The SUP&R International Training Network (ITN) will offer a training-through-research programme to selected young researchers across Europe. The project includes a high level four year training programme which will be international, multi-disciplinary and multi-sectors. To achieve the overall research and training objectives, the  SUP&R ITN has been implemented with 6 Work Packages (WPs). Training-through-research projects will be delivered within three scientific research work packages (WP1-WP3), while three additional WPs will handle respectively; Network-wide Training (WP4), Management (WP5) and the external and internal Communication (WP6).

Research Framework (WP1 – WP3)

Characterization and Design of Transport Infrastructures Technologies

WP1 and WP2 will be carried out predominantly by the ESRs through the development of 12 research projects with the common goal of closely investigating promising sustainable technologies, respectively for road pavements and railways. Thanks to the joint contribution of the universities and industrial partners involved in each project, the ESRs will characterise and design the proposed technologies and at the same time will also contribute to building a Lifecycle Inventory to be used in WP3. The selected road technologies will be investigated for specific application in highways, while the railway technologies will be designed to be applied either on standard railway infrastructure or high speed tracks. Performance prediction will be validated through simulative tests in laboratories and, for some research projects, through possible validation results from field trials. For each research project, the ESRs will cooperate with the ERs who will have a strong interest in closely supervising the collection of data and information, from literature as well as from the industrial partner. This data, indeed, will represent the most critical step to accurate building the LifeCycle Inventories.

Development of the sustainability assessment methodology (SUP&R tool)

In WP3, results arising from both previous phases will allow researchers and partners involved in the development of the projects, to understand the possibility of widespread use of the proposed sustainable technologies. Once the methodology is developed and tested, the assessment system will be incorporated in a methodology, to be included in software tool, for a wider group of users within the industry. This will assist product developers in industry to assess and compare alternative products and approaches. While similar tools are being developed for the operational phase, this tool will be focussed on the product development stage. Unlike existing infrastructure sustainability assessment tools, it will be limited to the road and rail product sector and this will allow it to be tailored specifically to the assessment needs of these products, and include well defined methodologies which will assist in quantification and comparison of results. Its use will assist in early assessment of emerging products and practices and in this way help in prioritising the most promising technologies at an early stage of development.

Training Platform (WP4)

Researchers will be provided with a high level four year training programme which will be international, multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral. The training will be local and network-wide and will consist in a basic and advanced scientific courses together with complementary training courses, workshops, technical visits, research periods abroad, summer schools, conferences and a final symposium. Each course will be coordinated by the consortium and will be held at the premises of the different partners. The Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (NTEC) at The University of Nottingham will lead the shaping of the training programme which is detailed here.

Management and Communication (WP5 – 6)

The Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (NTEC) at The University of Nottingham will be in charge of the management of the SUP&R ITN (WP5) as well as the dissemination and outreach activites of the consortium (WP6). News and schedule of the network meetings and other network-wide activities are shown here.