Federico Santa María Technical University
|Motto||Ex umbra in Solem|
Motto in English
|From the shadows to the light|
|President||Roberto Medina Cantariño|
|Rector||Darcy Fuenzalida O'Shee (2014-2018)|
(Equivalent full time)
14.82 hectares (36.6 acres)
|Colours||Blue, Red and Yellow
Cruz del sur Network
Clover 2030 Engineering
The Federico Santa María Technical University (Spanish: Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María) (UTFSM) (or simply Santa Maria University) is a Chilean university founded in 1926 in Valparaíso, Chile.
It is one of the most prestigious engineering universities in the country and Latin America, and gives special emphasis to basic sciences, engineering and technical fields  with a more recent growth into economics and business sciences. The University has campuses in Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Santiago, Concepción and Rancagua, as well as an international campus in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The Federico Santa María Technical University is the alma mater of several prominent businessmen, engineers and Chilean scientists. Its students and alumni are known as "Sansanos".
The university admission is very competitive and, in general, the last selected students every year have obtained around 650 points in the national admission test (PSU), which corresponds to the best 10% of the country. Its is known for its rigorous study requirements, demanding study program, and for being the only engineering university in Chile to require physical training as a compulsory part of the curriculum. The UTFSM has an undergraduate retention rate of 80.2% by the first year of studies, and a 68.9% by the second year. Less than 1% of its students are international, and most of the available courses are imparted in Spanish.
The UTFSM has been historically perceived as one of the most prestigious engineering schools in the country and more recently, with the appearance of national and international rankings, has been placed among the top Universities in Chile and South America. It is ranked 1st in Chile and 2nd in South America by The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-2015.
The graduation date is held on the 20th of December every year, since it commemorates the anniversary of the death of the founder, Federico Santa Maria Carrera, on the 20th of December 1925.
- 1 History
- 2 Campuses
- 3 Organization
- 4 Education
- 5 Cultural Activities
- 6 Research
- 7 National and International Rankings
- 8 Alumni
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The university takes its name from Federico Santa María, a Chilean philanthropist that lived in France. He raised a huge fortune as a broker in the sugar market in Paris. Before his death, he donated all his fortune to create a university in Valparaíso, his hometown. Although the amount of his fortune is unknown, it is believed to have been around 2 billion dollars of today's currency. While in Paris in 1920, in his testament, Santa María donated his fortune with the idea of building a high-standard technical and scientific institution.
In his will, Santa María manifested that his desired executors contribute to material progress and expand Chile's cultural horizons; altruistic ideas which sought to facilitate entry into the academic life of outstanding compatriots dispossessed but without further requirement than merit, skills and high academic achievement. This institution would accept and prepare the best students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to gain technical and scientific knowledge that contribute to the progress of the country.
The executors were chosen by Santa María to be Agustin Edwards Mac-Clure, Juan Brown Caces, Carlos van Buren and Andrew Geddes.
Following his philosophy, on March 31, 1926, an institution was created to develop Santa María's legacy. Finally on 1931 the School of Crafts and Arts and School of Engineering José Miguel Carrera was founded. In 1935 its name changed to Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María.
The condition imposed by Federico Santa María was that, during the first 10 years, the university must receive academics from the best schools of sciences and engineering. Following this imperative, the executor of this project, Agustín Edwards Mac-Clure, moved to Germany where he contacted Dr. Karl Laudien, who became the first rector of the university. From that moment, the university received a strong German influence in its engineering education. Several German engineers and scientists arrived before and after the second world war from institutions such as TU Berlin, Berlin University, Leipzig University among other German institutions. They brought to the University cutting edge knowledge in physics, chemistry and engineering. Research in new areas such as Solar Energy, or Chemistry of Natural Products (National Sciences Prize 1971 and 1998) were created.
In 1934, the Scientia magazine is published, becoming the voice if the university academic work.
In 1937, the Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria Radio was created, becoming the first university radio broadcaster in Chile and Latin America, focused to broadcasting information and cultural programs. The radio still broadcasts to this day, in the AM: 1.450 and FM: 99,7 signals in the Valparaiso region. It also now has an online signal.
