Born in 1988, João Santos is an Assistant Professor at the department of Construction Management and Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering Technology at the University of Twente (UT) since 2018.

In 2016, João Santos completed the doctoral program in Transportation Systems provided by the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC), the Technical University of Lisbon (UTL), and the Faculty of Engineering of University of OPorto (FEUP), Portugal. During his graduate studies in Transportation Systems at the FCTUC, he spent a year and a half as visiting scholar at the Centre for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure (CSTI), at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), USA.

Prior to his position at the UT, he was a recipient of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Post-Doctoral Fellowship working on an EU Framework 7 funded project SUPR&R ITN (, at IFSTTAR in Nantes.

He conducts research at the interface of civil engineering, operation research and environmental technology. His work develops assessment methodologies, frameworks and operation search methods, such as optimization algorithms, to handle from a data-driven and optimized-based perspective the commonly existing trade-off relationships underlying to the application of sustainability, resilience and circularity principles, when planning, designing, maintaining and operating infrastructures, transportation systems and cities.


  • Engineering

    • Pavements
    • Road Pavement
    • Life Cycle Assessment
    • Pavement Construction
    • Models
    • Pavement Life Cycle
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences

    • Investigation
  • Social Sciences

    • Sustainability


João Santos' research work emphasizes the development and application of advanced computational models, optimization algorithms, statistical machine learning methods, systems analysis tools and industrial ecology methods to tackle multiple and varied real-world problems and global challenges faced by today’s infrastructures, transportation systems and cities in order to promote a more sustainable future.

He is also interested in (1) investigating the impacts of climate change on pavement and urban transport systems and (2) combining machine learning and statistical models to create predictive models intended to improve the knowledge of physical and mechanical properties, characteristics and processes influencing the infrastructure and transportation systems condition and the urban environment, based on the combination of data collected in the field, existing databases and novel sensing platforms. He is particularly thrilled by the prospect of integrating modern systems models with real-world data sources in research that requires carefully applied state-of-the-art operation research and industrial ecology methods along with new theoretical insights.

The common thread that ties his research together is the concept of enhancing the frameworks, platforms and tools that decision-makers use to design and manage their systems. Whether this entails advancing the state of knowledge about (1) the impact of infrastructure, transportation systems and cities on the natural environment and (2) operation research methods or solving applied research questions regarding the enhancement of their management, the outcome is a more informed decision process that decision-makers can use to help promoting a transition towards a more sustainable future. This requires implementing new models and data to solve complex problems related to social, environmental, and economic aspects of engineered systems and make environmentally benign, cost-effective, and socially acceptable policies, all of which drive his long-term research interests.


