General Director Leszek Rafalski, Prof. D. Sc., C. Eng.
phone: (+48 22) 811 03 83 e-mail:
Born: 19th October 1951 in Warsaw.
Graduated from the Warsaw Technical University, Faculty of Civil Engineering in 1977 being awarded the title of MSc. in the field of construction engineering. In the years 1977-83 he worked in Przedsiębiorstwo Robót Kolejowych nr 7 (Enterprise of Railway Works No. 7). He supervised construction of earth works, strengthening of grounds and foundation works at transport project sites.
After PhD he started in 1983 his work in the Road and Bridge Research Institute. He was dealing with problems in the field of geotechnics and particularly regarding foundations, diaphragm walls, piles, cut-off walls, road subbases, construction of railway track subgrade and embankments. He carried out site investigations of soil properties, waste materials, soils strengthened with synthetic resins and other binding agents. He identified properties of thixotropic hardening suspensions that he implemented into engineering practice. He supervised implementation of the results of his research works on many transport projects, among others in Warsaw underground, dam in Dębe, A-4 motorway and roads sections.
During last years he also deals with problems of transport development and particularly the state of road network, financing of transport infrastructure as well as transformations of the road and bridge enterprises.
In the years 1983-90 he managed the Laboratory of Geotechnics and since 1987 till 1990 he was also deputy head of the Department of Geotechnics in the Road and Bridge Research Institute.
In 1996 he obtained the degree of doctor of science and was appointed to the post of associate professor and subsequently professor.
Since 1990 he is General Director of the Road and Bridge Research Institute.
He is author or co-author of tens of research works and expert’s reports as well as over 60 scientific publications. He is co-author of 6 patents in the field of soil stabilisation, hardening suspensions and their application in engineering practice.
He has been appointed or elected to the following domestic scientific and professional organisations as well as scientific councils:
Polish Standardisation Committee
Forecasting Committee “Polska 2000 Plus” at the Presidium of Polish Academy of Sciences
Committee of Civil and Water Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences – sections: - geotechnics - building materials - transport engineering
All-Polish Economic Chamber of Road Building
Main Council of R&D organisations
Scientific-Consulting Council at the Management of Warsaw Underground
He is member of Polish Geotechnics Committee and of the following international organisations:
Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL)
Russian National Committee of Soil Mechanics and Foundations (RNKMGIF)
Permanent International Association of Road Congresses (PIARC) – Committee TC-12 “Earthworks, drainage, subgrade”,
International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE)
He speaks English and Russian.
Major works done during the last years:
“Studium sektorowe przedsiębiorstw branży drogowo-mostowej i surowców skalnych dla drogownictwa” (Sector study of enterprises from the road and bridge branch and rocky raw materials for road construction) Warsaw 1997. Analysis and directions of development of the above-mentioned branch. Manager of the team and co-author of the study New technics for pavement strengthening and maintenance: Proceedings of the XXth World Road Congress, Montreal, 1995. Report showing application of new technologies of strengthening and maintenance of pavements in Poland. Co-ordinator and co-author of the work “Właściwości i zastosowanie zawiesin twardniejących” (Properties and applications of hardening suspensions) Warsaw 1995. Qualifying thesis-showing achievements of the author in the field of research and implementation of hardening suspensions. Author of the work (in Polish) “Investment of the road sector in a country in transition: Poland” Proceedings of the Round Table 100, European conference of Ministers of Transport. Paris, 1994. Presentation of changes regarding the road sector in Poland. Co-author of the work “Road strengthening in Central and Eastern European Countries” OECD, Paris 1993. OECD report elaborated by international group of experts and presenting problems of strengthening roads in Central and Eastern Europe. Co-author of work “Modified hardening slurry for installation of steel piles” Proceedings of Fifth International Conference on Piling and Deep Foundations, Bruges 1994. Paper presenting the results of research of piles settled in hardening slurry. Author of the work “View point for the Central and Eastern European Countries” Proceedings of DIVINE Conference, Rotterdam 1997, published by LAND+WATER Magazine for Civil and Environmental Engineers, 9/1997. Article presenting significance of the DIVINE programme for the countries from Central and Eastern Europe. Author of the article Ordered research project: “Wpływ budowy i eksploatacji autostrad na przemiany systemu zagospodarowania przestrzennego w Polsce” (Influence of construction and exploitation of motorways on changes of the system of space management in Poland) Orderer: State Committee for Scientific Research. Manager of work and co-author Rheological properties of fresh bentonite-cement slurries modified by selected sodium salts. Archives of Civil Engineering, 1995. Research results of properties of slurries modified by sodium salts. Author of work “Stan sektora drogowego w Polsce” (State of road branch in Poland) Problemy Ekonomiki Transportu No. 1/1997. Presentation of current state of road sector in Poland. Author of work
Scientific Board of the Road and Bridge Research Institute
The Scientific Board’s remit is to initiate, advise and issue opinions in the body of issues comprising the statutory acitivities of the Institute and of the research and engineering staff.
