George Yannis - the Professor

George Yannis is an International Road Safety Expert, Professor and Director of the Department of Transportation Planning Engineering and Deputy Dean of the School of Civil Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). He leads the NTUA Road Safety Observatory, a Center of Research and Innovation Excellence on Road Safety, with global recognition for its highly valuable contribution to the improvement of road safety in Greece, in Europe and worldwide.

He has a thorough and broad understanding of the transportation sector, through his active involvement for more than 30 years as engineer, academic, advisor and decision maker in all areas of transportation planning and engineering at national and international level, with key emphasis on data science.

He has been Advisor on road safety at the DG Move of the European Commission (1991 - 2002) and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Attiko Metro SA, the Public Authority in charge for the development of metro systems in Athens and Thessaloniki (2004 – 2010). He served as Chairman of the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers (2000 – 2003) and received 19 international scientific Awards, including the “Knight of the Order of Academic Palms” by the French Government.

He has contributed extensively in more than 300 research and engineering projects and studies and in several scientific committees of the European Commission and other International Organisations (UNECE, OECD, WHO, World Bank, EIB, CEDR, ERF, IRF, PIARC, UITP, ETSC, ECTRI, WCTR, TRB). He has published 780 scientific papers (228 in scientific journals) widely cited worldwide.

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George Yannis - the Runner

George Yannis is a long-standing long-distance runner, having participated and completed so far 44 Marathon races. He is a strong believer that everyday life challenges are a Marathon (not a sprint), where balancing and optimizing effort is a continuous game towards progress and sustainability.

George Yannis started running systematically long distances at the age of 16. He run his first Marathon in Athens at the age of 18, an exploration at 4:49, which ignited systematic training that led to a PB timing of 2:56 at the age of 21 at Athens Marathon difficult course.

During his 20s and early 30s he run 20 Marathons (13 in Athens), two sub-3 hours Marathons, and overall 9 sub-3:15 Marathons. During eight of these years he run more than 3.000 km annually (with a max of 5.500km).

Then he became Faculty Member at the School of Civil Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens and father of two boys, that led him to progressively reduce running and stop racing Marathons. After a very busy period as Chairman of Athens Metro, in mid 40s (with 15 extra kgs!) he started sporting again, with some swimming, and gradually restarted running and triathlon races.

He run the first Marathon of the "new era" at the age of 50 at 4:13 in Athens, just when he became full Professor at NTUA. Then the passion was reborn, the training became systematic with the Polias Runners team, and progressively he was running 1 - 2 - 3 Marathons per year and after the pandemic 4 Marathons in 2021 and 8 Marathons in 2022, with best performance 3:29 in Hamburg in September 2021 (7 Marathons sub 3:40). He is currently cumulating more than 2.500 training kms / year.