A trio of researchers from The University of Texas at El Paso’s Center for Transportation Infrastructure Systems (CTIS) will partner with The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Transportation Research on a $494,000 award from the Texas Department of Transportation to create realistic conditions for assessment of asphalt mixtures in an effort to enhance their durability.
Leading the CTIS team is Soheil Nazarian, Ph.D., professor of civil engineering, the project’s principal investigator. Nazarian; Imad Abdallah, Ph.D., research associate professor of civil engineering and executive director of CTIS; and Victor Garcia, CTIS research associate, will oversee staff and civil engineering students who will support the project’s research efforts.
“We appreciate the trust and support of TxDOT in such a multifaceted and challenging project,” Nazarian said.
The CTIS research team will work with UTEP graduate and undergraduate students to develop, deploy and spur rapid adoption of new laboratory protocols to simulate the hardening of asphalt mixture due to exposure to the diverse environmental conditions presented throughout Texas. This work has the potential to improve current practices through a better understanding of the long-term aging potential of asphalt mixtures.
“The challenges from this project will provide a great opportunity for students to hone their innovative and creative engineering skills,” Garcia said.
“I look forward to collaborating with our partners at UT Austin,” Abdallah said. “It is an excellent opportunity for students from both universities to work together.”
The center’s unique laboratory facilities and expertise will enable the research team to perform innovative tests that will be key to achieving the research grant’s objectives.
To learn more about the Center for Transportation Infrastructure Systems, click here.
Author: Darlene Barajas – UTEP Communications