, and where legends are made.

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