Auburn civil engineering assistant professor receives national TRB award

Published: Feb 17, 2020 9:00 AM

By Drew Daws

An Auburn University civil engineering assistant professor recently received the Fred Burggraf Award from the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

Jorge Rueda-Benavides shared the award with two of his master’s students — Keren Xu and Karthik Pakalapati.

The award recognizes excellence in transportation research by researchers 35 years of age or younger whose papers have been published under the sponsorship of any TRB Technical Activities Division Standing Group.

The team’s paper, titled “Development of a Hot Mix Asphalt Location Cost Index for the Alabama Department of Transportation,” was sponsored by the Auburn University Highway Research Center.

The team used advanced data collection, cleaning and processing techniques to model the variability of asphalt prices across Alabama in the form of a location cost index (LCI).

The paper presented an innovative cross-validation algorithm, which demonstrates the proposed LCI would significantly improve cost estimating effectiveness in asphalt-paving projects to be awarded by the Alabama Department of Transportation.

The TRB is a program unit of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, a non-profit organization that provides independent, objective and interdisciplinary solutions. The Fred Burggraf Award was established in 1966 to stimulate and encourage young researchers to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field of transportation.

Media Contact: Austin Phillips,, 334-844-2444
Jorge Rueda-Benavides (center) with his graduate students Karthik Pakalapati (left) and Keren Xu (right)

Jorge Rueda-Benavides (center) with his graduate students Karthik Pakalapati (left) and Keren Xu (right)

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