In 1939, the Alumni association was founded, known today as AEXA (Asociación de Ex-Alumnos) 
In 1960 the Graduate School was created, and its first director was Prof. Herbert Appel (1960-1964), offering the PhD study lines for Chemical, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. In 1963 the university became the first higher-education institution in Latin America to confer a doctorate in engineering, in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh. In 1960s the University started a strategy of national and international expansion. In 1966 the Technical campus "Viña del Mar" was founded. In 1972 the campus "Rey Balduino de Bélgica" in the southeast city of Concepción with orientation in technical-professional areas was founded. The project received strong financial support from Baudouin King.
In 1964, the University grants for the first time an engineering degree to a woman.
The UTFSM was the first University (of the 8 existing universities in Chile at the time) to restart its operations on 15 October 1973, after the Military coup of 11 September 1973.
The university has four campuses and two branch campuses (sedes). These are in four Chilean cities and Guayaquil, Ecuador:
- Casa Central, main campus. Inaugurated in 1931 in Valparaíso
- Campus Santiago Vitacura and Campus Santiago San Joaquín, in the capital, Santiago.
- Campus Guayaquil, located in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
- Sede José Miguel Carrera, located in Viña del Mar.
- Sede Rey Balduino de Bélgica, in the seaport city of Talcahuano.
While the campuses are focused on undergraduate, graduate and university academical activities, sedes are mainly dedicated to technical degrees.
Main Campus, Valparaíso
The main UTFSM campus (or Casa Central) is located in Valparaíso, covering most of the front area of Los Placeres hill, on the grounds of the former Pudeto fort. The site faces the Pacific coast and it is visible from many parts of the bay of Valparaíso.
The building was designed by Josué Smith Solar, one of the most respected Chilean architects of the 20th century, and his son José Smith Miller. The American Neo-Gothic style campus is considered one of the foremost works of Chilean architecture. The campus is also recognised for its beautiful gardening, with native and exotic species.
The main campus has a gothic scholastic architecture with a privileged view to the Pacific Ocean. In 2008 it was chosen as one of the most remarkable national architectural works of the 20th century.
Branch Campus Viña del Mar, "José Miguel Carrera"
In the 1960s, the University formulated an expansion plan. With financial assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the support of the Ford Foundation, advice from Dunwoody Industrial Institute in the US, and a donation of land by Chile's Agricultural Development Institute INDAP (from the Spanish "Instituto de Desarrollo Agropecuario"), a fully furnished building was constructed in 1971 in Viña del Mar, and it was named the "Jose Miguel Carrera" branch campus, following the testamentary vision of the University founder, the philanthropist Federico Santa María.
Branch Campus Concepción, "Rey Baduino de Belgica"
By the mid-1960s, the University planned to install six schools in different parts of the country.
In October 1965, the Kings of Belgium, Baudouin I and Fabiola de Mora y Aragon visited the University headquarters in Valparaíso, were introduced to its educational project and as a result initiated conversations for the construction of a branch campus in the city of Concepción.
Meanwhile, our country strengthens their contributions: the government facilitates the exchange of funds provided by Belgium; local businesses such as the San Pedro Sawmills, Cementos Bio Bio, Pacific Steel Company, Fanaloza, Inchalam, Pizarreño, Glasses Lirquén, among others, also contributed in its construction. Additionally, a donation of Archbishop of Concepción provided the land needed for the building construction. Its construction began in 1969.
Academic activities started on April 26, 1971, offering the careers of Electronics, Electrical, Structural Mechanics, Maintenance Mechanics, and Chemistry. In February 14, 1972, the campus branch was inaugurated solemnly in the presence of the President of Chile, Salvador Allende Gossens, and the University rector, Jaime Chiang Acosta.
The current president of the UTFSM Academic Council is Mr. Roberto Medina Cantariño. The following table summarizes the different presidents the UTFSM has had in its history.
|Directive Council President||Start Year|
|Roberto Medina Cantariño||2008|
|Carlos Massad Abud ||1968|
|Agustin Edwards Eastman||1956|
|Agustin Edwards Budge||1941|
|Agustin Edwards Mac-Clure||1931|
The current rector is Professor Darcy Fuenzalida O'Shee, for the Period 2014 - 2018. Some notable events:
- Two rectors died at the time of having the role, i.e., Prof. Armando Quezada in 1936, and Commander Juan Naylor in 1977. They were replaced by Interim Rectors until a new rector could be chose through a vote.