Impacts of climate change on environmental and economic sustainability of flexible pavements across ChinaResources, conservation and recycling, 206, Article 107589 (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Yang, Q., Cao, Z., Shen, L., Gu, F., Santos, J., Qiao, Y., Wang, H., Li, J., Zhang, Y. & Chu, C. uncertainty in life cycle assessment studies for sustainable pavement managementIn Proceedings of the 8th E&E Congress (pp. 1023-1033). GUARANT International. Vargas Farias, A., Santos, J., Hartmann, A. & Van der Pijl, F. comparative life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle cost analysis (LCCA), mechanical and long-term leaching evaluation of road pavement structures containing multiple secondary materialsJournal of cleaner production, 458, Article 142484 (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Azadgoleh, M. A., Mohammadi, M. M., Jafari, H. A., Santos, J., Ahmadi, A., Alavi, M. Z. & Ayar, P. slow implementation of sustainable innovations in the asphalt paving sector: the role of actors and their interactionsConstruction management and economics (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Ruiz, A., Vinke - de Kruijf, J., Santos, J., Volker, L. & Doree, A. development to estimate the Pavement Interaction effects on vehicle fuel consumption. University of Twente. Uva, I. N.Data-driven Analysis of Urban Heat Island Phenomenon Based on Street TypologySustainable Cities and Society, 101, Article 105170. Pena Acosta, M., Vahdatikhaki, F., Santos, J., Jarro, S. P. & Doree, A. choice support through an integrated Delphi-fuzzy logic modelResearch in Transportation Business and Management, 52, Article 101061. Asgarpour, S., Hartmann, A., Morillas, S. & Santos, J. Innovation Processes in the Asphalt Paving Sector: Analysis of Actors, Interactions, and InstitutionsIn 2024 Transportation Research Board (TRB) 103rd Annual Meeting. Transportation Research Board (TRB) (Unpublished). Ruiz, A., Santos, J., Vinke - de Kruijf, J., Volker, L. & Dorée, A.RolRoad – LCA: A Web-Based Application for Estimating the Excess Fuel Consumption and Environmental Impacts Due to the Rolling Resistance of Passenger CarsIn Pavement, Roadway, and Bridge Life Cycle Assessment 2024: SPRB LCA, Conference proceeding (pp. 69-77). Springer. Uva, I., Santos, J., Cerezo, V. & Miller, S.
Multi-objective optimization of flexible pavement design from an environmental and economic perspectiveJournal of cleaner production, 430, Article 139441. Demir, A., Santos, J., Miller, S., Diele, R. & Naarding, G. comparative analysis of surface and canopy layer urban heat island at the micro level using a data-driven approachSustainable Cities and Society, 99, Article 104944. Pena Acosta, M., Vahdatikhaki, F., Santos, J. & Dorée, A. G. of plastic waste into road pavements: A systematic literature review on the fatigue and rutting performancesConstruction and building materials, 407, Article 133441. Cardoso, J., Ferreira, A., Almeida, A. & Santos, J. the urban heat island phenomenon: A data-driven approach. University of Twente. Pena Acosta, M. comprehensive generalizability assessment of data-driven Urban Heat Island (UHI) modelsSustainable Cities and Society, 96, Article 104701. Pena Acosta, M., Dikkers, M., Vahdatikhaki, F., Santos, J. & Dorée, A. G. Sustainable Pavement Management: A Stochastic LCA Framework for Maintenance and Rehabilitation. University of Twente. Vargas Farias, A.Assessing the effects of unit cost uncertainty on flexible road pavement economics under the influence of climate changeJournal of cleaner production, 414, Article 137597. Qiao, Y., Zhang, S., Guo, Y., Wang, Y., Santos, J., Stoner, A., Dawson, A. & Ma, T. of recycled crushed glass in road pavements and pipeline bedding: An integrated environmental evaluation using LCAScience of the total environment, 881, Article 163488, 1-21. Tushar, Q., Salehi, S., Santos, J., Zhang, G., Bhuiyan, M. A., Arashpour, M. & Giustozzi, F. life cycle assessment framework for pavement management considering uncertaintiesIn Life-Cycle of Structures and Infrastructure Systems: Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering (IALCCE 2023), 2-6 july, 2023, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy (pp. 965-972). CRC Press (Taylor & Francis). Vargas Farias, A., Santos, J., Hartmann, A. & Van der Pijl, F. feasibility of using copper slag in asphalt mixtures for base and surface layers based on laboratory resultsConstruction and building materials, 384, Article 131285. Orešković, M., Santos, J., Mladenović, G. & Rajaković-Ognjanović, V. performance evaluation of warm mix asphalt with recycled concrete aggregate for road pavementsInternational journal of pavement engineering, 24(2), Article 2064999. Vega Araujoa, D. L., Santos, J. & Martinez-Arguelles, G. innovation processes in the asphalt paving sector: A system innovation approachIn ARCOM Thirty-Ninth Annual Conference 2023: September 4-6: Proceedings (pp. 780-789). Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM). Ruiz, A., Vinke - de Kruijf, J., Santos, J., Volker, L. & Doreé, A. between driving conditions, pavement surface characteristics and rolling resistanceIn Roads and Airports Pavement Surface Characteristics - Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Pavement Surface Characteristics, SURF 2022 (pp. 600-608). CRC Press/Balkema. Cerezo, V., Santos, J., Bouteldja, M. & Potier, X.

Research profiles


Visiting address

University of Twente

Horst Complex (building no. 20)
De Horst 2
7522 LW Enschede

Navigate to location

University of Twente

Horst Complex (building no. 20), room Z208
De Horst 2
7522 LW Enschede

Navigate to location


Scan the QR code or
Download vCard