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National Academy of Science Awards Dr. Leslie McCarthy Funding for Hot Mix Asphalt Research

Dr. Leslie McCarthy

Dr. Leslie McCarthy, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has secured her second research grant from the National Academy of Science’s Transportation Research Board (TRB) in two years. With nearly $78,000 in funding for 15 months, Dr. McCarthy will oversee a four-phase research initiative to compare hot mix asphalt (HMA) dynamic modulus test data measured by axial compression and indirect tensions (IDT) methods.

Volumetric and mechanical test properties are central to all mixture design and quality testing programs within the asphalt pavement industry. Specimen variability impacts mixture designs during plant mix production, construction quality of asphalt pavement, and predicted pavement distresses based on site specific conditions. “The results from this research will assist state highway agencies in testing and enforcing specifications that promote better-performing HMA mixtures,” says Dr. McCarthy, who will oversee project management, coordinate with state highway agencies, and lead pavement analysis using multiple software products.

Research tasks range from materials procurement and laboratory evaluations of asphalt mixture specimen types, to data collection with the Federal Highway Administration, and pavement analysis using AASHTO Pavement Design Software and the NCHRP 9-22A quality-related standard specification software packages.

Andrew Horgan CE ’11, MSCE ’12 will work alongside Dr. McCarthy on this research to complete his master’s degree thesis. He will conduct a comprehensive literature review, run indirect tension testing on all asphalt samples at the Rutgers Asphalt Pavement Laboratory (RAPL) within Rutgers University’s Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, organize test data, and analyze results. Dr. McCarthy and Horgan are also working with the faculty and staff of the RAPL, who will be responsible for asphalt sample collection, preparation, and test coordination.