3 Nov 2022

The Abertis-Chair awards the 11th International Prize in Puerto Rico

The Abertis-Chair awards the 11th International Prize in Puerto Rico

  • The winner of the first Transport Infrastructure Management Research Award was Dr Fernando Romero from Spain, for his work focused on better understanding the different GTD methodologies applied to mobility.
  • In the Road Safety category, the first prize was jointly awarded to Dr Javier Pérez from Spain for his research focused on studying active safety systems and to Sandy Bolufé from Chile for her work on the design and evaluation of cooperative vehicular safety systems based on algorithms.
  • The International Network of Abertis Chairs recognises the best research work in Spain, France, Italy, Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Puerto Rico. The international award ceremony is held in a different country each year, and on this occasion, it took place in Puerto Rico.


Madrid, 3 November 2022

The Abertis Chair has presented its 11th International Infrastructure Management and Road Safety Award to the best university research work among the member countries of the International Network of the chairs and the best local work in Puerto Rico. These distinctions identify the best research work presented by masters and PhD students from various universities in Spain, France, Italy, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The international winners are selected among the winners from each country at a ceremony held in a different country each year. On this occasion, it took place in Puerto Rico. 

During the ceremony, held at the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan, the 11th International Infrastructure Management Award was presented to the Spaniard Dr Fernando Romero for his doctoral thesis, Demand management measures in suburban areas with a toll highway alternative: impact on travel choices, which aims to better understand how different GTD (Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing) strategies affect mobility in suburban environments where there are competing alternatives of free and toll roads. In the Road Safety category, the first prize was awarded to the Spaniard Dr Javier Pérez for his thesis Development and implementation of active safety systems in vehicles using spiking neutral networks, a project focused on the field of vehicle dynamics, concentrating the study on active safety systems, and the Chilean Sandy Bolufé for her thesis "Design and evaluation of adaptative beaconing algorithms for cooperative vehicular safety systems", based on the use of algorithms to incorporate cooperative safety systems.

During the event, Puerto Rican Kettsy García Santiago, an engineer and graduate of the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico (UPPR), was also recognised for her research work entitled "1D and 2D Hydraulic Modeling to Estimate Bridge Scour: A Case Study". García Santiago is the first UPPR student to receive this award.

Participating in the presentation of the Abertis Chair International Award were the CEO of the Abertis Group, José Aljaro, the international coordinator of the Network of Chairs, José Manuel Vassallo, the governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, the president of the University of Puerto Rico, Luis A. Ferrao, the director of the Highways and Transportation Authority, Edwin E. González Montalvo, the Spanish Ambassador to the United States, Santiago Cabanas and the Consul General of Spain in Puerto Rico, Josep María Bosch Bessa. On the academic side, representatives from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez participated, through the director of the Abertis Puerto Rico Chair, Benjamín Colucci and representatives from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. 

According to José Aljaro on the new vision of the Abertis Chair towards 2023, "we need to find innovative solutions to enable mobility to allow us to maintain a balance in the future between economic development, the safety of citizens and the protection of the environment in which we live".

Movement towards innovation

For a decade, Abertis has brought the university closer to professional practice, encouraging this research to continue exploring new ways to innovate in the global highway management industry.

For this reason, during the Abertis Chairs awards ceremony, the general manager of Abertis Mobility Services (AMS), Christian Barrientos, presented the lecture "Innovation in Mobility", in which he shared data on the Group's vision in terms of technology, as well as various projects they carry out in multiple countries to stay at the forefront of innovation.

AMS, together with various units of the Abertis Group, has been a pioneer in technological projects such as the case of Puerto Rico, where, together with Metropistas, they implemented the group's first motorway to become 100% toll barrier-free with the free flow system. This project, completed on PR-22 in 2016, reduces the risk of accidents by maintaining a steady flow on a high-capacity road.


About the International Network of Abertis Academic Chairs

Aware of the importance of working with the academic world to ensure social and economic progress, Abertis promotes training, research and knowledge transfer between Universities and Corporations. Through the International Network of Abertis Chairs, the generation and dissemination of new knowledge and innovations in the various fields of activity is encouraged, placing them at the service of society as a whole and the technical and educational community and caring for and helping the talent that universities are capable of bringing to the surface and channelling.

The Abertis Chairs network is made up of those established in Spain (Technical University of Madrid), France (École des Ponts-ParisTech), Puerto Rico (University of Puerto Rico), Chile (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) and Brazil (University of São Paulo). And, for the past year, México, with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and Italy, with the University of Padua, have joined the network.