03 October 2023

The URL inaugurates the 23-24 academic year on the La Salle-URL campus

Albert Esplugas, engineer from La Salle-URL and currently at Amazon, teaches the inaugural lesson

The Ramon Llull University (URL) has inaugurated the 2023-2024 academic year on the La Salle-URL campus, one of its founding members. La Salle-URL engineer Albert Esplugas, Head of AI Solutions Marketing at Amazon Web Services, gave the inaugural lesson titled "Artificial intelligence, today's challenges for the tomorrow we want."

The event was attended, among others, by the Catalan Minister of Universities and Research, Joaquim Nadal; the Second Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council and Councilor of the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district, Maria Eugènia Gay; the President of the URL Board of Trustees, Antoni Millet; the President of the FUNITEC Board of Trustees, Gmà. Josep Canal; the Rector of the URL, Josep Rom, and all the members of its governing team; the General Director of La Salle-URL, Josep M. Santos; other members of the Board of Trustees of the URL and the Board of Trustees of FUNITEC; representatives of the Catalan universities and the Interuniversity Council of Catalonia; the Trustee of Greuges of Catalonia and Rector of the URL 2002-2012, Esther Gómez Salinas; of the Rector of the URL 2012-2022, Josep Maria Garrell; representatives of the governing bodies of the URL and La Salle-URL; professors, researchers and members of the PAS; and also of students.

URL Gold Medal to Rector Garrell

During the event, the Gold Medal of the Ramon Llull University was awarded to Josep Maria Garrell, Rector of the URL 2012-2022, member of La Salle-URL and current President of the European University Association (EUA). The Trustee of Greuges of the university, Lluís Comellas, has pronounced Garrell's laudatio, praising his commitment, his attitude and his work during his time as rector.

The URL video report for the 22-23 academic year has also been presented, which includes the most notable moments of all the centers that make up the university during the past academic year. The students have also had their moment of prominence through the testimony of Daniel Santiago, student of the degree in Engineering in ICT Management at La Salle-URL and captain of the university's football team, qualified for the world university championship of the discipline.

Albert Esplugas reflects on the challenges of AI in his inaugural lecture

The Director of the La Salle-URL School of Engineering, Guiomar Corral, has been in charge of introducing the speaker of the inaugural lesson, Albert Esplugas, Telecommunications engineer at La Salle-URL and Head of AI Solutions Marketing at Amazon Web Services. Esplugas has reflected on how AI will evolve in the coming years and the need to guarantee the transparency of artificial intelligence systems, and that the data they use is not biased and is aligned with universal values ​​such as justice, equality and sustainability.

“Non-technical careers must include technology subjects and especially AI because it will become essential knowledge. But even more so, technical careers must include subjects on ethics and the responsible use of AI, as the La Salle-URL campus does transversally, guaranteeing the humanistic perspective that all URL centers share," he said. Esplugas explained about the importance of humanism and technology going hand in hand.

The Rector Josep Rom marks the start of the new URL academic year

Throughout the event participated the President of the URL Board of Trustees, Antonio Millet; the Secretary of the Board of Trustees, Father Enric Puig; the General Secretary of the URL, Jesús Villar; the Second Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council, Maria Eugènia Gay; and the Catalan Minister of Universities and Research, Joaquim Nadal. The final speech of the event was given by the Rector of the URL, Josep Rom, who congratulated Garrell for his well-deserved Gold Medal and thanked Albert Esplugas for his lesson, recalling that the URL "has taken on the challenge of intelligence artificial and has activated a working group" led by the vice-rector for Academic Planning and Quality, Elisabet Golobardes, a member of La Salle-URL.

Likewise, the rector of the URL has spoken about one of the university's main challenges for this course: its incorporation into the European alliance of universities ENGAGE.EU. “We cannot live in solitude, we cannot open our doors to thousands of foreign students without committing to the project of building a much broader reality, the reality of a transnational European university. It will not be easy, but this is a university accustomed to the pact and the people from our community who participate know perfectly well what it means to build a university reality from the particularities of each organization. Once again, we are going to show that we are a team,” he assured before officially starting the new URL academic year.

More information on the website at the URL.