universidade lusófona

Research

Research Projects

be-READY – Resilient road pavements for sustainability

  • Promoter Entity COFAC – Lusófona University
  • Coordinator Vítor Antunes
  • Funding Institution EEA Grants
  • Partners Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC), Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP), Construções JJR & Filhos (JJR), Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) and Viken County
  • Period of funding 2022-2023
  • Website no information

The Project “be-READY – REsilient roAD pavements for sustainabilitY” of Professor Vítor Antunes from the Civil Engineering Department of Lusófona University was approved.
Aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and in the context of the European Green Deal, transportation infrastructures are fundamental for global development, promoting socio-economic opportunities and enabling economies to operate more competitively and with more resilience against adverse conditions. The transportation infrastructure sector, particularly in its road construction and maintenance activities, has contributed significantly to the 34% of construction and demolition waste produced, considering the total waste generated worldwide. Bituminous roads represent more than 80% of the European road network, which presently integrates around 950 billion tonnes of bituminous materials, being this a 100% recyclable material.

Pavement asset management actors have been pursuing further sustainable solutions and practices to adopt in their construction and maintenance actions. The general approach for improving sustainability consists of reducing energy consumed, emissions generated, and the amounts of virgin material used. It means implementing preventive maintenance, lowering the bituminous mixture heat and adopting other eco-friendly pavement technologies.
The research group at ULHT has been involved in pavement research for the last nine years. On the other hand, the research group at OsloMet is preparing a master course on sustainable pavement and has been pursuing an active role in supporting the Viken County in a project to build a near to zero-emission road section and green public procurement.
Therefore, in collaboration with IST, LNEC, IP and JJR, the objectives of the proposal are: (i) update the existent specifications for the use of construction and demolition waste in road construction and maintenance; (ii) prepare a course on sustainable road design and construction, taking into consideration different climatic conditions and the extreme events (climate change and high loads); (iii) evaluate the performance of recycled pavements during the life-cycle by monitoring real road sections; (iv) calibrate models by performing Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) of sustainable and resilient pavement solutions considering the long-term performance of pavements and costs related to energy needs and greenhouse gas emissions.

App4SHM – Smartphone application for structural health monitoring

  • Period of funding 2021

Development of a smartphone application to monitor the structural health of buildings and special structures (like bridges) after catastrophic events.

This application will be able to interrogate the phone’s internal sensors, or other paired devices via Bluetooth or USB, and to analyze and compare the data collected through intelligent algorithms properly trained in order to detect damage and quantify the structural risk in real time. As it is a mobile application with access to a server, it is possible to create a networked system of several nodes through the simultaneous use of several smartphones.

This is a R&D project funded by COFAC and involving students and professors from ULHT’s civil engineering and computer science courses: Eloi Figueiredo, Hugo Rebelo, Ionut Moldovan, Luís Silva, Nuno Penim, Paulo Oliveira, Pedro Alves.

IP3 – Development of solutions to be adopted in the expansion of the IP3 rigid pavement

  • Funding Institution IP – Infraestruturas de Portugal
  • Coordinator Luís Quaresma (ULHT)
  • Period of funding 2021

BuildingAdapt – Pioneer study to analyze the resilience of university buildings to climate change: ULHT campus

  • Funding Institution COFAC
  • Coordinator Eloi Figueiredo (ULHT)
  • Period of funding March 2021 to March 2023

Human beings spend more than 90% of their time inside buildings. Therefore, the characteristics of the indoor climate of these spaces have a substantial influence on the health and comfort of its occupants. Taking into account the expected changes in the outdoor climate in the near future, which invariably will affect the quality of the indoor climate, timely and considerate preparation of our buildings is necessary to minimize the consequences of climate change to our everyday life.

In order to anticipate the problems arising from this situation and since these changes can jeopardize the health and comfort of the occupants of the buildings, this project aims to study a set of measures that can be adapted by the ULHT buildings in order to be more resilient to climate change and, therefore, ensure an adequate indoor climate.

To this end, a non-destructive methodology will be used based on a two phased approach:

  • Monitoring campaigns to determine the indoor temperature and relative humidity of the case studies, which will feed phase 2 with real-life measurements;
  • Computational modelling of the case-studies and development of hygrothermal analyses, which take into account measurements from phase 1 and that will allow to thoroughly analyse the proposed measures, thus choosing the most appropriate ones to minimize the effects of climate change in the indoor climate of the case studies.”

QUANTI – Damage quantification in composite structures using artificial intelligence and numerical simulations

  • Promoter Entity IST-UL, ULHT, UC, UNESP, UFMG and UFPA
  • Coordinator Nuno Maia (IST-UL) and Samuel da Silva (UNESP)
  • Funding Institution FCT/CAPES (2019.00164.CBM)
  • Coordinators per institution involved Nuno Maia (IST-UL), Elói Figueiredo (ULHT), João Pedro Martins (UC), Samuel da Silva (UNESP), Carlos Cimini Junior (UFMG), João Weyl (UFPA).
  • Period of funding March 2021 to March 2023

ClimaBridge – Impact of climate change on the structural health of bridges

  • Promoter Entity COFAC – Lusófona University
  • Coordinator Eloi Figueiredo (ULHT)
  • Funding Institution EEA Grants
  • Partners Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet), Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) and Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC)
  • Period of funding March 2021 to March 2023
  • Website climabridge.ulusofona.pt

The goal of this project is to develop a systematic framework for the probabilistic assessment of the impact of climate change on the structural health of existing bridges, by coupling climate risk evaluation and health monitoring techniques. Basically, we intend to integrate existing procedures for the assessment of climate change threats into the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of bridges, leading to a climate-aware SHM framework.

