Óscar José Mesa Sánchez majored in Civil Engineering at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín campus (1978), holds an M. Sc. in Civil Engineering from University of Mississippi (1982, master's thesis «An Analitical Approach for coupling Hidrologic response geomorphology») and a Ph. D. in Civil Engineering also from UMS (1985, thesis «Channel Network Parameterized bi elevations»). He is a tenured, titular professor at Universidad Nacional de Colombia and belongs to the Department of Geosciences at the Faculty of Mines, Medellín campus.
Professor Mesa has been awarded twice (2000 y 2007) the National Alejandro Ángel Escobar Prize of Environment, and won in 2001, with Germán Poveda and Jaime Ignacio Vélez, the Lorenzo Codazzi Award from the Colombian Society of Engineers (Sociedad Colombiana de Ingenieros, SCI).
Professor Mesa was Vice-Rector of Research at Universidad Nacional de Colombia between 2007 and February 2008.