Pavement Preservation Journal - Fall 2017 - 43
Student Studies Sustainable Chip Seals
Editor's Note: This is the fourth of a continuing series of profiles of civil engineering students who are undertaking pavement
preservation as a course of study. These students bring a different perspective of why a young civil engineer would pursue
preservation study, and this issue focuses on graduate student Minas N. Guirguis, whose work at Iowa State University involves
pavement preservation as an environmentally sustainable practice.
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN
I have been interested since I was an undergraduate student at the American University
in Cairo, Egypt, and I have always been
fascinated with sustainability concepts and
green construction principles.
My master's degree research was
about formulating an optimum system of
sustainable building materials design for
low-income housing. My current Ph.D.
research at Iowa State University, along
with Dr. Ashley Buss in the Department
of Civil, Construction and Environmental
Engineering, also is related to sustainability, specifically sustainable pavements.
Pavements benefit billions of users
every day and are an integral part of any
Pavement preservation student Minas Guirguis at new emulsion research pilot mill at lab at
Iowa State University
transportation system. Given their key role
and widespread use, there is an ongoing
need to improve performance and prolong
Pavement preservation research is interesting to me because we see direct benefit to
communities in which we live. Our research
projects show pavement preservation techniques extend pavement life, but securing
long-term funding allocations for preservation programs has been difficult for many
agencies. Our research helps the agencies
we work with build a case for using and
funding pavement preservation strategies
to improve the right roads at the right time.
HOW IS YOUR RESEARCH RELATED
TO PAVEMENT PRESERVATION?
Chip seal performance is the focus of my
study and Ph.D. research at Iowa State
University. There are many advantages to
using chip seals on roads, including maintaining roads at lower costs, extending time
between asphalt overlays, eliminating the
need to crack seal, providing better skid
resistance, increasing texture properties,
and enhancing overall road safety.
A key component of my research compares and contrasts the performance of different chip seal materials and construction
techniques. We've worked on improving
standards and studying chip seal design
methods to improve suggested application
rates and overall performance.
Our project is an Oregon DOT study where
design recommendations and actual field
application rates of materials are compared
and related to performance. The study aims
at understanding how chip seal design
influences chip seal performance.
In addition, we've teamed with Ohio
University to study chip seal best practices
on low volume roads (LVRs), which contribute significantly to the growth of this
nation. It's estimated that LVRs are about
70 percent of the United States public road
Fall 2017 | PAVEMENT PRESERVATION JOURNAL