Rubén M.Cenzano

Chartered Civil Engineer specialised in Transportation

Ingeniero de Caminos especialista en Transporte

Paris (and other European cities) increase the number and size of pedestrian zones

Posted On Thursday, 26 January 2017

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo banned cars from a large section of the River Seine’s quayside last autumn. Now, she’s going to push her pedestrianization measures even further. In autumn 2018, Paris will extend its car-free zone westward by a kilometre, install a guided bus line, and convert some space that’s currently used by cars into a two-way bike path. The openly declared objective: first to cut Paris’ car space by 50%, then ultimately rid central Paris of non-residents’ cars altogether.

These pedestrianisations are converting European cities into a more citizen-friendly places, where similar facts are on the agenda for some of the capital cities around the continent:
  • Madrid will ban cars from its main street: Gran Vía will be car-free within three years (2020)
  • Berlin's most famous street will go car-free: private cars will be banned from Unter den Linden in 2019
  • London’s Oxford Street will ban cars, buses and taxis starting in 2020 

rethinking the role of transport

Posted On Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The US Department of Transportation recently promoted a top-level committee to analyse the potential impact of transport automation on society, including automotive companies, academics in the field of transportation, politicians, and companies with an interest in the area such as Waymo, Uber, Lyft, Delphi or Apple.

We are about to see a revolution on transport*, where there are some different approaches:

 1)  Self-production of autonomous vehicles: companies such as Tesla, Ford or GM
 2)  Collaboration with technology providers: Toyota, Audi and BMW are working in conjunction with technology providers such as Mobileye, Intel or Nvidia, among others.
 3)  Development of new scenarios:
 3a.)  Daimler is working with fleet managers like Car2go or MyTaxi,
 3b.)  Volvo and Uber are developing specific products.
 3c.)  Waymo (Google) is integrating and manufacturing more and more of their own sensors and components, as well as offering their services to companies like Fiat Chrysler.

However, there is a key point for all these approaches: Private ownership of autonomous vehicles makes no economic sense and could well see more traffic as they circulate empty or in search of parking spaces, which leads to share economies such as carpooling.

An MIT study shows that a fleet of 3,000 vehicles used on a shared basis would be sufficient to replace New York’s 13,237 taxis covering 98% of trips with a waiting time of about 2.7 minutes.

Uber Pool was presented in a TED talk in March entitled “Uber’s plan to move more people in fewer cars” has achieved a great success. Al the same time, Uber’s CEO (Travis Kalanick) has said that he loves the idea of replacing Uber's human drivers with robots.

If this is the new scenario we are progressing to, car makers will sell no vehicles to individuals. Instead, cars would be managed and optimized by companies, which will renew fleets more often as a result of higher usage rates due to the fleet optimization.

According to Google, Waymo has managed to bring the cost of driverless technology - including the expensive laser sensors - down 90%.

Producing truly driverless cars at that sort of scale is the hard part. Connecting them to passengers via an app isn't. Uber's advantage right now is the drivers it brings to the platform. Once they're gone, what would they offer to the market?

* If you still don't believe that driverless cars are almost here and able to drive anywhere -not just under urban western standards, you should be aware of driverless cars being tested in what it looks to be the hardest conditions on Earth: India. With unruly pedestrians, disorderly drivers, reckless autorickshaws, a variety of slow-moving carts, darting dogs, and the occasional elephant, Indian roads are really something else. But there’s one company that apparently has the audacity to test driverless cars in India: Tata Elxsi.

Further info: E.Dans, T. Cheshire

France officially opens world’s first solar panel road

Posted On Thursday, 19 January 2017

France has recently unveiled the world’s first solar road, the first of the proposed ones. The road runs through the tiny town of Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy. 

Costs are of € 5 million/km, despite the already announced plans to significantly cut production and repair costs compared to conventional roads. Numbers also say that paved roads are occupied just 10% of the time and, taking 20m2 of panels to generate enough electricity to power a home.

The panel road must endure two years of trials and testing. During that time, output and lifespan will be the two key components measured as to whether or not the road will become permanent. 

It must be taken into account that according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report, the average price of solar energy in nearly 60 countries fell to $1.65 million USD per megawatt during 2016. This is just below wind energy which is at $1.66 million USD per megawatt.

Commission outlines plans for safer cars, vans and lorries

Posted On Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The European Commission has published a list of 19 lifesaving safety technologies that could be made mandatory on new vehicles in the next update of EU vehicle safety rules expected next year. The report presents workable and cost-effective car safety measures. The main objectives are to decrease the number of road victims and to help prevent accidents. As vulnerable road users, special attention was given to children and the elderly.