The board is vested with the authority of taking a stand on all the issues related to the activities of the Insitute, with particular emphasis on research, engineering and development efforts.
The Scientific Board of the Institute of the 15th Term, which spans the years 2003-2007, was elected by the staff of the Institue in September 2003.
Membership of the Scientific Board of the the Road and Bridge Research Institute of the 15th term:
Jan PACHOWSKI, Prof. D. Sc., C. Eng. – Chairman
Juliusz CIEŚLA, Assoc. Prof., D. Sc.,C. Eng. – Deputy Chairman
Jerzy PIŁAT, Prof. D. Sc., C. Eng.. – Deputy Chairman
Zofia GAŁAJDA, M.Sc.Eng. – Secretary
Andrzej Marek BRANDT, Prof. D. Sc., C. Eng.
Lech CZARNECKI, Prof. D. Sc., C. Eng.
Kazimierz FLAGA, Prof. D. Sc., C. Eng.
Maciej GRYCZMAŃSKI, Prof. D. Sc., C. Eng.
Leszek RAFALSKI, Prof. D. Sc., C. Eng.
Dariusz SYBILSKI, Prof. D. Sc., C. Eng.
Adam WYSOKOWSKI, . Assoc. Prof., D. Sc.,C. Eng.
Krzysztof GERMANIUK, D.Sc.,C.Eng.
Mirosław GRACZYK, D.Sc.,C.Eng.
Marek ŁAGODA, D.Sc.,C.Eng.
Andrzej NIEMIERKO, D.Sc.,C.Eng.
Piotr OLASZEK, D.Sc.,C.Eng.
Janusz RYMSZA, D.Sc.,C.Eng.
Zenon SZCZEPANIAK, D.Sc.,C.Eng.
Mirosław BISKUP, M.Sc.Eng.
Renata HORODECKA, M.Sc.Eng.
Tomasz KULA, M.Sc.Eng.
Mieczysław PRZYGODA, Eng.
Czesław SZYMANKIEWICZ, M.Sc.Eng.
Activity of the Road and Bridge Research Institute
The Road and Bridge Research Institute is a state-owned research & development entity, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Infrastructure (EDC 7310).
It is involved in research and development projects in the area of construction and maintenance of the road & bridge structures and facilities, specifically roads and road bridges, railway subgrades, railway bridges, and underground structures.
Activities of the Institute cover issues related to materials, engineering, organisation, economy and the environment.
The research subjects of recent years are primarily concerned with the issues of maintenance of transport structures, including implementation of the Road Surface Maintenance System, Bridge Management System and the developing of the advanced road and bridge maintenance techniques.
Institute’s activities encompass:
Basic research as well as R&D works in the area of the philosophy of road, bridge and airport pavement designing, construction and maintenance
Dissemination and implementation of the results of basic research and R&D projects
Analysis of the state of science and technology and setting out the development trends in the area of Institute’s activities
studies on the potential use in Poland of the achievements in the world’s science and technology
activities in the area of improving the methods of research work and R& D effort
research and engineering brainpower development
engineering staff training
international co-operation with the counterpart institutions, export operations and engineering consultancy
activities in the areas of inventions, standardisation (updating of the engineering regulations on a permanent basis) and metrology
industrial and intellectual property protection
publishing activities, scientific & technical information
certificates of admission for production or application of machines, equipment, materials and processes and quality certificates
expert’s opinions in the domain of road & bridge construction
arbitration opinions issued for the administration offices or courts
designing and engineering of prototypes and small-scale production of measuring instruments and research equipment
business or services activities in the area of road & bridge construction.
