STA in Action


15 Oct STA Announces the Awardees of the 2018 Annual Innovation Awards

STA has yet again the pleasure to announce the Awardees of the of the 2018 Annual Innovation Awards!

The 2018 STA Best Innovation Project has been awarded to : Sustainable Pavements & Railways Initial Training Network (SUP&R ITN) – Award collected by Dr Davide Lo Presti, Principal Research Fellow, University of Nottingham.

SUP&R ITN is a training-through-research programme that has educated a new generation of multi-disciplinary professionals capable of conceiving, planning and executing sustainable road and railway infrastructures.
SUP&R ITN ran from October 2013 to October 2017 and was funded entirely by the European Commission through a Marie Curie Action. The University of Nottingham led this effort, a first of its kind, involving partners between universities, research centres and companies/industries, from five EU countries (UK, Italy, France, Ireland and Spain) and the USA.
The results obtained through the programme are of interest to engineering consultancy, contractors, road and railway authorities and policy makers supporting sustainable development in civil engineering. Most of the technologies developed and researched have proved to be worthy of being further developed and are already making an impact. For example, the bio-asphalt investigated within the ESR2 are now being validated in full scale within the BioRePavation project that further developed the technology relying on the initial results obtained within the SUP&R ITN project.

The 2018 STA Best Innovation Solution has been awarded to : Apertum, Real-Time Guide to Step-Free Mobility – Award collected by Mr Francisco Aletta, Innovation Manager, Etelätär Innovation OÜ.

Apertum is a free transport mobility app offering real-time accessible routeing to vulnerable and non-conventional public transport users: disabled, elderly, pregnant women, baby strollers and travellers with heavy baggage.
Apertum builds dynamic ‘bridges’ (step-free routes) that avoid non-accessible metro, light rail and tram stations/stops for the vulnerable and non-conventional population segment. The app combines i) on-site assessments ii) Open Data from the City transport operators, and iii) real-time feedback from users.
Already rolled out in Madrid (Spain), the 8th largest public transport network in the world, Apertum has also been awarded the prestigious EU Seal of Excellence, which recognises high-quality innovations and recommends them to investors.


The 2017 Person of the Year (ex-aequo) are Dr Aniceto Zaragoza, Director General, Spanish Cement Association (OFICEMEN) and Mr Dirk Van Loo, CEO, COPRO.


Dr Zaragoza, CEO at the Spanish Cement Assoaiction (OFICEMEN), is a PhD Civil Engineer (Polytechnic University of Madrid, UPM). He also holds Degrees in Economics and Business Administration, in History and in Political Sciences. He is also a Transport Professor at UPM.

Furthermore Dr Zaragoza is currently the Vice-President of the Industrial Affairs Committee of the Spanish Employers’ Confederation (CEOE), General Secretary of IECA (Spanish Cement Institute), Secretary of the Spanish Labour Foundation for Cement and the Environment (CEMA), President of Spanish Concrete Technology Platform, and President of the Transport Committee of the Spanish Engineering Institute.
His past experience includes having served as President of EUPAVE (European Concrete Paving Association), President of the Infrastructures and Service Forum, Vice-president of the Spanish Co2 Technology Platform, President of IVIA (Ibero-American Road Institute), President of the ERF (European Road Federation), President of ITS Spain and General Manager of the Spanish Road Association.

Among his distinctions, he owns the Gold Medal of the Spanish Road Association and the Medal of Professional Merit from the Spanish Civil Engineering Institute.



Mr Van Loo was appointed CEO at COPRO in April 2016. He holds 23+ years of experience in the construction and concrete sector andthumbnail_Dirk_Van_Loo_R
previously served as COPRO’s technical director since 2013.
Founded in 1983, COPRO’s objective is to organise, coordinate, harmonise and encourage quality in the construction sector by controlling quality on construction products as on their integration on sites.
Importantly, COPRO has been appointed the sector-based body for Belgium’s BENOR certification in a range of construction products for the road network, together with the infrastructure sector, such as:
• Mastic asphalt
• Road concrete
• Bitumen for road construction
• Asphalt fillers
• Rubber seals
• Hydraulically bound mixtures
Steered by Mr Van Loo’s efforts, the BENOR voluntary quality mark guarantees that the certified product, process or service meets well-defined quality requirements and offers users to have confidence in the conformity of the product, process or service.