After having worked for two years in a private company, I started a PhD in the Laboratory of Traffic Facilities (LAVOC), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland in 2012. I finished the PhD in December 2015 and started working in the SUPER ITN project as experienced researcher (ER2).
From the beginning of my professional experience I have been involved in several research studies regarding road infrastructures. My research focused on projects aiming at studying the mechanical behaviour and performance of bituminous mixtures containing high quantities of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP). Moreover, during recent years collaboration with experts on statistics has allowed me to acquire knowledge regarding sensitivity analysis, risk analysis and reliability applied to the pavement design domain for more reliable prediction of infrastructure durability. The work I have done in several laboratories such as at the University of Parma (Italy), ETS Montreal (Canada), EMPA Zurich (Switzerland) has allowed me to acquire a professional knowledge of road materials (bitumen and asphalt mixtures), resulting in my appointment as head of the materials laboratory at LAVOC (Laboratoire des voies de circulation – EPFL, Switzerland) at the beginning of 2015. In January 2016 I started working as experienced researcher in the SUPER ITN project focusing on the definition of sustainability assessment factors and current state-of-the-art in sustainable practices.
Nowadays the new construction and/or rehabilitation of road pavements and railways must be designed with the absolute objective of increasing the environmental and socio-economic sustainability. Since transport and infrastructures have a significant impact on the quality of life, they have to ensure high-level performance in order to minimise maintenance interventions and costs and user discomfort. The environmental, economic and social impacts of transportation have been a global subject of study in recent years. For instance, transportation (freight and passengers) in Europe is responsible for approximately 20% of all greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and 31% of the CO2 emissions. The EU aims to reduce GHG emission by 80-95% and the CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050 compared to 1990, thus the reduction of the impact on the global warming is a fundamental step for the achievement of this objective (UIC 2015).
The research work aims to develop a tool to support road and railway engineers, designers and managers in taking more responsible decisions with regards to the sustainable design and maintenance. In particular the selection of road and railway indicators is a key aspect of the entire study because a broader sustainability evaluation imposes to consider not only the environmental aspect as usually intended in the Life-cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis.