The graduate of the former "Friedrich List" College of Transport has been one of the TU Dresden's committed regional ambassadors for many years.

He was untiring in his efforts: as a networker between 'his' TU Dresden (TUD) and the Cuban alumni community; co-initiator of the German-Cuban summer schools in Havana, publisher of academic works in the field of logistics and a specialist on the remnants of German culture in Cuba.

Prof. Manuel Torres passed away as a result of complications from COVID-19. He is sorely missed – as an expert in his field, a mediator, an innovative thinker and a warm-hearted individual with a knowing smile.

Studies and doctorate in Dresden

Manuel Torres studied engineering economics of transport at the former Hochschule für Verkehrswesen "Friedrich List", Section Transport and Business Administration. He graduated in 1970 with a degree in engineering economics. In 1984, he completed his doctorate in the fields of logistics and transport in Dresden after a long-distance traineeship. The topic was "Problems of the development of warehousing and transport in Cuba" and was supervised by Professors Werner Gross and Klaus Jürgen Richter. Commenting on his studies, he said, "Cuba is an island – and logistics are indispensable for an island."

He was Vice-President of the Cuban Society for Logistics and Marketing, taught as a Professor at the University of Havana, and worked for the Cuban Department of Commerce. Since the 2000s, he was proactive in supporting the Humboldt University of Berlin in the organization of the International Summer School in Economics and Management (ISSEM) in Havana. He also championed the involvement of other German universities. The "Semana Alumni" (SEMAL) Alumni Week of 2019 can also be attributed to his initiative — when the Alumni Relations Officer and TUD Alumni met in Havana.

For many years, he represented his alma mater in Cuba as a Regional Ambassador, he participated in the TUD Alumni Weeks and always cultivated - where ever he was - practical ideas for networking with the academic community in his country.

On the trail of German people in Cuba

In addition, he spent decades researching traces of the German people in Cuba. He published two books on this subject, one of which he co-edited. In an interview at the 2008 Havana Book Fair, he said, "My interest in German culture originates from the time I spent studying in Dresden. I have started collecting material about traces the Germans have left in Cuba. Admittedly, there were not many Germans in Cuba, but they have had a significant influence on our country. There is virtually no scientific or technical field that has not been impacted by Germans - be it coffee plantations, sports, literature, railroads, the sugar industry, or the university system." He elaborated further, "700 – 800 Cubans studied in the GDR. About 500 of those studied in Dresden, where some also obtained their doctorates. Over 10,000 Cubans worked in the GDR and they didn’t merely learn about technology — they also took their cultural impressions back with them."


Susann Mayer
Alumni Relations Officer
Phone: +49 351 463-36278