Porto, Portugal

With origins dating back to the eighteenth century, the University of Porto (UPORTO) is currently one the most prestigious Higher Education Institutions of Europe. Close to 30 000 students, 2 436 teachers and researchers along with 1 600 administrative staff within its 15 schools and 49 scientific research units, spread across 3 university campuses located in the city of Porto. 

The Faculty of Engineering (FEUP) is the largest faculty of UPORTO, with about 8158 students and 978 teaching staff and researchers across 9 departments. It is in the Asprela Campus, the main university campus in the city of Porto. FEUP is in the heart of Porto Innovation District and is the engine behind the success of The Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto, UPTEC, the winner of the 2013 European Region Stars Award for Smart Growth. 

In the FP7, FEUP was partner and/or coordinator in a total of 48 projects, including as host institution of two ERC Grants (Elastic-Turbulence and BI-DSC) and three Individual Marie Curies: one International Outgoing Fellowhips (GPSMB-PPSplitter) and two International Incoming Fellowships (Micro-BioRheology and COVMAPS). Under Horizon 2020, FEUP is already partner in 31 projects funded (Marine UAS, BRIDGES, ICI-THROUGH, IN2RAIL, HYDRALAB-PLUS, FAME, ANTAREX, HEAT-SHIELD, RISEN, PRINTCR3DIT, LIQUEFACT, PRINT-AID, OPTICON, SERA, SimuSafe, InnoDC, IN2STEMPO , OptiMACS, PROSEU, SPRINT, RE-CITY, IN2TRACK2, RECLAIM, TREAL, LIKE, EuroSea, CHAMELEONS, MOVING TOGETHER, BugWright2, EMPOWER, NEWFRAC) and is the coordinator of 6 other funded projects (SDIN, SmartHELMET, GOTSolar, EUMarineRobots, DelNAM and SED). FEUP is also a third party in the projects ANSWER, EMSODEV, IN2TRACK and mcBEEs. 

Concerning other international funds, since 2014, FEUP has also been very successful in programs such as: EEA Grants (2 funded projects as coordinator and 2 as partner), COST (2 Coordinated actions, 16 actions as Partner), ECHO (2 projects funded as Partner), CEF (1 project funded as Partner), Interreg (1 project funded as Coordinator, 11 projects funded as Partner), ERA-NET (2 projects funded as Coordinator and 9 projects funded as Partner), RFCS (2 projects funded as Partner, FASTCOLD and DESDEMONA) and UCPM (1 project funded as Partner, LODE). FEUP is also helping to turn the northern region of Portugal into a center for innovation. Since 2014, FEUP was Co-financed in over 25 M€ by the European Regional Development Fund, spreading modern, structural change across the north of Portugal, FEUP is demonstrating how active universities in previously poorer regions of Europe can lead the move to smart growth. 

In terms of International University Rankings, and in the NTU Ranking (Taiwan), FEUP’s figures are: Engineering field (Europe/World): 33-34/163-165; Civil Engineering (Europe/World): 9/53; Mechanical Engineering (Europe/World): 22/80; Chemical Engineering (Europe/World): 15-16/83-85. In the Qs Ranking the UPORTO in the Engineering Field (Europe/World) is ranked: 47-48/135. In the Best Global University Ranking, UPORTO in the Engineering Field (Europe/World) is: 34-35/116. 

Specifically, in terms of railways, Faculty of Engineering has a Centre of Competence in Railways, associating the competences of individual researchers, R&D units and interface institutes in the field of railways. The Centre of Competence in Railways strongly cooperates with the main national railway actors, IP, CP, EMEF, NomadTech, Evoleo, Efacec, and Mota-Engil, and multiple international partners. Faculty of Engineering is also coordinating a PhD programme – iRail – Innovation in Railway Systems and Technologies – associating the University of Porto and the University of Minho, from Portugal, and the University of São Paulo, from Brazil.  

UPORTO team in this proposal develops its R&D work with the CONSTRUCT research unit settled at the Civil Engineering Department of FEUP. Research is being developed on the following thematic lines: TL1- New construction materials. Recycling and valorization; TL2- Built historical heritage. Preservation, natural actions and climate change; TL3- Safety assessment and earthquake engineering. Modelling and testing; TL4-Assessment and structural health monitoring (SHM) of energy and transportation infrastructures; TL5- Railway infrastructures; TL6- Efficient and smart construction. CONSTRUCT includes a total of 51 PhD integrated members, collaborating in research activities in those thematic lines, and using laboratories with an overall area larger than 3500m2, accommodating equipment evaluated in more than 5M€. 


Relevant experience from projects or activities related with railways and bridge dynamics:

  • IN2TRACK3 – Research into optimised and future railway infrastructure. Funding Institution: European Commission within the framework of H2020|Shift2Rail JU; Period: January 2021 to December 2023. 
  • IN2TRACK2 – Research into enhanced track and switch and crossing system 2. Funding Institution: European Commission within the framework of H2020|Shift2Rail JU; Period: November 2018 to April 2021. 
  • RISEN – Infrastructure Systems Engineering Network. Funding Institution: European Commission within the framework of H2020|Excellence Science|Marie Curie; Period: April 2016 to March 2020. 
  • IN2RAIL – Innovative Intelligent Rail. Funding institution: European Commission within framework of H2020; Period: May 2015 to April 2018. 
  • CAPACITY4RAIL – Increasing Capacity 4 Rail networks through enhanced infrastructure and optimised operations. Funding Institution: European Commission within the framework of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7); Period: October 2013 to September 2017. 
  • MAXBE – interoperable Monitoring, diagnosis and maintenance strategies for Axle Bearings. Funding Institution: European Commission within the framework of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7); Period: November 2012 to October 2015. 
  • FADLESS – Fatigue damage control and assessment for railway bridges Funding Institution: European Commission within the framework of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS); Period: July 2009 to June 2012.