Where Are They Now?

The National Center for Asphalt Technology’s ongoing efforts to provide safe, durable and sustainable asphalt pavements could not, at its core, be realized without a successful education program. Auburn University and NCAT realize the importance of education through its civil engineering program where students learn through coursework and research how to apply knowledge to real world situations. NCAT’s vision is only as strong as our willingness to teach others how to ask questions, solve relevant issues in the industry, and apply those solutions. Many former NCAT researchers and students have benefited from what they learned at Auburn and continue to contribute to the asphalt community. Dr. Steve Cross, Dr. Rajib Mallick, and Dr. Alan Carter are three Auburn/NCAT alumni that have committed to take what they gained from their time at NCAT to continue the vision of education transfer and focus their efforts in academia.

Dr. Steve Cross Headshot

Dr. Steve Cross

Dr. Steve Cross grew up in Denton, Texas, where his father was a professor at what was then North Texas State University. He has been married to his wife, Helena, for almost 30 years. They have two grown daughters, Kelli and Kaitlyn, and a new granddaughter Ava. Dr. Cross was a Senior Research Associate at NCAT from 1988 to 1992, making him one of the first employees at NCAT, established in 1986. He completed his Ph.D. at Auburn while working full time. His main research focus was on the national rutting study; however, he did manage to find time to play a little golf. After leaving NCAT, he became the asphalt professor at the University of Kansas until 2002.

Currently, Dr. Cross is a professor at Oklahoma State University where he continues to conduct research while also serving as the technical director for the Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association. He hopes to retire in the near future to spend more time playing with his granddaughter, fly fishing, and playing golf.

No matter where he went after graduating from Auburn, he felt his association with NCAT gave him immediate credibility. With many thanks to their Auburn/NCAT family for being involved in all aspects of their life, Helena and Steve consider their time at NCAT as one of the best times of their lives.

Dr. Rajib Mallick Headshot

Dr. Rajib Mallick

Originally from Calcutta, India, Dr. Rajib Mallick is part of a family of civil engineers that includes his father, father-in-law, and his wife. He received his Bachelor of Engineering degree from Jadavpur University in Calcutta and received his masters and Ph.D. degrees from Auburn. He joined NCAT in January 1992 as a research assistant.

While he accomplished many things at Auburn, what stands out to him is how much he learned. He recalled, “NCAT was a pretty exciting place to me. We focused on learning, but we focused on research applications all the time, and that’s what made it so exciting.” He worked on a wide range of projects from open-graded friction courses to developing the NCAT website, all while authoring multiple papers. He is forever grateful for the wide range of opportunities that was afforded to him and the lifelong friendships that he maintains to this day.

Currently, Dr. Mallick is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts where he teaches and continues to conduct research on pavements. His most significant takeaway from NCAT was that he realized the need for a balance between learning and application, and between theoretical research and practical implementation.

Dr. Alan Carter Headshot

Dr. Alan Carter

Dr. Alan Carter is originally from Quebec, Canada. He is married and has three boys; one of which was born when he was in graduate school at Auburn. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree from École de technologie supérieure, ÉTS, in Montreal. As part of a contract for future employment with ÉTS, he needed to complete his education in a bituminous materials related field. Alan chose Auburn and NCAT, where under the supervision of Dr. Mary Stroup-Gardiner he completed his Ph.D. His primary research focus was on the development of a test to characterize asphalt mixes without the use of solvent to extract the bitumen.

Since 2005, AIan has worked as a professor at ÉTS in Montreal, one of the largest engineering schools in Canada with approximately 11,000 engineering students. Dr. Carter teaches pavement materials and pavement design and continues to research pavement recycling technologies. He has authored or coauthored around 100 publications in journals and conferences, as well as actively serving on several technical committees. He is a past president of the Canadian Technical Asphalt Association (CTAA), a current director at large for the International Society for Asphalt Pavements (ISAP), and co-chairs a technical committee on cold bitumen emulsion materials and a task group on cold asphalt recycling for the International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures (RILEM). His time at NCAT confirmed his love for working with asphalt while giving him the opportunity to meet and learn from incredible people, staff, and students.