Action TU1208 

Civil Engineering Applications of Ground Penetrating Radar

COST Success Story

Training School on Non-Destructive Testing techniques

applied to civil engineering

Barcelona, Spain, March 14-18, 2016

COST Action TU1208  organised  a  Training School on Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) techniques applied to civil engineering. This course was held in Barcelona, Spain, on March 14th-18th, 2016. It was kindly hosted by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya; in particular, the venue was the Escola Universitària d'Enginyeria Tècnica Industrial de Barcelona (EUETIB) and facilities were offered by the Consorci Escola Industrial de Barcelona (CEIB) (address: C/ Compte d'Urgell 187, Barcelona, Spain).

Several NDT techniques were presented and explained: 

  •  Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
  •  Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT)
  • Rapid near-surface resistivity (OhmMapper)
  • Electrical conductivity (Conductivimeter)
  • Passive seismics (H/V and ReMi)
  • Termography
  • Radar interferometry
  • Ultrasounds
  • Gravity gradiometry (Gradiometer)
  • Gravimetry.

Two full days were devoted to practical training. In the morning, surveys were carried out in  the main campus of the University (Campus Nord) by using all the above-mentioned techniques except the last three. In the afternoon, the collected data were processed and interpreted in the Laboratory where Trainees had at their disposal several computers, with  processing software installed on them.

On Friday, half-day was devoted to ultrasound testing:  the Spanish company Olympus  Iberia delivered a course including a theoretical session, a practical demonstration and a presentation of case studies.

We deem that it is important to always provide Trainees with the point of view of both the academic world and private companies. Therefore, the course included another lecture given by the Spanish company Geotopsa: they  presented interesting case studies  where GPR and other NDT techniques:   were jointly used.

Successful interaction with COST Actions TU1402 "Quantifying the value of structural health monitoring" and TU1406 "Quality specifications for roadway bridges, standardization at a European level (BridgeSpec)" took place: indeed, the activities carried out by these two Actions were presented and discussed during a dedicated lecture given by Prof Joan R Casas (TU1406 MC Vice-Chair and TU1402 WG Leader).

A permanent Poster Session was held: Trainees brought their posters to the Training School, to present and discuss their research and professional activities involving GPR and other NDT techniques.


The Coordinators of the Training School were Dr Vega Pérez-Gracia (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, TU1208 MC Substitute Member), Dr Mercedes Solla (University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain, TU1208 MC Substitute Member) and Dr Lara Pajewski (Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy, TU1208 MC Chair).  The Organising Committee included the Training School Coordinators,  Dr Ramón González Drigo (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, TU1208 WG Member) and Dr Oriol Caselles  (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, TU1208 WG Member).

The Team of Trainers  was composed by the Coordinators of the Training School and the Members of the Organising Committee plus Dr Simona Fontul (Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil, Portugal), Prof Alex Marcuello (University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain), Dr Guido Luzi (Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya, Spain), Mr  Victor Salinas (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, TU1208 WG Member), Mr Jaume Clapés (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, TU1208 WG Member), Prof Joan R. Casas (Technical University of Catalonia - BarcelonaTech, TU1406 MC Vice Chair and TU1402 WG Leader),  Mr Victor Chumillas (Olympus Iberia, Spain), Mr Francisco Nunez (Olympus Iberia, Spain), Ms Sonia Gumbau (Geotopsa, Spain), Mr Josep Pedret (Geotopsa, Spain), and Prof Teresa Teixido (University of Granada, Spain).

Class Scheduling


Training School Grants for PhD Students & ECI

The COST Action TU1208 is proud to offer free courses: this school did not have a registration fee and students from all Countries were very welcome to  attend it for free.   

COST Action TU1208  offered 10 Grants (650,00 EUR each)  to Trainees from COST Countries and  from approved institutions in Near-Neighbour Countries (NNC); for the list of COST Countries and NNC, please visit

To submit a Grant application, the following items had to be sent to

  1. Curriculum vitae including the list of publications.
  2. Motivation letter written by the Applicant.
  3. Support letter written by the PhD Supervisor (for PhD Students) or by a colleague (for Early-Career Investigators, i.e., researchers who received their PhD no more than 8 years ago, and for all other Applicants).

The application were examined by the Training School Coordinators. The selection of Granted applications was based on the COST key principles of excellence and inclusiveness. COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 and its policy contributes to the "Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation" Horizon 2020 goal. To identify excellent applicants, we ask applicants to submit a curriculum vitae, a motivation letter and a support letter. At the same time, we aim at achieving inclusiveness. This objective is around three main elements: we support Early-Career Investigators, foster  gender balance and support researchers coming from less-research intensive COST Member Countries.  

 The Training School was successfully attended by 28 Trainees from  6 COST Countries (Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom), 2 Near Neighbour Countries (Albania, Morocco, Russia) and  4 International Partner Countries (Colombia,  Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico).

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For information concerning COST Action TU1208 and TU1208 GPR Association, please take contact with the Chair of the Action and President of the Association, Prof. Lara Pajewski. From 4 April 2013 to 3 October 2017, this website was supported by COST, European Cooperation in Science and Technology - COST is supported by the EU RTD Framework Programme Horizon2020. TU1208 Members are deeply grateful to COST for funding and supporting COST Action TU1208. As of 4 October 2017, this website is supported by TU1208 GPR Association, a non-profit association stemming from COST Action TU1208.