Additionally, this project intends to present the latest technological updates on the SHM of bridges to the scientific community, technical staff of consultancy companies and public entities in Portugal and Norway, as well as to promote technological advances and business initiatives around the life-cycle management of bridges.
Various activities are planned under the ClimaBridge Project, namely: two three-day workshops (Lisbon and Oslo), a joint course on SHM, long-term monitoring of an existing railway bridge, several scientific meetings and a one-day conference.

Geodynamics and vibrations due to trains

  • Promoter Entity COFAC – Lusófona University
  • Coordinator Nuno Santos (ULP)
  • Funding Institution EEA Grants
  • Partners NGI (Norwegian Geotechnical Institute)
  • Period of funding March 2021 to March 2023

A project dedicated to the themes of geodynamics and vibrations induced by rail traffic and financed by the Fund for Bilateral Relations – EEA Grants. The initiative is promoted by the Lusófona University and has the participation of a Norwegian partner (NGI). It is coordinated by Nuno Santos.

For more information, visit the EEA Grants Portugal.

Reconhecer Project

  • Coordenador Elói Figueiredo (ULHT) e Luís Oliveira Santos (LNEC)
  • Starting April 2019

The Barcelos City Council intends to inventory special structures like bridges, viaducts, tunnels, overpasses, underpasses, and water passages existing in the municipality, which are under its direct responsibility. For this purpose, the municipal executive approved the implementation of the “Reconhecer” project, developed by the Lusófona University and the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LNEC), through a protocol involving the three entities. According to the document, this project also intends to support the definition of a strategy for monitoring the condition of those special structures, to facilitate the budgeting of their maintenance and, ultimately, to promote permanent protection of human lives.

Ravago – Utilização de fibras INNOCELL FG3000 em misturas do tipo Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA)

  • Coordenador Luís Quaresma (ULHT)
  • Starting October 2018

This work aims to evaluate the behavior of Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) type mixtures using cellulose fibers with polyolefin waxes, including the application of these mixtures in an experimental section included in the national road network. The work is financed by the company RAVAGO CHEMICALS SPAIN, SA and includes cooperation with Infraestruturas de Portugal.

 

Research Topics

Structural Health Monitoring of Bridges

The process of implementing a damage identification strategy for existing structures is often referred to as Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). Under that definition, damage is normally defined as changes to the material and/or geometric properties of the structural system, including changes to the boundary conditions and system connectivity, which adversely affect the system’s current or future performance.

Infrastructure’s design and protection against blast loads

The last decades have witnessed a significant increase, not only in accidental explosions, but also in the use of improvised explosive devices in terrorist attacks against civil infrastructure. The occurrence of such an event, within or surrounding a civil infrastructure, may result in the failure of critical load bearing members, with subsequent social disruption and psychological impact on society, as well as high economic and environmental losses.

Sustainable Road Infrastructure Materials and Design

Considering the goals for sustainable development and future, and the opportunities to improve our transportation infrastructures, namely the road infrastructure. This new research area is an evoluation from the “road pavement materials”.

Hygrothermal optimization of buildings considering climate change

The hygrothermal behaviour of historic buildings that house artefacts can be studied through a non-destructive methodology, which enables to assess the impact of climate change in the indoor climate of buildings and, consequently, to find measures to mitigate its negative effects.

Research Collaborations

MATEREO signed a collaboration agreement with the Lusófona University

September 23, 2021

This agreement intends to foster the transfer of scientific knowledge from research to practice in the area of bridge management and to promote the development of research activities between both institutions.

Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) assina protocolo com a Universidade Lusófona

July 8, 2019

This protocol, signed between two reference entities in the business and academic fields, will push into the implementation of program contracts to transit research into practice. The projects include joint training and research actions, consultancy, technical training and provision of specialized technical support in the field of civil engineering applied to transport infrastructure, targeted research at the postgraduate, masters and doctoral levels, access to information and technical documentation – scientific within the scope of common activities, use of experimental means and other laboratory infrastructures at the Lusófona University (ULHT), and holding seminars and workshops, always with special emphasis in areas related to civil engineering. For more information, please click here.

Cooperation Agreement with IfaS and the Trier University of Applied Sciences

University Lusófona (ULHT) has a cooperation agreement with IfaS and the Trier University of Applied Sciences, in Germany, since 2016.

The cooperation aims to development training programs on issues of circular economy, sustainable development and material flow management, as well as the academic exchange of students and Professors, as well as experiences and knowledge on issues of resource economics and the environment.

Professors and representatives of the ULHT participate on the yearly International Circular Economy Week (ICEW) of Rhineland-Palatinate since 2017. The ICEW and the exchange activities between IfaS and the ULHT has served as a platform bringing together like-minded professionals, academia and businesses from all over the world to one unique place on earth – the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld – for activities to showcase, demonstrate and share knowledge on the latest advancements in the application of Circular Economy, the practical means of tackling global economic and technological challenges of energy transition policies towards 100% renewable energy systems, and sustainable resource management (including water, sanitation and waste management strategies) paying special attention to the sustainable business aspect of the initiatives.