In February (12th –16th) we had the privilege to welcome 15 SMARTI ETN researchers and 30+ transport professionals on our first training event hosted by NTEC and University of Nottingham. This training was an excellent opportunity for them to get to know each other and the programme, and get the overall idea how the next 3 years will impact their lives and careers.

During the “Introductory week on Transport Infrastructures”, SMARTI fellows took part in an intensive training in both technical and complementary skills. They were introduced to railways and pavement design, construction, maintenance and operation, materials, risk and reliability, sustainability and climate change. In order to help them how to communicate their work, set of sessions was dedicated to presentation skills and research management, writing and publishing scientific papers and outreach activities.

Representatives from companies and universities were present during the first two days of the week. The Supervisory Board Meeting took place for beneficiaries and partners to review the past period and decide about next steps.

Networking is one of the most important components of SMARTI ETN, so teamwork and collaboration between fellows and supervisors were emphasized through different activities. We are proud to see that after months of preparation and planning, all the 15 researchers started their PhDs at the universities across Europe, and looking forward to future challenges and opportunities.