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The Honorary President of the SENER Group, Jorge Sendagorta Gomendio, full member of the Royal Academy of the Sea


Jorge Sendagorta Gomendio read a speech entitled «Some Keys to Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Vizcaya.»

On April 26, the Honorary President of the SENER Engineering and Technology Group, Jorge Sendagorta Gomendio, became a full member of the Spanish Royal Academy of the Sea, an organization whose mission is to promote the seafaring culture and maritime tradition of Spain in five areas: Navy, Merchant, Fishing, Sports and Technical-Scientific.

The event was chaired by the Director of the Royal Academy of the Sea, Carlos Cremades Carceller, in the Assembly Hall of the Spanish Institute of Engineering in Madrid, and was co-organized by the Spanish Association of Naval and Ocean Engineers. SENER’s Honorary President read a speech entitled «Some Keys to Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Vizcaya,» which reviewed the history of the Basque maritime industry, from the first sailors who ventured out on seafaring explorations, such as Elcano in the 15th century and Urdaneta in the 16th, to the present day. He also recalled his great-grandfather, Jesús Antonio de Sendagorta Larrazábal, an entrepreneur born in Plencia in 1854 who was trained in naval machine engineering and had a distinguished career in the world of ships, trade and industry all over the world, from Havana to the Philippines to Singapore. And how this legacy is tied to SENER’s, which was created as a marine engineering company in 1956, founded by Dr. Enrique de Sendagorta, a naval architect and father of Jorge Sendagorta, and his uncle Dr. José Manuel de Sendagorta, an aerospace engineer.

Throughout this timeline, Jorge Sendagorta reflects on the corporate world, with statements such as: «When people continue to seek education as the mainstay of their lives, ultimately they don’t just want to satisfy their curiosity and gain the know-how they need for their work; rather, they are looking for leaders through which to expand and understand their vision of the world» (…) «By specifying a mission – creation and symbol of their dreams and aspirations – employers imbue the behavior of their team with their own views and values, set them on the collective feat of achieving these goals and make it possible to turn it all into pragmatic results, such as valuable products or services, opportunities for personal and professional development, economic gains and growth, benefits that extend to the whole of society.»

Commenting on this speech, Carlos Cremades Carceller underscored the entrepreneurial history of both the Sendagorta family and Jorge Sendagorta Gomendio, as well as their relationship with the world of the sea.

A PhD in Naval Architecture, Jorge Sendagorta began his career in 1978 as Technical Director at the offshore structures and facilities shipyard of Dragados y Construcciones (Offshore Division). In 1981, he founded and led SEAPLACE, an engineering company specializing in offshore platforms and complex marine installations. Currently, and since 2020, Jorge Sendagorta has been the Honorary President of SENER, an Engineering Group that is active in the aerospace, marine, infrastructure and energy sectors, employs 2,350 people, has a turnover in excess of 400 million euros and is renowned for its ability to innovate and its international growth. He joined the company in 1986 as Deputy Managing Director and was its CEO from 1990 to 2018 and its President from 2000 to 2020. Under his chairmanship, in addition to the group’s own activities, SENER founded and was a shareholder in ITP (Industria de Turbopropulsores), which focused on the design and manufacture of aviation engines, and eight other industrial plants dedicated to electricity generation with renewable sources and the circular economy, such as Torresol Energy and Zabalgarbi.

Throughout his career, Jorge Sendagorta has been a member of the Social Councils of the Rey Juan Carlos University and the Autonomous University of Madrid UAM, Chairman of the Alumni Association of the IESE Business School, and Chairman of the Basque Business Association.

His academic background includes a doctorate in Naval Architecture from the Politechnic University of Madrid UPM, where he subsequently taught PhD courses from 1978 to 1984 in the areas of «Wave Dynamics» and «Ship Behavior at Sea.» He received a Master’s in Ocean Engineering from M.I.T. (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and rounded out his academic training by completing the IESE Business School’s Senior Business Management Program (PADE) in 1990.

Jorge Sendagorta’s career has been recognized with prizes and awards on numerous occasions; among his other accolades, he is an Honorary Member of the Spanish Institute of Engineering, Honorary Associate of the Official College of Naval and Ocean Engineers (COIN), and Consul of Bilbao. He has also received the Bizkaia Sarean award, presented by the Association for the Promotion and Networking of Bizkaia’s Companies, BizkaiRed, the Award for the Best Basque Business Owner from the Basque Company and Society Foundation (2011), the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young, the IESE Business School, the Vocento Group and Fortis, and the Aster Lifetime Achievement Award from the ESIC Business & Marketing School (2021).

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