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07/01/2003, Barcelona

The abertis chair in Transport Infrastructure Management is created at the UPC



-abertis, the infrastructures business group, promotes the chair as part of its strategic social responsibility plan social

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and the infrastructures corporation abertis have created the abertis chair in Transport Infrastructure Management, whose director is the UPC Professor of Transport Francesc Robusté. The goal of the new chair, created as part of the framework agreement between the UPC and abertis, is to carry out training, research, innovation and information activities related to the planning and management of transport infrastructures and services.

The new Chair was presented on 1 July at a ceremony at the UPC’s Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyers de Camins, Canals i Ports (ETSECCPB, the Higher Technical School of Civil Engineers). In attendance were the Rector of the UPC, Josep Ferrer, abertis MD Salvador Alemany, ETSECCPB Director Joan Ramon Casas, the Catalan Ministers of Territorial Policy and Public works, Felip Puig and of Universities, Research and Society, Andreu Mas-Colell and Professor Enrique Balaguer, who gave the inaugural paper on Highways in Spain: past, present and future.

The goal of this Chair is to promote the transfer of academic and business knowledge in the infrastructure industry, as well as the promotion and divulgation of research studies.

The new business corporation abertis, formed by more than 50 infrastructure companies such as Acesa, Aumar, Iberpistas, Saba and Tradia, is supporting the creation of the Chair as part of its commitment to develop social responsibility in the university and academic world, a model upon which it is already working through the Fundació Castellet del Foix. This foundation, created by abertis, has supported a number or university research programmes on demographics, the economy and the environment.

The Chair will also work on European R&D projects and other national or international projects of common interest. One of its objectives is to develop innovative research into the management of car parking facilities (user behaviour in underground car parks, entry and exit operation analysis), motorways (new financing models, the concepts of service pricing and value pricing for high-performance routes), logistics (optimisation of packet services, the urban distribution of goods, port logistics) and airport management (accesses, handling and operations).

The abertis chair also offers itself as a key link between UPC experts and business and institutions to boost the application of transport ICTs in intelligent transport systems (ITS). As part of the Chair, the abertis Prize has been created. This annual, Spain-wide award, totalling €4,000, is for student research work in the field of transport analysis and modalization. It will also organise speeches and participate in conferences on mobility and transport-related issues and help students with field visits to abertis motorway operations centres and offices and group works sites.

The Director of the abertis chair, Francesc Robusté, is Professor of Transport at the UPC. Doctor in Civil Engineering, Ph.D. in Engineering, MSc in Operative Research and Master of Transport Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a specialist in the scientific analysis of transport systems. He is the author of more than 170 published works and has gained recognition for twelve years of international-quality research. He has also received various prizes for his articles and for directing doctoral theses and graduation dissertations and carries out his research along four lines: logistics, traffic management via tariffs, airport and urban collective public transport operations.

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