As an institutional leader of transportation research and workforce development, Auburn University’s Department of Civil Engineering organized and developed the Annual Alabama Transportation Conference for the 62nd year in a row.
The conference, which took place Feb. 12-13 at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel at the Convention Center, welcomed nearly 1,000 federal and state highway personnel, road building contractors, general contractors, heavy construction contractors, utility contractors, county engineers, consulting engineers, construction material vendors, researchers, professional society representatives and university faculty members.
The annual event provides an opportunity for these individuals to share innovative advances in transportation planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance.
“For more than six decades, Auburn University has been proud to work alongside our state and federal transportation agencies and professional associations to create this annual conference,” said Christopher B. Roberts, dean of the Auburn University Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. “This is a must-attend event each year for those in the transportation, highway, construction, design and associated industries, and we’re excited for the innovative and game-changing ideas that grow from this annual gathering of the best and brightest minds from across the state.”
Technical sessions and sit-down luncheons are provided to create a forum for the exchange of ideas between transportation engineering and construction professions. The conference also includes trade exhibits available to enhance learning and provide additional networking opportunities for all participants.
Anton Schindler, the Mountain Spirit Professor of civil engineering and director of the Auburn University Highway Research Center, welcomed guests to the event, followed by a presentation titled “The State of Play: How State DOTs Are Transforming Transportation” delivered by Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Auburn alumnus Perry Hand, ’69 civil engineering and Volkert chairman of the board, also delivered a presentation titled “Challenges and Opportunities: Setting the Stage for Transportation Investment.”
Steve Taylor, associate dean for research, presided over the luncheon and introduced Gov. Kay Ivey.
The afternoon concurrent technical sessions focused on roadway design, asphalt technologies and construction. Jeff LaMondia, associate professor of civil engineering, presented “Vulnerable Road Users Guidebook” during the roadway design session, while Ben Bowers, assistant professor of civil engineering, presented “Cold Recycling — A National Perspective on Research and Implementation” during the asphalt technologies session. Buzz Powell, assistant director of Auburn’s National Center for Asphalt Technology, presented “NCAT Test track 2015 Cycle Benefits for the Paving Community” following Bowers’ presentation.
The conference also featured concurrent technical sessions on highway safety, pavement preservation and bridges. Adriana Vargas, NCAT assistant research professor, presented “Best Practices for Pavement Preservation Quality,” while Brian Anderson and Justin Marshall, associate professors in civil engineering, presented “Lateral Testing and Analysis of Steel Pile Bent Bridges.”
Rod Turochy, the James Madison Hunnicutt Professor of civil engineering and director of the Alabama Transportation Assistance Program, presided over the final luncheon, with Transportation Director John Cooper closing out the conference.