- Two rectors have had to resign due to protests within the University,i.e., Carlos Cerutti in 1968, and Giovanni Pesce in 2005.
- Three "delegate" rectors were designated by a military junta. During the Military regime of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) the university rector was designated by the military junta instead of a normal voting process. Three "delegate rectors", retired military men, had this role during the period: Commanader Juan Naylor (1973-1977), Vice-admiral Ismael Huerta (1977-1984) and Commander Arturo Niño de Zepeda (1984-1989).
- Two of the rectors were siblings, i.e., Jaime Chiang, and Gustavo Chiang.
|Darcy Fuenzalida O'Shee||2014-2018|
|Jose Rodriguez Perez||2006-2014|
|Jose Rodriguez Perez (Interim) ||2005-2006|
|Giovanni Pesce Santana||2001-2005 (R)|
|Adolfo Arata Andreani||1993-2001|
|Gustavo Chiang Acosta||1989-1993|
|Arturo Niño de Zepeda Schele (delegate) ||1984-1989|
|Ismael Huerta Diaz (delegate)||1977-1984|
|Juan Naylor Wieber (delegate) ||1973-1977+|
|Domingo Santa Maria Santa Cruz ||1972-1973|
|Jaime Chiang Acosta||1968-1972|
|Wilhem Feick (Interim)||1968|
|Carlos Ceruti Gardeazábal||1958-1968 (R) |
|Francisco Cereceda Cisternas (Engineering School) ||1937-1958|
|Armando Quezada Acharán (Engineering School)||1936 +|
|Karl Laudien (Crafts school)||1935-1938|
Due to the focused nature of the university, its organisation currently does not include different faculties, only different academic departments, which carry out research and graduate/undergraduate educational programs. Originally, faculties had been considered in the University organization, with the founding of the first three faculties in 1944, Chemical, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Faculties were subsequently abolished under Adolfo Arata's period as rector.
|Academic Department||Year founded|
|Chemical and Environmental Engineering||19XX|
|Computer Engineering / Informatics||1975|
Within the Chilean campus level, there are 17 different academic departments, though not all of them are in every campus location, and not all degree levels are offered at every location, as the following table shows:
|Academic Department||Valparaiso Campus
"Rey Baduino de Belgica"
|Viña del Mar Campus
"José Miguel Carrera"
|Metallurgical Engineering and Materials||Yes||-||-||-|
|Computer Science Engineering||Yes||-||Yes||Yes|
|Civil Engineering and Construction||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Chemical and Environmental Engineering||Yes||-||Yes||Yes|
|Physical Education, sports and recreation||Yes||-||-||Yes|
|Product Design engineering||Yes||-||Yes||-|
The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. The undergraduate degrees can be of 12 academic semesters (engineering), 10 semesters (engineering, pure sciences and architecture), 8 semesters (Applied Engineering) and 6 semesters (technical careers). The graduate degrees (Masters and Doctorate) have a structure that can be described as follows: 2 years for masters of science and 3 to 5 years for Doctorate degrees.
The engineering degrees at UTFSM (and throughout Chile) are offered in different degrees of difficulty. The highest degree corresponds to 12 academic semesters..
