Biography of Eduardo López-Dóriga
López-Dóriga's matriculation signature, 1872
Eduardo López-Dóriga was the first student from Spain to study at the University of Glasgow. He was born into a family of merchants and shipowners. His father, Antonio López-Dóriga y Aguirre, was one of the six founders of the Banco Santander SA, today one of the world's largest banking groups.
Eduardo studied at the University of Glasgow from 1871 to 1873, taking classes in Mathematics, Geology, Physics, Civil Engineering and Mechanics. He excelled in the latter subject, winning a class prize for oral examinations in the subject. He was also awarded prizes in Geology and Mathematics.
Returning to Santander in 1873, Eduardo constructed the tram from Santander to Maliaño and excelled in naval engineering, opening the San Martin Shipyards in 1878, dedicated to repairing and building metal ships, an innovation in 19th century Spain. The first major construction was a milestone in Spanish naval history - the merchant steamboat, 'Fernández y Gutiérrez', was the first entirely built in a Spanish shipyard and launched in 1880. The shipyards were a success, giving López-Dóriga almost exclusive control of the naval business in Spain. They remained, until 1988, under the name of Astilleros del Atlántico, S.A. López-Dóriga also owned the San Martín smelting company, a pioneer in building a tank near the San Martín Shipyards for the land storage of crude oil coming from the Dead Sea.