Best 40-Under-40 Professor Eduard Calvo

Headshot of Eduard Calvo

Eduard Calvo of IESE is among the 40 best business school profs under 40

Eduard Calvo

Assistant Professor of Production, Technology, and Operations Management

Age: 32

Institution: IESE Business School

Hometown: Barcelona, Spain

Marital status: Married

Children: 1 daughter (close to 2 years old); expecting another one


Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) – Barcelona Tech

Electical Engineering Degree, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) – Barcelona Tech

Courses currently teaching: Operations ManagementAdvanced Methods for Operational ExcellenceExecutive Management Simulation

Fun fact: 

If you’re from Barcelona and you love soccer, everybody expects you to be an FC Barcelona supporter. However, I support the other soccer team of the city: RCD Espanyol.

Professor you most admire:

At IESE, I have had the fortune of interacting with a number of professionals—from gardeners to faculty—whose common denominator is the search for excellence in everything they do. They are a relentless source of inspiration that I believe makes IESE just different. However, if I had to single out just one person, that one would be Prof. Fede Sabrià, a senior colleague in my department. Fede is a teaching monster, able to recurrently leave a mark on his students thanks to a true passion for his job, an unquestionable moral integrity, and a fun and unorthodox teaching style that always brings his students out of their comfort zones. As a colleague, he is also generous and supportive. I want to be like him when I grow up!

Most memorable moment as a professor:

One very special moment was in 2012, when the students in a section I taught gave me a panoramic picture of them all sitting in the classroom. It was signed on the back, and it now enjoys a premium spot in my office, near to my desk.

“If I weren’t a B-school professor…”

I have no idea of what I would be! Certainly, I am not at Espanyol’s level when it comes to playing soccer—when I attack, it’s just as if the opponent has one more guy defending—and my fingers are too slow to earn me a living with my Spanish guitar. What I know, however, is that I currently wake up every morning with a smile on my face thinking on the work ahead so, who cares?

Students say: 

Operations is …wait for it…. operations.  And unless you are an engineer, that fact will never change.  Personally, operations has not been a priority for my MBA.  But that being said, understanding it and valuing it as an integral part of business requires that myself and many graduates of IESE thank Professor Eduardo Calvo.
Edu, as we often refer to him, was the one teacher who truly understood the dynamics of a burgeoning MBA class that valued, in fact demanded, both theory and hands-on experience.  In understanding our desire for the practical application of theory, Professor Calvo went to all lengths to provide us with tangible experiences that emphasized and reinforced the theory we had just learned.  His ability to offer operations in a holistic way is a quality most teachers strive for, but few achieve.
But to leave it at that, would be to deny Edu of his real influence as a professor.  As a professor of operations, Edu brings an unequivocal level of positive energy to the class without ever sacrificing quality or professionalism. There is a certain expectation you have for yourself and the class as you walk in the classroom.  You won´t forget it, and if anything, it pulls you forward.  But maybe most importantly, Edu is the type of individual who is, for lack of a better term, approachable.  He is like your friend who knows all the answers crossed with your other friend who has too much energy and maybe smiles a little too often.  Truly a great professor, one no student will forget, who loves Mercadona, and one I hope to keep in touch with over the years in case I have operational issues.
-Keenan Lee, IESE MBA, Class of 2014

Eduard Calvo marches to the beat of his own drum. When it comes to soccer, this Barcelona native doesn’t root for the celebrated FC Barcelona team. He goes for the underdogs: RCD Espanyol. “That’s something my students realize in the exams,” he says. “I don’t know why, but many of the queuing problems they have to solve take place at Espanyol’s stadium…” Moreover, Calvo describes teaching the way a lot of people describe religion. “The euphoria I experience every time I get out of the classroom after a vivid case discussion just cannot compare to anything else,” he claims. “You can get addicted to it!”

Still, Calvo’s fun attitude is accompanied by serious research chops, specifically in operations management, telecommunications, and business strategy. In 2005, he received the College of Electrical Engineers of Catalonia’s “Salvà i Campillo” award for the Best Young Engineer. In 2012, he was on the jury that named the winners of the European Industrial Excellence Award, which recognizes management teams that seamlessly carry out corporate strategies through the entire supply chain. Calvo is certainly going places—even if his preferred soccer team is not.

Eduard Calvo is among “The World’s 40 Best B-School Profs Under the Age of 40


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