All the safety measures outlined in the Commission report will be followed by an impact assessment that will contain a cost/benefit analysis and will include a public consultation and a stakeholder debate. Depending on the results of the consultations, the Commission will consider the following steps. The Commission will then move forward on the measures that are seen to produce a clear benefit.

The European Transport Safety Council (ETCS) welcomes the announcement but says several critical areas for action are missing, and the proposed timescale is far too long considering that most of the technologies are already available.

ETSC says 26,000 people die on European Union roads annually, with at least 135,000 suffering life-changing injuries. Progress on reducing these numbers has been dramatic over the last two decades, but has slowed to a halt and even gone into reverse in some countries in the last two years. Improved vehicle safety standards are critical to reducing deaths and serious injuries, but the EU’s rules have not been updated since 2009.

Dutch electric trains become 100% powered by wind energy

Posted On Wednesday, 11 January 2017

From January 1 (2017), all the Dutch electric trains get 100% of their power via wind energy.

Dutch electricity company Eneco won in 2015 a tender offered by NS (the Dutch National Railway Company) and the two companies signed a 10-year deal setting January 2018 as the date by which all NS trains should run on wind energy (the milestone was achieved a year ahead of schedule).

Dutch wind turbines generate enough power to provide energy to 2.4 million Dutch homes. However, with 5,500 train trips daily, energy consumption for the train system come to about 1.2 billion kWh each year and wind energy is not only dedicated to trains, so  the country does not have enough turbines to meet its needs. Half of this energy is generated in locally and the rest is bought from suppliers in Finland or Sweden, where the Eneco invested in the construction of new wind turbines. This investment guarantees that the imported electricity (by means of terrestrial or submarine cables) comes from wind mills instead of other non-renewable sources.

VIVENS -the partnership between NS and Eneco, wants to reduce energy use per passenger another 35% by 2020 when compared with figures from 2005.

Professional Profile

Posted On Monday, 2 January 2017

I am a Chartered Civil Engineer specialised in Transportation (CEng MICE).

Feel free to browse my LinkedIn profile or to get a copy of my Curriculum Vitae and Project Summary (last update: May 2017).

Next, a brief description of my academic background and professional experience.

Academic background:

My academic background includes three degrees in civil engineering:
     »  MEng Civil & Transportation Engineering, Edinburgh Napier University (U.K.)
     »  BSc Technical Engineer in Public Works Spec. Civil Constructions, University of Burgos (Spain)
     »  BSc Technical Engineer in Public Works Spec. Transport & Urban Services, University of Burgos (Spain)

My academic background includes a Summer Internship at Jacobs, where at its end I was offered a scholarship and a contract following my MEng graduation. I was awarded several times as a student, being the following two the main awards I am proud of:
     »  Best Dissertation at University of Burgos (Spain). Awarded by the Professional Institution of Public Works Engineers for the reorganization of public transport provision in the city of Burgos (Spain), including the design of a light rail scheme.
     »  Santander Bank National Road Safety Competition (Spain). Awarded by Bank of Santander for an assessment on Low Cost Measures to Improve Road Safety.

Professional experience:

Note that my updated CV is available to download on the link previously provided (top of the page).

Arup Group Limited (2016 - current)
 - 2016/_ : Transport Engineer (Transport Consultancy, Edinburgh, U.K.)

Jacobs Engineering Group (2009 - 2016)
 - 2013*/16: Transport Planner (Transportation Dep., Edinburgh, U.K.)
 - 2012/13: Transport Management Consultant (LeighFisher, Bologna, Italy)
 - 2011/12: Transport Management Consultant (LeighFisher, Edinburgh, U.K.)
 - 2011/12: Water Engineer (Water and Utilities Dep., Edinburgh, U.K.)
 - 2009/11: Transport Modeller-Consultant (Transportation Dep., Edinburgh, U.K.)

Instituto Tecnológico de Castilla y León (2008)
 - Short term consultant for planning and traffic analyses (Burgos, Spain)

Professionally, I am experienced in:
     »  transport modelling (both macrosimulation and microsimulation using software such as Cube, Vissim, Visum, SATURN or S-Paramics; also junction design using Arcady);
     »  traffic models, impact and analysis, including proficient use of GIS software;
     »  transport policies assessment and their implementation;
     »  appraisal tools for accessibility and social inclusion measurement;
     »  traffic/technical due diligence projects;
     »  transport investments and public–private partnership (PPP) projects;
     »  toll roads and traffic and revenue studies, including managed lanes;
     »  roadside interview surveys and transport assessments;
     »  cost-benefit analyses.

