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Third "Abertis Chairs" italian edition: joining university of Padua to enhance research on sustainable mobility
30 January 2024

The third Italian edition of “Abertis Chairs” award is opening, this recognition was established by Abertis Group, Abertis Foundation and A4 Holding, in collaboration with the University of Padua and its management is entrusted to the Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Department (ICEA) of the Paduan Athenaeum, which aims to highlight the most innovative research regarding sustainable mobility, also through an economic reward, again this year.

Coordinated in Italy by Prof. Riccardo Rossi, tenured professor of Transportation Engineering at University of Padua, the award aims to promote university education and research about sustainable mobility by enhancing doctoral thesis, papers or master’s degree projects of a research nature or other studies developed in the academic environment, that deal with topics pertaining to this theme, transport safety, and paying particular attention also to economic, social and environmental effects of mobility and the impact of new technologies.  

The “Abertis Chairs” award is an international operational model promoted by Abertis Group, one of the main international groups involved in motorway and mobility services management, and by the Abertis Foundation, a non-profit organization whose goals include the development, encouragement, and promotion of every type of activity linked to education and research about private sector participation to the economic and social growth of territories in which it is active. 

For over 20 years now, these two entities have organized the International Abertis Chair Network, which today involves seven universities in as many countries where Abertis Group operates: Spain (UPM-Universidad Politécnica in Madrid), France (École des Ponts-ParisTech, Fondation des Ponts in Paris), Chile (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago), Brazil (Universidad de Sao Paulo) and Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México in Mexico City).

The purpose of the aforementioned Network is to increase the connection between universities and businesses and to empower the training in mobility and transportation management, research, innovation and development in the areas of planning (analysis of the demand for mobility of people and goods) and operation of land transport systems (road in particular), in transport economics (investments costs, maintenance and infrastructure management costs, concessions, rate policies), in the application of new technologies (ITS) and in road safety, all with a view to social, economic and environmental sustainability. 

The contest is open to all undergraduate students who in 2023 have attended to a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree program at an Italian University. Presented works, of which the student must be the only author, have to be discussed or presented during the year 2023 (the date must be indicated in the research paper).

The interested parties can submit their candidacy by March 15, 2024, using the methods indicated on the website or directly  requestable to the Secretary of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering via email at the following email address:, including in the email subject the phrase “Notice of competition for the Abertis Chairs Award”. 

The selective committee of the Italian prize will be composed of three professors at the University of Padua who have a solid expertise in the sustainable mobility area, and of three other managers designated by A4 Holding. The Abertis award for the research on sustainable mobility will be 7,000 euros, which will be shared between the winners of two categories: doctoral thesis (5.000 euros) and other research (2.000 euros). 

Italian winners will then compete for the international honorary award “Abertis Chairs”, along with the winners of the individual countries affiliated with the International Network of Abertis Chairs. (Further information at the website 

“We have reached the third Italian edition of this significant project conceived by the Abertis Goup and its Foundation,” commented Gonzalo Alcade Rodriguez, chairman of A4 Holding “which allows us to directly support and enhance the talents of Italian research in sustainable transport and mobility. Therefor we continue the path traced so far, especially to seal the important relationship established with the system of Italian and international universities, which are always ready to seek cutting-edge solutions for the new frontiers of mobility that is increasingly safe, sustainable, and responsible, not only on highways”.

“The award, now in its third year in Italy and following the success of the past edition which saw a significant number of candidates participating from various Italian universities, still represents an important opportunity to strengthen the bond between the academic world and the transportation economic sector. One of the objectives of the initiative, which mirrors similar ones in other countries that are part of the Abertis Chairs network, is to provide support and acknowledge the operational implications of research in the field of mobility and transportation from a perspective harmonious with the theme of sustainability in its various connotation.” adds Professor Riccardo Rossi, full professor of Transportation Engineering at the University of Padua.