UMass Dartmouth College of Engineering Faculty Awarded $249,785 from New England Transportation Consortium

Funding Supports Research in Pavement Material Construction and Sustainability

UMass Dartmouth Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Dr. Walaa Mogawer received $249,785 from the New England Transportation Consortium for research on "Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Mixture Containing Recycled Asphalt Shingles" to further study and develop innovative technologies in the area of pavement material construction and sustainability. 

The increase in cost of asphalt mixtures has become a challenge for transportation agencies that generally operate with limited budgets. Furthermore, producers of asphalt mixtures are faced with the challenge to conserve natural resources and to produce environmental friendly mixtures that are cost effective.  The industry has addressed the challenge of conserving natural resources by using readily available recycled materials such as recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) and reclaimed asphalt pavements (RAP). 

Currently, only 10-15 percent of reclaimed materials are used to build roads today. Taxpayers already save more than $1.5 billion per year by recycling asphalt. In 2010, 20.5 million barrels of asphalt binder was conserved by the recycling of asphalt pavements and asphalt shingles. Another $1 billion worth of asphalt could be saved each year in the United States if the nearly 10 million tons of shingle that currently go into U.S. landfills were recycled. 

The goal of Dr. Mogawer's research will be to evaluate plant-produced HMA mixtures that contain RAS to identify the critical material properties and plant operations that are needed to produce RAS mixtures with fatigue and low temperature cracking properties equivalent or better than typical mixtures that are produced. 

Dr. Mogawer serves as the Director of the UMass Dartmouth Highway Sustainability Research Center (HSRC), bringing more than 20 years of experience in pavement design, maintenance, and rehabilitation to the lab alongside numerous students from the Civil and Environmental Engineering program. In addition, the lab, located at the Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center in Fall River, is equipped with the latest asphalt and pavement testing equipment and technology. Established in 2001, the lab has helped establish a working partnership with local and state agencies, and private companies. 

Since joining UMass Dartmouth, Dr. Mogawer has served as principal investigator on several research projects funded by MassHighway, New England Transportation Consortium (NETC), and National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Mogawer received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Kuwait University in 1981 and an M.S and a doctorate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Rhode Island in 1984 and 1989 respectively. 

The New England Transportation Consortium (NETC) is a research cooperative between the state Department of Transportations of Connecticut (ConnDOT), Maine (MaineDOT), Massachusetts (MassDOT), New Hampshire (NHDOT), Rhode Island (RIDOT) and Vermont (VTrans). VTrans is currently the state lead. The NETC is a valuable regional partnership for the identification, prosecution and dissemination of shared transportation research initiatives.

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