University of Patras and Gefyra meet with students of the Civil Engineering department

17 Φεβρουαρίου 2023

Christos Bouras, Rector of the Patras University, and Panos Loukas, CEO of Gefyra, the concession company operating the Rio-Antirio Bridge, today met with students of Patras University’ Civil Engineering department to discuss how the bridge can provide inspiration to the new generation of Greek civil engineers.

The reason for the meeting was the initiative of the design and construction of a model of the Rio - Antirio Bridge from pasta by the students of the Civil Engineering department.

The students Sotiris Pennias and Yorgos Politis presented the model construction method as part of the course "Engineering of Materials" by the Professor and Chairman of the Department Mr. Athanasios Triantaphyllou.

The students’ model captures the unique technical features that have made Rio-Antirio bridge one of the most iconic in the world as a cable-stayed bridge of 3 km with a weak seabed at 65 meters depth.

Delivered by the VINCI Group and its Greek partners in 2004, the Rion-Antirion Bridge is now operated and maintained by VINCI Highways, a subsidiary of VINCI Concessions. Today, the Rion-Antirion Bridge continues to put technical innovation at the heart of its operations and maintenance activities performed by the department of structural maintenance of GEFYRA. For instance, the integrated Inspection and Maintenance system, which has been developed to support its 24/7 operations, is continuously optimized with the aim of increasing the safety of users and at the same time reducing the inconvenience due to necessary traffic regulations. For example, visual inspections using unmanned vehicles (drones) are currently being carried out, and technical improvement work will soon begin, with the installation of the latest generation equipment in the two expansion joints of the cable-stayed Bridge, the largest in the world to receive seismic movement.

During the meeting, Christos Bouras and Panos Loukas also discussed about the positive results of the long-term partnership between Patras University and Gefyra, with recent joint mobilization including which clean up initiatives and joint celebration of VINCI Environment Day.

Panos Loukas, CEO of Gefyra, stated: “As the concessionnaire and operator of the Rio-Antirio bridge, Gefyra is very proud to see that this fantastic infrastructure provide inspiration to the new generation of engineers from Patras University. This also a great illustration of GEFYRA’s long-term partnership with Patras University. At a time of new challenges for road mobility, notably regarding decarbonization, we will continue to work in close cooperation with students in Greece to deliver positive mobility, a strong commitment for us as a member of VINCI Highways’ network”.


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