Auburn team wins asphalt mix design competition

Published: Apr 6, 2020 12:00:00 AM

Auburn Engineering students Mo Fortunatus, David Vivanco, Danny Martinez, Zachary Pace and Madison Eason. Auburn Engineering students Mo Fortunatus, David Vivanco, Danny Martinez, Zachary Pace and Madison Eason.

Auburn Engineering students Mo Fortunatus, David Vivanco, Danny Martinez, Zachary Pace and Madison Eason have won the CRH Asphalt Mix Design Competition. Sponsored by CRH Americas Materials, Inc., a total of eight university teams were tasked with efficiently and economically producing the best asphalt mixture possible for a specified job.

“The efforts put forward by every team were outstanding,” said CRH Asphalt Performance Manager Shane Buchanan during the official awards webinar on April 3. Buchanan served as an evaluator for the competition with Robert Lee and Larry Shively as part of an effort to best position CRH and the asphalt industry for future leaders.

The teams were charged with using local materials to design a mix with a minimum recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) binder ratio of 0.25 to meet performance test criteria at the lowest cost. Scoring was based on a pre-qualification submittal, mix trials submittal, technical report and presentation. Auburn’s team received 92.7 out of 100 possible points.

“It was an honor to be invited to the team,” said Danny Martinez. “As a graduate student, it was amazing to see how we could all bring various experience to the table because of our different cultural backgrounds. Our team members represented four different countries, and we really learned a lot from each other. I especially enjoyed working together, even on weekends—we invested a lot of time in the competition, and the experience I've gained is extremely valuable.”

Auburn’s team was advised by Randy West, NCAT director and research professor. “I am thrilled for the Auburn Team”, said West. “They figured out on their own what they needed to do and went to work. They came to me with a few questions, but they already had the right ideas on how to develop solutions.”

As the first place team, the five members will split a $7,500 scholarship award. The other academic institutions participating in the national competition included: University of Missouri; University of Nevada, Reno; University of New Hampshire, Oregon State University; Purdue University, University of Tennessee and University of Texas at El Paso.

Media Contact: Christine Hall, christine@auburn.edu,

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