Research activities of the Institute are primarily focused on the following subjects:
principles of designing & engineering of road and airport pavements
principles of designing & engineering of road and rail engineering structures, including foundations
road and bridge construction & maintenance technology
roadworks mechanisation and organisation
evaluation of technical condition of roads and bridges
testing methods in the area of interest to the Institute
geotechnology in road & bridge construction
economics in road & bridge construction
searching for suitable materials for road & bridge construction and evaluation of their use
testing of physical and chemical properties of the materials used in road & bridge construction
use of waste materials form industry in road & bridge construction
environmental protection during the designing, construction and use of roads, bridges and of other road engineering structures
Historical outline of the Road and Bridge Research Institute
The Road and Bridge Research Institute in Warsaw was founded in 1955 as the Institute of Road Building. In 1959 the name was changed into the Centre of Research and Development of Road Technology and in 1974 the Institute received its present name. At the beginning the Institute was referring to the pre-war traditions of the Road Research Institute that was active at the Warsaw University of Technology between 1929-1939. The scientific-research works were carried out under direction of Professor Melchior Nestorowicz (1888-1939), an outstanding specialist in the field of road building and organiser of the road administration during the inter-war period.
The Institute of Road Building was called into being thanks to Aleksander Gajkowicz, MSc. Eng. (1897-1971), and director of the Department of Traffic in the Ministry of Transport. After the war Mr Gajkowicz managed to assemble around himself the group of the best Polish pre-war specialists, to create strong road administration that could be an example for other countries. With his name construction of 25000 km of new roads is connected as well as the modernisation of 32000 km of existing roads in the years 1945-65.
One can also tell about Institute’s contributions to the improvement of rural roads in the field of construction of asphalt pavements as well as to research on new materials, treatment of waste materials and modernisation of the road equipment. Thanks to the Institute’s activity new developments and technologies of road and bridge construction were created.
At the beginning of the seventies new problems arose. This was connected with preparation for motorways construction, introduction of the containerisation, building of large engineering structures as well as adaptation of existing roads to carry bigger loads. The Institute supported the major transport projects in the country. An example can be construction of Łazienkowska Route in Warsaw, Central Railway Trunk-line, modernisation of the railway lines in Silesia, construction of the Gliwice-Kraków motorway and the main road from Warsaw to Katowice.
Greater and greater role was played by the implementation activity. The Institute carried out tests of roads, bridges, foundations, machines for road works, specified construction technologies, performed scientific supervisions, gave professional advice, elaborated experts’ reports showing directions of the design as well as methods of construction and reconstruction of transport structures. Together with the design offices and contractors, the Institute introduced into practice new designs, technologies, equipment as well as new principles for design and testing.
In 1990 the Institute started systematic modernisation of laboratories by equipping them with modern and unique apparatus. New branch of the Institute, modern Research Centre of Bridges Concrete and Aggregates in Żmigród near Wrocław was established.
The Institute pays special attention to the problems of engineering practice what can be proven by a rising number of patents and implementations of the newest technologies, particularly regarding new kinds of asphalt-concrete pavements, bridge construction and reconditioning, geotechnics, foundation engineering, introducing modern methods of quality tests of materials and work, application of modern apparatus for measurement of technical and exploitation properties of pavements, etc.
Growing traffic has caused new research problems and resulted in the necessity of application of new materials, constructions, technologies and maintenance systems similar to the Western ones.
In the last period many research works have been carried out the majority of which have found practical application. The results of many of these works have been achieved in co-operation with domestic scientific centres: institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences, technical universities and other research institutes.
The Institute, co-ordinating standardisation activity of road engineering, drafted the majority of standards regarding roads and bridges as well as a coherent system of bridge standardisation that comprises loads, principles of design and execution as well as structure tests. The Institute has been granted the accreditation of the Polish Centre for Testing and Certification as a certifying unit i.e. confirming the quality of products applied in roads and bridges.
Co-operation with the state and road administration like previously: the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Economy, currently: the Ministry of Infrastructure, and the General Directorate of Public Roads is particularly important for the Institute. This multilateral co-operation brings significant benefits for the road engineering.
The Institute is open to international contacts. In 1994 as first among the institutes from post-communist countries it was associated with road research centres of 18 EEC and EFTA countries affiliated in the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories. Moreover, the Institute employees take active part in the work of such organisations as PIARC, IABSE, RILEM, FGSV, AAPT, ERRI, and OECD.