20 – The TRL PhD Day 2017

Hi crew,
Today I want to share with you the fantastic experience that I had a couple of weeks ago at TRL ( for the PhD Day 2017 (19th July 2017). The event was meant to bring together PhD students that collaborate with TRL in their projects, giving them the opportunity to meet, and share their experience and ideas. It was the first edition of the event and it was my pleasure and honour to be part of it, having the possibility to introduce my research and experience with other PhD students.

In total, eleven students with a couple of supervisors attended the event organised by the TRL Academy. Dr Alan Stevens Chief Scientist and Research Director in the Transportation Division at TRL, Dr Nick Reed the Academy Director, and Dr Helen Viner Chief Scientist Research Director in the Infrastructure Division at TRL presented and directed the operations throughout the day. The PhD Day meant to be a chance for PhD students to share ideas with their colleagues working on diffe…

19 - The UoN Open Day 2017

Hi crew,
I know, it was not a long time ago when I wrote my last post on the blog but things here in Nottingham happen quite fast and today I have a new story to tell you about: a few weeks ago I worked as ‘Demonstrator’ in the laboratories of the Department of Civil Engineering, at the Open Day 2017 at the University of Nottingham.
Open Days are events that are really important for the hosting institutions and for its guests in England. Basically, at Open Days in Nottingham, but in the UK in general, students from the high schools come to visit the university with their parents and make a choice regarding continuing their studies and their future work career. They have the possibility to visit the laboratories, classes, experience all the facilities that the university offers, chat with current students, and talk with their future professors. Everything must be carefully organised and planned because the event is basically as an advert for the institutions and the city itself, and f…

18 - The ESREL 2017 Conference

Hi crew,
I hope you are fine maybe enjoying the sun at the seaside or travelling around the world for holidays.
Today my post is about the ESREL Conference 2017. In fact, a few weeks ago, me and all the other TRUSS ITN ESRs attended and presented our work at the 27th edition of ESREL. ESREL is the European Safety and Reliability Conference (I know, the acronym does not match but this is what they claim ESREL means on the website of the conference…) organised by ESRA (the European Safety and Reliability Association) in collaboration with the University of Ljubljana. The event, hosted at the Hotel Gran Bernardin in Portoroz (Slovenia), was huge with attendees from all over the world and with different backgrounds but that all care about reducing uncertainties in assessing safety and reliability of systems with applications to a number of different fields. It was the opportunity for engineers, international experts, managers, and academics to share with each other experience and discuss…

17 - Tutorial: plot graphs using R

Hi crew,
Ready for a new post?
Today, as I promised, I want to introduce you to plot graphs using R. R is a software that offers a large variety of solutions for plotting beautiful and fully customizable graphs and is the software that I use for my data analysis in my project.
Let’s start then this brief tutorial. The dataset I will use is actually completely random, but of course, you can use any other you want.
#this is a comment in R #let’s start assigning values to our ‘x’ and ‘y’
Data <- data.frame("X" = c(0.25, 1.85, 2.35, 2.76, 3.85, 4.55, 5.25, 6, 6.25, 7, 8.25), "Y" = c(0.35, 1.95, 2.28, 2.68, 3.97, 4.5, 4.9, 5.85, 6.48, 7.01, 8.15))
Another way to do that can be:
x <- c(0.25, 1.85, 2.35, 2.76, 3.85, 4.55, 5.25, 6, 6.25, 7, 8.25) # assigns a vector to the variable ‘X’ y <- c(0.35, 1.95, 2.28, 2.68, 3.97, 4.5, 4.9, 5.85, 6.48, 7.01, 8.15) # assigns a vector to the variable ‘Y’ Data <- data.frame("X" = x, "Y" = y) #create…

16 - 1st TRUSS ITN Workshop (24th May 2017, Lloyd's Register, London)

Hi crew, I hope you are doing great!
After this long weekend in England, here I am with a new post for my blog. Today I want to share with you the amazing experience of attending the 1st TRUSS ITN Workshop (24th May 2017, London).
Honestly, it was a success. International experts with different backgrounds joined the event and introduced their perspective on the topic of risk assessment and associated decision-making process related to structural safety and management of infrastructure. It was another chance for all the ESRs to learn from top managers, engineers, researchers, and professors in the field. A chance to discuss innovative methods and solutions developed nowadays in industry and academia to tackle the latest challenges in engineering. A chance to meet old and new friends and start collaboration on common concerns.
A beautiful day spent in a magnificent venue as the offices of Lloyd’s Register.
Please, for more information about this and next events organized by TRUSS, do not for…

15 - TIS Congress 2017 & Pavement LCA 2017

Hello crew!
How are you doing? I hope you had a wonderful Easter break with your family and friends.
Today, I have great news for you. I am just back from Italy where I spent my Easter break with my girlfriend and my relatives and attended my first International Conference on behalf of TRUSS ITN. The event was the 1st International Congress on Transport Infrastructures & Systems (TIS) 2017 organized in Rome (Italy) by the AIIT (Italian Association of Transport Engineers) in collaboration with many public and private international sponsors. It was great, and it was attended by experts from all over the world. For me, it was the opportunity for introducing the initial findings of my study, receiving their comments and suggestions about the current work and future development of the project. I presented my work related to road asset management in the Session 17 of the congress. The title of the work presented in Rome is: “A big data approach to assess the influence of road pavement …

14 - Seminar: Optimization of Traffic Signal Control using Machine Learning

Hi crew,
Are you alright?
Today I want to talk with you one more time about Machine Learning (ML). In fact, last week I attended an interesting seminar about possible applications of these techniques. The seminar has been given by the TRL Academy, here in TRL, and for me, it was a good opportunity to introduce myself, my project, and to share ideas about possible optimization algorithms and techniques, for a topic which is completely new for road asset management. In my previous posts, I showed you how ML works, giving particular attention to Artificial Neural Networks and Random Forests. As I already mentioned, these techniques are used nowadays in a number of applications in Science, and actually, also lots of apps installed on our mobiles use similar methods to make our life easier. In fact, based on the ability of these techniques to recognize patterns in large datasets, weather forecasts, banks, social media, among many others, use ML to improve precision and reliability of the …