Abertis has signed an agreement with the Escola Politécnica of the University of São Paulo (EPUSP) to create the Abertis-USP Academic Chair. This means Brazil becomes the fifth country to join the Abertis network of Academic Chairs, which also includes Spain, France, Puerto Rico and Chile. The ceremony, which took place in São Paulo, was attended by Francisco Reynés, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Abertis; David Díaz, Chief Executive Officer of Arteris, Abertis’ subsidiary in Brazil; and Liedi Légi Bariani Bernucci, deputy-director of the Escola Politécnica of the USP and director of the new Chair Abertis-USP. Also in attendance were Sergi Loughney, Abertis’ Director of Institutional Relations and Director of the Abertis Foundation; and José Roberto Castilho Piqueira, Director of the Polytechnic School of the USP.
An update was provided at the gathering on the first edition of the Abertis – USP Academic Chair Prizes for Best Doctoral Thesis and Best Master Thesis in the field of transport infrastructures research. Uptake for this first edition was impressive, with 32 theses presented. The winning thesis will also compete for the 5th Abertis International Prize for Infrastructure Research, an annual competition featuring the best projects from Spain, France, Chile, Puerto Rico and, for the first time on this occasion, Brazil. The winner of the 5th International Prize will be announced next October in Santiago de Chile.
The new Chair Abertis-USP, like its counterparts in Spain, France, Puerto Rico and Chile, will be focused on training and research in the field of transportation infrastructure management for students, researchers, professors and professionals working in this field. PhD. Professor in Transport Engineering and deputy-director of the ESUSP, Liedi Légi Bariani Bernucci, is the Director of the new Academic Chair.
The Chair Abertis-USP is based in the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo in the Department of Transport Engineering, one of the four divisions of the School of Civil Engineering. The Department is responsible for the programme of transport engineering and logistics systems postgraduate studies. Its principal areas of research are logistics, transport and distribution systems, transport management and operations, and urban transport.
Aware of the academic world’s pivotal role in achieving social and economic progress, Abertis has been fostering training, research and the transfer of knowledge between University and Company since 2003.
The International Network of Abertis Academic Chairs extends to Spain, France, Puerto Rico, Chile and Brazil, and works in partnership with the following universities: Universitat Politècnica of Catalunya-BarcelonaTech (Barcelona, Spain); IFSTTAR, École des Ponts–ParisTech, Fondation des Ponts, (Paris, France); University of Puerto Rico (San Juan, Puerto Rico); University of Chile (Santiago, Chile); and University of São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil).
Abertis has been present in Brazil since 2012 via its subsidiary Arteris, one of the country’s leading toll road operators. The company manages 3,250 kilometres of toll roads in Brazil across nine concessions. Brazil was Abertis’ third largest market at year-end 2015 in terms of EBITDA. Arteris’ 6,000 employees work to ensure that the very highest quality and safety standards are maintained on its network, with respect for the environment and local communities. In the field of safe driving awareness, a noteworthy undertaking is the School Project, which benefited 250,000 students in 2015. Campaigns have also been launched aimed at specific groups such as professional drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists. For the last two years it has also been organizing Arteris Safety Month, which features a wide-ranging programme of initiatives.