To differentiate it from the engineering studies of 10 semesters, the degree has the suffix of Civil. For example, the degree for 12 academic semester in chemical engineering has the title of Ingeniero Civil Químico, while the degree of 10 semesters has the title of Ingeniero Químico.The following Bachelor Engineering degrees are granted by this University:
- Computer Science
- Business management
- Product design engineering
- Aircraft business engineering
- Manufacturing and industrial drawing engineering
- Occupational Health and Safety engineering
- Mechanical processes and maintenance engineering (4 years)
The following Masters of Science are granted by this University:
- Civil Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Electronics Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Industrial Engineering
- Telematics Engineering
- Metallurgical Engineering
The following PhD Degrees are granted by this University:
- Biotechnology (Joint degree with the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso)
- Physics (Joint degree with the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso)
- Chemistry (2)
- Electronics Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Computer Science Engineering
- Mathematics (Joint degree with the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso and the University of Valparaíso)
- Mechanical Engineering
The Chemical Engineering School at UTFSM was founded together with the foundation of the School of Engineers in 1935, being one of the oldest degrees offered by the university. The first Chilean and Latin American doctorate degree in chemical engineering was given to Walter Gaete Castro in 1962, with a cooperation between UTFSM and University of Pittsburgh, USA. Nowadays, the chemical engineering department has the name of Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering (IQA, in Spanish), where Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering degrees are offered. The research topics at IQA are:
- Design of industrial processes
- Environmental Engineering
- Food Science and Bioprocesses
- Minerals Processing
- Automation and process control
The Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering has 12 associate professors, 11 with PhD degrees (92%). The department offers the graduate programs of Master of Science and PhD in Chemical Engineering.
The Mechanical Engineering School at UTFSM was founded together with the foundation of the School of Engineers in 1935, being one of the oldest degrees offered by the university. Its first four mechanical engineers graduated in 1939. The Mechanical engineering department was also among the first to offer a PhD program in 1964 (along with Chemical and Electrical Engineering Departments).
The mechanical engineering department has the following research areas:
The department has 20 full-time professors (2016 data), 17 with PhD degrees (85%). Additional to the Bachelor of Sciences in Mechanical Engineering (BSc.), the department offers the graduate programs of Master of Science (BSc.) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Mechanical Engineering. The department has also made substantive efforts to connect with its alumni. A comprehensive list of the graduates of the department can be found online.
University Chamber choir
The Chamber Choir of the Federico Santa María Technical University was founded on August 4, 1951 in its Valparaiso Campus. During the choir's over 60 years of existence, it has interpreted an extensive repertoire, including all manifestations of choral western music, from the Middle Ages to the present day. The choir's first performance was at the closing ceremony of the academic year in December 1951, in the Aula Magna, main hall of events in the "A" building of the University's Main Valparaíso campus.
Demosthenes Penna, engineering student of this campus, was its founder and first director until 1954. From March 1955 the choir was directed by Prof. Silvio Olate forover 28 years until March 1983. From 1983 to 1987 it was directed by Prof. Mauricio Pergelier. For the next 23 years, from 1987 to 2010 the choir was conducted by Prof. Eduardo Silva Cerda. From 2010, the choir has been conducted by Prof. Felipe Molina.
The Guayaquil campus in Ecuador also has formed a Choir in 2015, directed by Charles Sampertegui.
Folkloric Ensemble "Alimapu"
The university has a long history of musical expression, in particular through its folkloric ensemble "Alimapu"
Since 2010 UTFSM has been awarded with nearly US$8 million for 76 research projects. Many of these projects involve national and international collaborations with prestigious institutions in Latin America (ANDES Laboratory Project, RIABIN Biotechnology Network), Europe (CERN, Max Planck Institut, Politecnico di Milano), and USA (MIT, SLAC), among others.
National and International Rankings
For 10 consecutive years, UTFSM has been ranked among the three best Universities in Chile in terms of quality perception given by more than 1000 important national business executives. In 2012, the University was ranked 5 between 9.500 schools of engineering in the world according to their impact factor in the last 5 years (Microsoft Academics), as the latinoamerican university with the largest normalized impact factor, and as the first school of engineering in South America. According to Times Higher Education Ranking 2014, UTFSM is among the first 300 best Universities in the World, 2nd in South America and 1st in Chile.
Different organizations, denominated AEXA (from the Spanish "Asociacion de EX Alumnos") have been created at several of the UTFSM campuses:
- AEXA Valparaiso, established in 1939
- AEXA Santiago, established in 1941
- AEXA in the United States, established in 1995
These organization are created and managed by the alumni themselves, and coordinate their action with the university through the UTFSM Alumni Network office.
Notable Alumni and faculty
- Robert Frucht, German-Chilean mathematician, known for developing the Frucht's theorem, emeritus professor 1970.
- Raul Zurita, Civil Engineer, Poet, National Literature Prize.
