EUROPE: Channel Tunnel owner Groupe Eurotunnel has signed a long-term partnership with the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech under which it will fund an academic Chair for an initial five years.

Within a budget of €150 000 per annum from Eurotunnel, the position will combine both academic and research roles in the field of railway transport science, tasked with advancing scientific understanding through the broad study of the railway industry.

The scope of the role includes operations, traffic management, safety, environmental sustainability and transport economics, but the primary focus will be the ‘technological evolution of rail infrastructure’, life-cycle analysis, ‘the conception of railway intelligence systems’, and the understanding of massification.

The first study projects are expected to begin in September this year, using workshops and test facilities on Eurotunnel premises.

‘Whilst Ecole des Ponts ParisTech is already recognised for its engineering expertise in construction and infrastructure management, this relationship will ensure that the school remains perfectly positioned for the major challenges to come in terms of innovative technologies and organisational change’, commented Armel de la Bourdonnaye, Director of the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, of which ParisTech is part.