Dr Marta Fernandez, an executive with significant experience in developing and growing international research portfolios, has been appointed Executive Director of RMIT Europe in Barcelona, Spain.
With a career spanning many years of senior management roles in the United Kingdom, Fernandez will return to her home country of Spain to start with RMIT in November 2015.
The appointment delivers a wealth of expertise to RMIT Europe across international industry engagement, research and development, according to RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor International and Vice-President, Professor Andrew MacIntyre.
“Dr Fernandez’s achievements in her previous role with global consultancy Arup include the growth of an international network of over 2000 researchers and partnerships with more than 100 universities,” MacIntyre said.
“She brings extensive knowledge in developing research strategy, managing global R&D funds as well as establishing international partnerships.
“We are delighted Dr Fernandez is joining us at RMIT, where she is well positioned to lead and grow our work in Europe across research, industry and student mobility.”
An alumnus of University College London in the United Kingdom as well as Spain’s University of Granada, Dr Fernandez teaches R&D management at the University of Granada and holds honorary appointments at University College London and Imperial College Business School.
She has a strong interest in urban wellbeing, particularly the impact of design and technology on cities, and has been a member of several European expert panels for nature-based solutions in cities, active ageing and the built environment.
Fernandez said she was energised by the opportunity to work at the interface between academia and business in an international environment.
“RMIT, as with other world-class universities, is focused on extending its global reach,” she said.
“In Europe, our challenge is to enhance RMIT’s presence and global brand within a very strong and well-established academic base.”
She said she was thrilled to take on this significant task by heading up RMIT Europe – a move which also involves a return to Spain after many years of working abroad.
Born in Granada, in the country’s south, Fernandez is looking forward to heading back to her home country.
“I’m excited to be calling Barcelona my home, a city with a lively pace, vibrant culture and great climate,” she said.
Story: Karen Matthews