- Ivan Schmidt, Chilean physicist. He developed, in cooperation with Dr. Stanley Brodsky from Stanford University, the basic theoretical aspects to create antihydrogen atoms in the Laboratory. Based in this methods, Swiss scientists have created the first antimatter atom in the world.
- Robert Breusch, mathematician. Breusch was known for his new proof of the prime number theorem and for the many solutions he provided to problems posed in the American Mathematical Monthly.
- Miguel Kiwi, National Sciences Prize 2007.
- Abelardo Quinteros, composer and industrial designer
- Karl Laudien, first Rector (Chancellor) of the University.
- Carlos Cerutti, the first Chilean who received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by an international institution: University of Pittsburgh, USA.
- Sergio Contreras, Bishop of Temuco.
- José Rodríguez Pérez, Rector of the University (2006–2014). National Applied Sciences and Technology Prize 2014.
- Agustín Edwards Mac-Clure, Executor of the will of Federico Santa María. President of the General Assembly of the League of Nations, Interior Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cult and Colonization and Plenipotentiary to Great Britain among other positions.
- Latin for "From the shadows to the light"
- Chilean law decree from 1926, can be seen in the Chilean law repository "LeyChile", http://www.leychile.cl/Navegar?idNorma=1045159&idVersion=1926-04-27
- This is the denomination given to students from this university, and how they identify themselves among peers. Plural is "sansanos"
- http://www.bib.utfsm.cl/nuevositio/attachments/087_80%20a%C3%B1os%20de%20universidad.pdf Reseña Histórica – Biblioteca UTFSM
- for more information visit the webpage of the radio http://www.utfsm.cl/vida-universitaria/radio/
- As indicated by the university's history website http://www.utfsm.cl/universidad/historia/
- http://www.dgc.usm.cl/2008/12/29/casa-central-elegida-una-de-las-grandes-construcciones-del-siglo-xx/ Casa Central elegida una de las grandes construcciones del Siglo XX
- Mr. Abud was elected via Law number 16773, article 14,which gave the choice to the president of the nation, at the time Eduardo Frei Montalva. This election happened as a result of student mobilizations all around the country, and derived from the Protests of 1968 originated in France.
- Book: el negocio de las Universidades en Chile,Monckeberg, Maria Olivia, 2011, p.302: https://archive.org/stream/ElNegocioDeLasUniversidadesEnChile4de4/ElNegocioDeLasUniversidadesEnChile2de4#page/n101/mode/2up
- Porf. Jose Rodriguez, an academic from the Electronics Department at UTFSM, took the role of Rector when Giovanni Pesce resigned
- Giovanni Pesce resigned after persistent protests by the academic community
- Commander Niño was named Interim delegate rector in 1984 after health problems in the current delegate rector, Vice admiral Huerta. Niño would later be ratified as delegate rector.
- Vice admiral Huerta was appointed delegated rector of the UTFSM upon Commander Naylor's death.
- through the Military decree num.50, published in the Chile's Official Newspaper, "Diario Oficial", dated october 2nd, 1973, the military junta assigned the retired commander Juan Naylor Wieber as delegated rector of the Federico Santa María Technical University. Delegated rectors had direct reporting to the Minister of education, also appointed by the junta. Commander Naylor's role ended on his death on de 31st of July 1977.
- His brief role as Rector of the university was ended on the 11 of september 1973 due to the military coup led by Augusto Ponochet.
- The rector Carlos Ceruti had to resign after protests by students and an extended occupation of the Main University campus.
- Prof. Cereceda was named rector of the Enginering School upon Prof. Quzada's death in 1936. Before assuming the role of rector, he had been Minister in the government of Carlos Ibañez del Campo in 1931. He left the role in 1958 when he was designated Minister of Education by President Jorge Alessandri.
- http://noticias.universia.cl/ciencia-nn-tt/noticia/2010/12/28/774859/universidad-santa-maria-adjudica-17-proyectos-fondecyt.html Universidad Santa María se adjudica 17 Proyectos Fondecyt
- http://www.dgc.usm.cl/2012/02/12/universidad-santa-maria-se-adjudica-23-proyectos-fondecyt/ Universidad Santa María se adjudica 23 Proyectos Fondecyt
- http://www.scimagoir.com/ Ibero-American Ranking