Successful Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN project (TRUSS) coordinated by UCD in H2020-MSCA-ITN-2014 call


The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) proposal TRUSS (Training in Reducing Uncertainty in Structural Safety), coordinated by the School of Civil Engineering in UCD (Dr. Arturo Gonzalez as project coordinator, Dr. Aoife Ahern as leader of training WorkPackage, Prof. Debra Laefer as leader of research WorkPackage on Buildings, Energy and Marine Infrastructure, and Prof. Eugene OBrien, Dr. Ciaran McNally and Dr. Mark Richardson as supervisors of individual projects), was favourably evaluated by the Research Executive Agency and invited to grant preparation in September 2014. The 2014 ITN call was very competitive with 1161 proposals being evaluated, out of which 121 have been retained, for a success rate of about 10.5%. In the evaluation, TRUSS scored a total result of 95.2% within the ETN category (threshold: 70/100). The details of TRUSS are:

Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme
Call: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2014
Funding scheme: Training Networks
Proposal number: 642453
Proposal acronym: TRUSS
Duration (months): 48 
Start Date: 1st January 2015 
Proposal title: Training in Reducing Uncertainty in Structural Safety
Activity: ENG
Estimated Budget: €3,701,306.88
Project Officer: Ms Concepcion Perez Camaras

The growth of cities, impacts of climate change and the massive cost of providing new infrastructure provide the impetus for TRUSS which aims to maximize the potential of infrastructure that already exists. If flaws in a structure can be identified early, the cost of repair will be vastly reduced, and here an effective monitoring system would allow identifying the optimum time to repair as well as improving structural safety. But safety is difficult to quantify and requires a deep understanding of the uncertainty associated to measurements and models for the structure and loads. For that purpose, TRUSS brings together an intersectoral and multidisciplinary collaboration between 4 Universities, 11 Industry participants and 1 research institute from 5 European countries. The consortium shares expertise and offers training at an advanced level to qualify 14 PhD students for dealing with the challenges of an aging infrastructure stock.

Please note that call for applicants to PhD studentships in TRUSS is opened now. A brief description can be found in TRUSS vacancies and further details are provided below:


TRUSS offers highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions. There are 14 Early Stage Researchers (PhD students) positions starting in August or September 2015. Each position is for a period of 36 months. The recruitment is done on a competitive basis across all applicants for the projects (note host country for eligibility purposes, given that you can not apply to an ESR position hosted in a country where you have resided, worked or studied for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the time of recruitment):

1-Reliability of concrete structures reinforced with braided FRP (Host: UCD, Ireland)
2-Reduction of uncertainty in assessing concrete strength of existing structures (Host: Ove Arup, Ireland)
3-Reduction of uncertainty in design of free standing nuclear spent fuel rack (Host: ENSA, Spain)
4-Probabilistic Optimization of the design of offshore wind turbine towers (Host: TCD, Ireland)
5-Integrity management of ship structures (Host: Lloyd’s Register, United Kingdom)
6-Residual life assessment and management of ship unloaders (Host: Lloyd’s Register, United Kingdom)
7-Railway Weigh-In-Motion for bridge safety (Host: FSDL, United Kingdom)
8-Probabilistic modelling of bridge damage based on damage indicators (Host: Phimeca, France)
9-Railway bridge condition monitoring and fault diagnostics (Host: UNOTT, United Kingdom)
10-Assessment of bridge condition and safety based on measured vibration level (Host: UPC, Spain)
11-Development of optical fibre distributed sensing for SHM of bridges and large scale structures (Host: UPC, Spain)
12-Bridge damage detection using an instrumented vehicle (Host: UCD, Ireland)
13-Using truck sensors for road pavement performance investigation (Host: UNOTT, United Kingdom)
14-Reduction of uncertainty through regularized, automated road inspection (Host: UCD, Ireland).


(1) Check you meet “Eligibility criteria” and “Specific requirements” for the project/s you are applying for. If eligible, select those project/s that are more appealing to you (you can apply to more than one project to increase your chances). Full details for all positions can be downloaded from

(2) Prepare the following documents (in English):

(a) A curriculum vitae, including contact details, education (at University level and other), work experience, prizes, language skills, etc… (max. 2 pages);
(b) Official academic record of undertaken courses & grades for Bachelor (and Master if required in specific criteria) degree;
(c) A motivational letter in which the applicant describes the motivation to pursue postgraduate studies and to conduct the research project/s applied for. Mention the project number or numbers (with order of preference if any) in your motivational letter;
(d) A reference letter.

(3) Email your documents as attached files to before the 1st May 2015 deadline and mention the project number/s you are applying for in the subject line.

(4) The documents provided will be the basis for ranking your application. Successful candidates will be informed before 29th May 2015.