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Building and facilities


Research Institutes HQ is based in Jerónimo de Ayanz building and located at the Public University Campus.

The building provides shared laboratories for the Research Institutes, as well as space for spin-offs and projects

The location of the building in Pamplona's University Campus facilitates the interaction with the different departments, research groups and other scientific and technological facilities of the Public University.

The Jerónimo de Ayanz building consists of a built area of 2,059 m2 and a useful area of 1,647 m2 shared between basement and three floors and has laboratories, offices and spaces. It also houses the computer cluster "Clúster Punica".

Who was Jerónimo de Ayanz

Retrato de Jerónimo de Ayanz y Beaumont realizdo por Eulogia Merle

Jerónimo de Ayanz y Beaumont was born in 1553 in the Estate of Gendulain, to a noble family. Even though in his life he carried out various activities — he was a politician, he served in the military, he was a musician, geographer, painter, writer and businessman —, he stood out for his inventing side: from the first steam machine to new mechanical systems to extract mineral, or extremely precise scales. He managed to invent a diving suit which he tested before the King Philip III.

When he was 14, he was appointed page of King Philip II, took part in various battles, and when he was 26 we became Knight of the Order of Calatrava. Later, after taking on various positions, he was appointed General Manager of the Mines of the Kingdom of Spain, which allowed him to visit over 500 mines and delve into the invention of different systems to extract mineral and drain water.

Among his most striking inventions are diving bells and a diving suit with an articulated-hose system which made it possible to renew the air. Jerónimo de Ayanz also pioneered the steam machine: in 1606 he developed a machine which he used to drain the mines of Guadalcanal, in Seville.

The centre has several laboratories where researchers carry out their activities:

  • Materials Laboratory: Equipped with helium and nitrogen facilities to perform a wide range of chemical and physical analysis needed for research in new materials.
  • Smart Cities Laboratory: Equipped for prototyping and piloting on ISC projects .
  • Photonics Laboratory-Optics: It has optical benches for characterization of photonic devices and performing unguided optical assemblies. It contains equipment for spectral and temporal characterization of photonic circuits.
  • THz Laboratory: The instrumentation provided allows working in the range of very high frequencies to the terahertz. It also has analyzers, calibration kits, dimensional characterization equipment and micrometric precision positioners.
  • Assistant Prototyping Laboratory: Equipped with facilities for micromachining, metallization and assembly in multilayers way that allows prototyping small series of printed circuit boards with precision.
  • Drone Laboratory: For research and development of drones and projects related to unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Sensor Laboratory: Research and development in new sensors based on fiber optics for multiple applications.
  • Artificial Intelligence Laboratory: Research and development of projects related to providing intelligence to environments, drones and autonomous vehicles.
  • Electronics Laboratory: Support laboratory for developments that require electronics. The laboratory is also equipped with various filament and stereolithography 3D printers.
  • Experimental Economics Laboratory: For simulations and experimentation, both in business and industry.
  • Clean Room ISO 7 (40 m2). For microchips prototyping  and Microfabrication: thin-film photolithography, dry etching (ICP system), wet etching, DC sputtering, e-beam deposition, lift-off and wafer dicing.
  • Chemical analysis area of the technical scientific research support unit (UCTAI). The UCTAI is a unit created to bring together experimental technical services for the research groups of the Public University of Navarra, the IdiSNA, other public research organisations and the business sector, mainly in Navarre.
    • Inductively Coupled Plasma, (ICP) analysis Laboratory: For powerful chemical analysis to identify both trace amounts and major concentrations of nearly all elements within a sample.
    • Chemical analysis laboratory: Equipped with a quadrupole HPLC and two high-capacity chromatographs.


UPNA’s research institutes count on a computing cluster which consist mainly of the following:

  • Main node: The cluster is anchored by a powerful Twin 2U server boasting dual Intel Xeon E5-2620v4 processors, 128GB of RAM, and a substantial 36TB hard disk capacity (equivalent to 18TB of actual storage due to redundancy).
  • Other nodes: Comprising 27 computing nodes, our cluster offers versatility to cater to a wide range of research needs. These nodes fall into three distinct categories:
    • Standard Nodes (CPU): 16 nodes featuring Intel Xeon E5-2620v4 processors and 128GB of RAM.
    • Big data nodes: 8 nodes equipped with 4TB hard disks, ideal for data-intensive projects.
    • GPU Nodes: 2 nodes optimized for graphics processing, with a 2TB hard disk each. One of these nodes houses two NVIDIA Tesla K40M graphics cards, while the other boasts 4 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards.

In the domains of science and technology, clusters play a vital role in accelerating research, simulations, and data analysis. They are essential tools for scientists and technologists to explore complex phenomena, optimize designs, and process large datasets, contributing to progress in areas such as materials science, bioinformatics, engineering, and artificial intelligence.

Applications across disciplines:

  • Materials Science: It simulates the behaviour of new materials at the atomic level to discover novel properties and applications.
  • Bioinformatics: It analyses vast datasets of genetic information to unravel the secrets of life's building blocks.
  • Engineering: It performs complex simulations and optimisations for the design of innovative structures and systems.
  • Data Science: It harnesses big data analytics to extract valuable insights and patterns across various domains.
  • Artificial Intelligence and automatic learning: It trains sophisticated AI models to solve real-world challenges, from autonomous robotics to natural language processing.
  • Climate Modelling: It predicts climate patterns and studies the impact of climate change on our environment.
  • High-performing computing: It accelerates computer tasks in diverse scientific disciplines, from physics and chemistry to computer science and beyond.


The building has five offices to house projects that do not require laboratory facilities. In addition, some areas of the building house university spin-offs and the centre has several common spaces such as a meeting room, a conference room, a 200m2 multi-purpose room, a rest area and a terrace for the installation of antennas and other equipment related to the projects developed in the centre.