Antonio Canseco Medel Biography (Spanish Mining Engineer)


Who is Antonio Canseco Medel? Information about the life and work of Antonio Canseco Medel, a Spanish mining engineer.

Antonio Canseco Medel (Madrid, October 20, 1915- Ibidem, April 14, 2019) was a Spanish mining engineer and professor at the Higher Technical School of Mining and Energy Engineers of the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

Childhood and academic formation

Son of the Asturian Germán Canseco and of the Pilar Medel from Madrid, he was born in the Calle del Españoleto in Madrid. With five years he began to study in the school of the Dames de Saint Maur, in the street Fernandez de la Hoz, and in 1922 he entered the German School of Madrid, where he trained until 1926, the year in which he enrolled in the school Maravillas to complete the baccalaureate. In 1933 he took the entrance exams to the School of Mining Engineers, but until 1935 he did not pass all the entrance exams, so that same year he entered the Mining Engineering career, along with eighteen more colleagues.

However, the 1936 coup d’état interrupted his academic life. The night brigades searched his home and took his father in custody, who was admitted to the Model Prison in Madrid. Antonio Canseco was a member of the CNT (National Confederation of Labor), an anarchist, and even got a card of the “Libertarian Youth.”


In 1939 he resumed his engineering studies, completed in 1942, the year in which he was called by the National Institute of Industry (INI), to work as a delegate engineer in Berlin (Germany). It was proposed by Joaquín Planell with the aim of contacting several German companies that studied the production of synthetic oil from coal and oil shale, to do the same in areas of Spain such as Galicia and Teruel. On July 18, 1943, already in Berlin, Antonio Canseco received documentation from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs as “Diplomatic Technical Advisor to the Embassy of Spain”. In those years, he devoted himself to research on the manufacture of lubricating oils from petroleum products and experienced the bombing of Berlin in the first person.


On August 10, 1943, he returned to Spain and began working in Puertollano. Later, already in Madrid, Antonio began working as an editor in the magazine of the Council of Scientific Research, Journal of Applied Science. In 1950 he enrolled in the career of Economics, in the Faculty of Political and Economic Sciences. In 1953 he obtained a position as assistant professor in the School of Mining Engineers and carried out translations of the German for the National Coal Institute.

In 1954, together with a group of fourteen engineers, he was chosen to travel to the University of Syracuse, in the state of New York (USA), to take a Business Administration course. He made this stay between January 1955 and April 1956.

Higher Technical School of Mining Engineers

On his return to Spain, he continued with his classes at the School of Mines and was also appointed professor at the School of Industrial Organization. In the following years he also gave courses in a patronal social action of the Leon XIII Social Institute, in the National Productivity Commission and made translations for the National Steel Company.

On April 22, 1960, the opposition to the chair of Industrial Chemistry was announced, due to the retirement of the previous professor. The denomination of the chair became “Fuel Technology, Cements and Explosives”, which expanded the content of Industrial Chemistry, and put more emphasis on what interested mine engineers. On May 7, the Official Gazette shows the appointment of the court that would conduct its examination of opposition and in the Official Gazette of July 28, 1960, the appointment as a full professor of “Fuel Technology” and “Industrial Chemistry of the Fuels and Minerals “of the Higher Technical School of Mining Engineers to Antonio Canseco Medel, by order of July 6 of the same year.

Personal life

On May 14, 1945, he married Mercedes Viejo in the church of San Fermín de los Navarros, in Madrid. With her he had a son and three daughters: Antonio, Rosa, Covadonga and María Jesús.

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