I have gathered this experience working in projects located in:
     »  Africa: South Africa
     »  America: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, U.S.A.
     »  Europe: Andorra, Bosnia, France, European Commission, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Romania, United Kingdom
     »  Oceania: Australia

I am also particularly interested on the latest transportation industry trends such as Big Data, Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and Smart Cities.

*There was a transition period between the two jobs/offices, which due to the proximity of the Christmas festivities made me join the Edinburgh team at the beginning of January 2014.

Perfil profesional

Soy un Ingeniero de Caminos / Ingeniero Civil especializado en Transporte y acreditado como Chartered Engineer** (CEng MICE) por el Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles Británico (España: Ingeniero de Caminos, Otros: Ingeniero Civil).

Puedes acceder a mi perfil de Linkedin si lo deseas o conseguir una copia de mi Curriculum Vitae y Resumen de proyectos (última actualización: Mayo 2017).

A continuación, una descripción de mi formación académica y de mi experiencia personal.

Formación académica:

Mi bagaje académico incluye tres titulaciones como ingeniero civil / ingeniero de transporte, y se puede resumir como:
» Máster (Licenciatura; 4+1) en Ingeniería Civil y de Transporte, Edinburgh Napier University (Reino Unido)
» Ingeniería Técnica de Obras Públicas especialidad en Construcciones Civiles, Universidad de Burgos (España)
» Ingeniería Técnica de Obras Públicas especialidad en Transportes y Servicios Urbanos, Universidad de Burgos (España)

Mi formación académica incluye prácticas de verano en Jacobs, las cuales, una vez finalizadas dieron lugar a una beca de formación durante el curso académico siguiente y un contrato al graduarme como MEng -Ingeniero Civil-. Durante mi etapa académica fui galardonado en varias ocasiones, siendo los dos premios de los que me siento orgulloso los siguientes:
» mejor proyecto fin de carrera en la Universidad de Burgos (España). Otorgado por el Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros Técnicos de Obras Públicas por la reorganización de la oferta de transporte público en la ciudad de Burgos (España), incluyendo el diseño de un sistema de metro ligero.
» beca de movilidad en competición nacional sobre seguridad vial (Banco Santander, España). Otorgado por la evaluación de medidas de bajo coste para la mejora de la seguridad vial.

Experiencia profesional:

La versión más reciente de mi Curriculum Vitae se puede descargar en el enlace provisto en el inicio de esta entrada (un poco más arriba).

Arup Group Limited (2016 - actual)
 - 2016/_ : Ingeniero de Transporte (Consultoría de Tráfico, Edimburgo, R.U.)

Jacobs Engineering Group (2009 - 2016)
 - 2013*/16: Ingeniero Planificador de Transporte (Dpto. Transporte, Edimburgo, R.U.)
 - 2012/13: Gestor/Consultor de Transporte (LeighFisher, Bolonia, Italia)
 - 2011/12: Gestor/Consultor de Transporte (LeighFisher, Edimburgo, R.U.)
 - 2011/12: Ingeniero Hidráulico (Dpto. Aguas, Edimburgo, R.U.)
 - 2009/11: Modelador/Consultor de Transporte (Dpto. Transporte, Edimburgo, R.U.)

Instituto Tecnológico de Castilla y León (2008)
 - Breve periodo de prácticas en planificación y análisis de tráfico en Burgos (España)

Cuento con experiencia contrastada en los siguientes campos del transporte:
» modelado del transporte (tanto de macrosimulación como microsimulación utilizando software como Cube, Vissim, Visum, Saturn o S-Paramics; también de diseño de intersecciones con Arcady);
» modelos de tráfico, impacto y análisis, incluyendo el uso avanzado de SIG / GIS;
» evaluación de políticas de transporte y su aplicación;
» herramientas de evaluación para la accesibilidad y medición de la inclusión social;
» proyectos de auditoría tráfico/técnica (due diligence);
» inversiones en transporte y proyectos de participación público-privada (PPP);
autopistas de peaje y estudios de tráfico y de ingresos, incluyendo carriles de acceso controlado;
» encuestas de movilidad y evaluaciones de tráfico;
» análisis coste-beneficio.

