The concept behind the Senior Researchers Competition is to have an award celebrating excellence in transport related research. It is open for leading transport researchers engaged with EU-funded projects who can demonstrate proven impacts in their field. The competition provides a platform to disseminate knowledge and results from innovation and/or research projects in Transport, promoting future synergies and further development of pioneering ideas, in line with the strategic objectives of the TRA stakeholders.

The Senior Researchers Competition acts as a showcase for some of the best EU-funded innovation and research, and encourages the identification of current and future leaders in their field. The competition was promoted through the stakeholders in the consortium, through national contact points and through targeted contact coordinators and participants in EU-funded transport projects. Participants could register for the competition either directly via the TRA VISIONS website or via the TRA 2024 conference entry portal. From this 2024 edition, the authors of the papers submitted to the TRA Conference 2024 were also inducted into the Senior Researcher Competition.

The evaluation was a three-stage process. Firstly, all entries were reviewed for content, eligibility, and relevance to produce a long list. All entries which were selected for the long list were then invited to submit additional information, an impact statement about their research and a brief CV. These submissions were assessed by at least two independent, subject expert evaluators against the following selection criteria: (i) amount and proportion of EU funding; (ii) impact of research on national, EU and global levels; (iii) relevance to transport and (iv) research track record of entrants. A shortlist of four entrants was produced for each transport mode (Road, Rail, Air, Waterborne and Cross modality). The winners were chosen by an expert panel at a selection workshop held at the European Commission in Brussels on February 20th, 2024. The panel consisted of transportation experts and stakeholders, as well as representatives from the EC and academia.


The TRA VISIONS 2024 winners were awarded during the TRA 2024 closing ceremony on 18th of April in Dublin. The book was prepared by the TRA 2024 consortium and was designed and directed by Ms. Micol Biscotto, project manager at Deep Blue ltd, Mr. Alessandro Tedeschi Gallo, Mr. Carlo Abate, consultant and Ms. Chiara Muccitelli, graphic designer at the same company and Mr. George Smyrnakis, Secretary General of WEGEMT with the support of Ina Schlinger (BALance Technology Consultig GmbH).

Road Award Winners


Gianpiero Mastinu

Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

Future roundabouts relying on 5G, edge computing and artificial intelligence

Short listed

Yentl Swolfs

KU Leuven (Belgium)

Fibre-hybrid composites with a better balance in performance

Henriette Cornet

UITP (Belgium)

SHOWing the way: From Research to Real-World Impact of Automated Mobility

Ronald Jorna

Moveco advies (Netherlands)

MegaBITS: Greening Urban Mobility through Smart Cycling

Rail Award Winners


Francesco Flammini

Mälardalen University (Sweden)

Roadmaps for A.I. Integration in the Rail Sector

Short listed

Patrick Seeßle

DB Cargo AG (Germany)

Digital Automatic Coupling as an Enabler for Rail Freight Innovations

Salvatore Danilo Lovino

Hitachi Rail (Italy)

On-Board Train Integrity: From the concept to the field testing

Waterborne Award Winners


Appostolos Papanikolaou

National Technical University of Athens (Greece)

The ORCELLE project: Implementation of wing sails to deep sea cargo transport

Short listed

Weichao Shi

Newcastle University (United Kingdom)

Development of Energy Efficient Solutions for Hydrogen Powered Vessels: RESHIP project

Jonathan Lucas Baake

Flanders Make (Belgium)

A cost modeling framework for modular battery energy storage systems

Michele Acciaro

Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)

Sustainable and greenhouse-gas-neutral initiatives within European Ports: Insights from the MAGPIE Project.

Airborne Award Winners


Helmut Kühnelt

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (Austria)

Design and development of electrical energy storage technologies for climate-neutral air transport

Short listed

Soledad Le Clainche Martínez

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain)

Fluid Mechanics

Pietro Aricò

"La Sapienza" Università di Roma (Italy)

Neurophysiological human factors assessment for an enhanced human-machine interaction in aviation domain

Gianluca Borghini

"La Sapienza" Università di Roma (Italy)

Innovative methodology for operators' training, mental states and teamwork assessment using neurophysiological measures

Cross modality Award Winners


Paola Cossu

FIT Consulting (Italy)

Data-driven and Dynamic Land Use for Physical Internet-led Urban Logistics and Planning

Short listed

Margarida Coelho

University of Aveiro (Portugal)

Green Mobility for Small-Medium Ports: a GHG Emissions Web Calculator

Margarita Kostovasili

ICCS (Greece)

Integrated Passenger and Freight Transport: Seamless Door-to-door Mobility and Optimal Use of Resources

TRA 2024 award ceremony