About Us

Background and Mission

TruckThe Highway Research Center (HRC) was established at Auburn University in 1985. The mission of the HRC is to support Alabama’s highway industry through a coordinated research program. Research activities are coordinated with the Alabama Department of Transportation, regional and national research programs (NCHRP, FHWA, AASHTO), county and municipal agencies, material suppliers, and contractors.

The HRC’s funds are used to develop and sustain research programs that improve highway transportation for the citizens of Alabama and to enhance the education of Auburn University students. Many of HRC’s projects involve workshops to the industry which contributes to the university’s outreach mission. HRC staff is also responsible for arranging the technical program for the annual Alabama Transportation Conference that is attended by around 1,000 individuals annually.

The following individuals served as the Director of the HRC in the past: 
  •    1985 to 1986 - Dr. Freddy L. Roberts
  •    1986 to 2009 - Dr. Frazier Parker, Jr.


The HRC performs research to improve the safety, user-friendliness, sustainability, longevity, and return on investment of our highway infrastructure. The Highway Research Center conducts research in civil engineering subdisciplines required for highway design, construction, maintenance, rehabilitation, and operation. These subdisciplines include:

  • Construction
  • Environmental
  • Geotechnical
  • Hydraulics and Hydrology
  • Pavements and Materials
  • Structures
  • Transportation



The Highway Research Center contributes to Auburn University’s outreach mission by arranging the technical program for the annual Alabama Transportation Conference that is attended by 900 to 1,000 engineering professionals individuals annually. The Highway Research Center collaborates with the Alabama Transportation Assistance Program (ATAP) that helps to administer the Alabama Transportation Conference each year. To learn more about the Alabama Transportation Conference please visit https://eng.auburn.edu/atap/.