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Two UK research projects receive EU award
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Can pavements become a source of renewable energy and how to make transport systems resilient to unexpected climate change events? Research that addresses these questions got two UK-based students amongst the six gold medallists in a prestigious EU competition. Rawia El Rashidy from University of Leeds and Nottingham University student Pejman Keikhaei Dehdezi, competed against 350 entries for this year's Young European Arena of Research (YEAR) Award.

Rawia's work focused on designing a reliable way to measure the resilience of transport networks during and after an unexpected climate change event by using characteristics such as redundancy, reliability and mobility. She is currently a PhD research student at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. Pejman looked into how large pavement areas (roads, pedestrian pathways and parking areas) can be used as energy collectors and/or storage. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Nottingham and has so far authored or co-authored five peer-reviewed journal publications and four conference publications.

(more detailed research abstracts further below)

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science presented the six gold medallists their awards. The other winners come from universities in France, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland.

The Young European Arena of Research (YEAR) is an EU-funded competition which gives research students in the field of surface transport the opportunity to showcase their work to leading experts in academia and industry, both online and at the Transport Research Arena Conference. The competition is open to young researchers registered in a college or university from across the European Union, EU Candidate Countries, potential EU Candidate Countries and the European Economic Area.


    The YEAR 2012 website:

    Rawia El Rashidy, University of Leeds, competed in the YEAR competition category Governance of the transport system.

    Research summary:
    Resilience Assignment Framework using System Dynamic and Fuzzy Logic
    This research project focuses on designing a reliable indicator framework to measure the resilience of transport network under unexpected climate change related events. The main advantage of the proposed framework is its ability to consider the effect of network configuration and demand amplification during and after the event by the use of resilience characteristics such as redundancy, reliability and mobility. The framework will be of use to different stakeholders such as decision makers, highway agency and industry in understanding the dynamic nature of resilience under various events. Furthermore, it could be employed as an evaluation tool to gauge transport network performance and highlight weaknesses in the network. The proposed framework will also provide an opportunity to investigate the role of intelligent transport systems in improving the resilience of transport network.

    Pejman Keikhaei Dehdezi, University of Nottingham, competed in the field of Energy, environment and resources.

    Research summary:
    Enhancing Pavements for Thermal Applications
    Renewable energy technologies are likely to become more important as other energy sources become depleted and the cost of power generation using fossil fuels rises. However, in most cases, renewable energy technologies require high initial investments that may deter potential users. Pavements comprise large areas of our infrastructure and include roads, pedestrian pathways and parking areas. In addition, many buildings that have a high heating and/or cooling load are built adjacent to large pavement areas (e.g. airport terminals, shopping malls, factories, warehouses, school buildings, and retail outlets). Therefore, there is a great opportunity to turn pavements into a ubiquitous and inexpensive source of energy by equipping it with fluid-filled pipes. The research aims to optimise a pavement’s materials & structure, experimentally and numerically, in order to serve as a solar energy collector and/or storage where the energy can be delivered to nearby buildings (directly or in conjunction with heat pumps).

    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.

    All amounts expressed in sterling are approximate and will change with exchange rate fluctuations.

    Last update: 23/04/2012  |Top