Esta experiencia la he adquirido trabajando en projectos ubicados en:
» África: Sudáfrica
» América: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Estados Unidos, Mexico
» Europa: Alemania, Andorra, Bosnia, Comisión Europea, España, Francia, Irlanda, Italia, Portugal, Reino Unido, Rumanía
» Oceanía: Australia

Por otra parte, estoy particularmente interesado en las últimas tendencias de la industria del transporte, tales como Big Data, sistemas de transporte inteligente (ITS) y Smart Cities.

** Chartered Engineer es como se le denomina en Reino Unido a los ingenieros colegiados (no confundir con un ingeniero colegiado español). En Reino Unido son los Colegios Profesionales los que respaldan la validez de los títulos académicos para ejercer la profesión, por lo que es conveniente conocer de antemano qué Colegio Profesional avala los estudios. Desde el momento en que una persona está matriculada en esa carrera, puede inscribirse en el Colegio Profesional como miembro "estudiante". Este miembro pasará de ser "estudiante" a "graduado" en cuanto acabe los estudios y puede permanecer como miembro “graduado" el resto de la carrera profesional. Evidentemente, esto supondrá una merma de las posibilidades en el futuro, pero habilita para ejercer la profesión dentro de unas limitaciones. De igual manera, aquellos profesionales que sin poseer un título académico relevante, desarrollen su actividad profesional al amparo de la ingeniería, pueden solicitar el ser miembros “incorporados”. Por ejemplo, si un abogado se especializa en asuntos de ingeniería civil, podría solicitar el ser un miembro “incorporado” del Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles.

Lo más normal es que ese miembro “graduado" aspire a ser un ingeniero “colegiado", dado que el prestigio, oportunidades y salario son mayores. Para ser ingeniero “colegiado” (Chartered Civil Engineer) del Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles (ICE) Británico, es necesario acumular un mínimo de 3-4 años de experiencia y acreditar experiencia suficiente en nueve áreas:
 1) Conocimiento y comprensión de la ingeniería
 2) Aplicación técnica y práctica de la ingeniería
 3) Gestión y liderazgo
 4) Juicio independiente y responsabilidad
 5) Capacidad comercial
 6) Seguridad, salud y bienestar
 7) Desarrollo sostenible
 8) Habilidades interpersonales y comunicación
 9) Compromiso profesional

La destreza acumulada en estas áreas se evalúa por grados de experiencia y viene descrita en la página web. Hay varias opciones para conseguir este objetivo. La más común es la de trabajar en una empresa que tenga un acuerdo de aprendizaje suscrito con el ICE. A través de una serie de informes trimestrales, un ingeniero “colegiado” actúa como tutor/supervisor del ICE y evalúa las aptitudes profesionales conseguidas, hasta completar todas las necesarias y en el grado de conocimiento requerido. En ese momento, el supervisor indicará al ICE que el miembro “graduado" ha finalizado satisfactoriamente el aprendizaje, y la Demarcación correspondiente del Colegio, tras una reunión con el interesado, certificará la aptitud para poder seguir adelante con el proceso. Una vez recibido este visto bueno, el candidato ha de conseguir los avales de tres ingenieros “colegiados” que avalen la candidatura profesional del interesado para poder presentarse a una prueba llamada Revisión Profesional. Unas semanas antes de la prueba, el miembro “graduado” debe enviar un informe conciso y de acuerdo a una serie de previamente definidos en los que de cuenta al Tribunal cómo ha conseguido reunir la experiencia (casos prácticos).

El Tribunal de la Revisión Profesional consta de dos ingenieros colegiados designados por el Colegio (sin ningún vínculo con el ingeniero graduado), y la prueba consiste en una presentación de 15 minutos, una entrevista de 1 hora y una prueba escrita de 2 horas en la que se evaluarán los conocimientos en las nueve áreas descritas anteriormente.

Si el candidato supera dicha prueba, pasará a ser un ingeniero colegiado (Chartered Engineer) y podrá añadir el sufijo CEng MICE a su nombre. Tanto el Colegio Profesional como el Consejo de Ingeniería (órgano último donde todos los ingenieros colegiados se encuentran inscritos independientemente de su rama o especialización) emitirán un título acreditativo de dicho reconocimiento

* La transición entre oficinas duró unas semanas y dado que Navidad se encontraba entre medias, el comienzo efectivo en Edimburgo fue a principios de enero de 2014.
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