Born in Mexico city, he studied civil engineering at UNAM. He became president of the student society of the Faculty of Sciences in 1936 and University Counsellor in 1938. He taught for more than 20 years in the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria (a high school of UNAM) and the National School of Engineering (later Faculty of Engineering), of whom he was director from 1955 to 1958. He became Rector on May 5, 1966. During his rectorship, the government and the army entered Ciudad Universitaria, UNAM's main campus. In protest of these actions and the indiscriminate beating of UNAM's students, he resigned his post on September 23, 9 days before the massacre in Tlatelolco. He was reinstated as Rector after the liberation of CU, a post he held until May 5, 1970.