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ICAR04 - Roads, Railways and Airports



The Group of Roads, Railways and Airports of the Department of Engineering (University of Palermo, Italy) promotes both scientific and teaching activities with a focus on the theories and techniques for the conception, design, construction, maintenance, management and control of transportation infrastructures.

The fields of scientific interest concern, in more detail:i) the functional design of road geometry, the sustainability of road infrastructures and their impact on the natural and built environment; ii) the analysis of the risk of road traffic crashes;iii) the materials and construction systems for road or railway track and track bed, and for road and airport pavements; iv) the life cycle assessment of road infrastructure, the reuse of excavated soils and improper land treatment, the techniques of recycling of bituminous offcuts and plastic material waste, disused tyres, non-polluting industrial waste; v) the quality of the works, the management and safety of construction sites.

The active research subjects are:

  • the functional design of roads and intersections, and road design consistency;
  • the constitutive modeling of bitumen and bituminous mixtures, the characterization of bituminous mixtures with polymeric materials;
  • the characterization and formulation of porous asphalt, fatigue behavior of bituminous mixtures, FEM modelling of mechanical behavior of bituminous mixtures;
  • the design of road pavements and their performance indicators;
  • road safety audits and crash analysis, development of safety performance functionsand emission modeling;
  • calibration of traffic micro-simulation models to assess the operational and safety performance of road infrastructures;
  • the development of noise and vibration assessment models for railway infrastructures;
  • the advanced characterization of soils and masses, and the reuse of clayey materials with lime treatment;
  • the Pavement Management System (before & after analysis,genetic algorithms, LCCA).

The Group manages the research activities of the Laboratory Roads, Railways and Airports, upgraded over the years and equipped not only for the physical-mechanical characterization of materials, but also for advanced technological research. The Lab performs activities for third parties which includes technological research on innovative and environmentally sustainable road, railway and airport materials, geotechnical tests for General Contractors of road and railway works, and road tests and surveys for managing bodies and owners of roads.

Recent research projects:

  • 2019–2022SMARTECOINFRA– “Smart and Sustainable solutions for improving management and maintainance of italian transport infrastructures” – “RITA LEVI MONTALCINI FELLOWSHIP – Ministerodell’Universita’ e dell Ricerca - Coordinator e PI @UNIPA
  • 2018 – 2020PAVEMENTLCM – (570,000€) – “A complete package for life cycle management of green asphalts” - Funded by CEDR TRANSNATIONAL ROAD RESEARCH PROGRAMME under the call 2017. Coordinator e PI @ UNIPA -
  • 2018 – 2020CRABforOERE – (670,000€) – “Cold Recycled Asphalt Bases for Optimised Energy &Ressource Efficient Pavements Funded by CEDR TRANSNATIONAL ROAD RESEARCH PROGRAMME under the call 2017. Subcontracted from University of Nottingham - Principal Investigator - PI UNIPA -
  • 2017 – 2021SMARTI ETN – (3,990,597 €) – “Sustainable Multi-functional Automated Resilient Transport Infrastructure European Training Network” funded by H2020 within the Initial Training Network – Coordinator of the overall Programme and PI at University of Nottingham (PI @ UNIPA Gaetano Di Mino) -
  • 2013 – 2017 EU FP7 – Marie Curie SUP&R ITN’ - SUstainable Pavement and Railway
  • 2013 – 2015 EU CEDR - ‘ALLBACK2PAVE’ - All Back to Pavements

Keywords: ICAR/04, roads, railways, airports.