Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 9

President's Perspective

Industry Research Investment at NCAT Delivers Great ROI
This April, the National Center for Asphalt Technology
(NCAT) celebrated 30 years of improving pavement
performance and driving asphalt pavement research
innovation. With its unique focus on asphalt research,
with practical solutions to the problems faced by
contractors and their agency partners, NCAT has been
invaluable to our industry.

The Founders' Vision
NCAT's start began with the asphalt pavement industry.
In the mid-1980s, the NAPA Research and Education
Foundation (NAPAREF) raised more than $10 million
from NAPA members and the industry to endow an
asphalt-focused academic center. The result was the
establishment of NCAT in partnership with Auburn
University in Auburn, Ala.
Over the past 30 years, proceeds from the endowment,
combined with direct contributions, has provided more
than $20 million support. These funds have been used
by NCAT to conduct research, purchase laboratory
equipment, conduct the Professor Training Program,
develop a textbook for asphalt materials classes and
pursue other essential activities. Thanks to NAPA's
advocacy work, NCAT has also benefited from federally
funded research into asphalt pavements for highways and
airfields.

Growth and Innovation
Since its founding, NCAT had grown significantly. From
the small staff in 1986 led by the first NCAT Director,
Dr. Freddy Roberts, the center has grown through the
directorship of Dr. Ray Brown and current NCAT Director
Dr. Randy West to 30 full-time and 25 part-time staff. Over
the past three decades, NCAT has been central to major
innovations for the industry.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Superpave was
developed by the Strategic Highway Research Program.
The Superpave mix design system was not workable for
contractors and agencies until NCAT's research programs
developed adjustments that made it succeed.
Stone-matrix asphalt (SMA) was a proven technology
in Europe, but it took NCAT's research to prove that SMA
could be adapted to the aggregates and manufacturing
processes used in the United States. Today, many
interstates and other high-volume roads are constructed
here using SMA.
The first U.S. evaluations of warm-mix asphalt
technologies were performed by NCAT. Both laboratory
and field research conducted at NCAT helped speed the
adoption of WMA technologies, which are now used in the
production of a third of all U.S. asphalt mixture tonnage.

As NCAT furthered its research
goals, the center relocated from
on-campus offices in Auburn's
Harbert Engineering Center, to a
purpose-built, 40,000-square-foot
research center fully equipped
with state-of-the-art equipment.
In 2000, NCAT completed
construction of its 1.7-mile, oval
pavement Test Track in nearby
Opelika, Ala.
By Mike Acott,
The Test Track was created as a
NAPA President
proving ground for materials and
mix and structural design. It was strongly supported by
the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT);
ALDOT Transportation Director Mac Roberts and Chief
Engineer Ray Bass championed the Test Track in its early
years. Now, the Test Track is supported by DOTs from
across the country, as well as private sector firms.
Lab and field studies conducted by NCAT prove that
asphalt can provide a surface that can last 20 years or
more; in fact, NCAT's Perpetual Pavement design work
has identified practices that enable a pavement structure
to last indefinitely.
NCAT has also worked to advance Thinlay asphalt
overlays; best practices for the use of recycled materials,
including RAP; and the performance attributes of highpolymer asphalt binders. NCAT research is regularly
presented at meetings and conferences worldwide.
The industry continues to rely on NCAT to perform
important research that quantifies and expands our
understanding of the advantages of asphalt pavements.
NAPA, in partnership with the State Asphalt Pavement
Associations, has funded a range of research at NCAT
into optimized pavement design, Perpetual Pavement
design, premium mixtures, Thinlays, and education and
communication programs.

An Industry Leader
Now a world leader on asphalt research, with a
tremendous track record and reputation, NCAT has
exceeded the vision of its founders. Everything NCAT
does works to improve our products, enhance pavement
performance, and respond to the needs of our customers.
I am proud to say the asphalt pavement industry
played a direct role in founding this national center
for innovation and exploration designed to serve
roadbuilders, road owners and the driving public. NCAT
is unique because of its partnership with industry, DOTs
and FHWA. This partnership ensures that its research is
practical and that we do indeed get a great ROI. AP
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 * 9



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017

President’s Perspective
Industry News
Back to Basics: Quality Matters
Thinlay Projects on the Ground
NAPA Operational Excellence Awards
Outstanding Brochure Award: Differentiating With Diamonds
Community Involvement Awards: Community Values
Ecological Award: Think Green
Asphalt Operations Safety Innovation Awards: Improving Safety Culture and Accountability
Outstanding Website Award: Asphalt Pavement Resources at Your Fingertips
Industry Calendar
Index of Advertisers / Advertisers.com
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Intro
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - cover1
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - cover2
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 3
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 4
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 5
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 6
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 7
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 8
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - President’s Perspective
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 10
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Industry News
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 12
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 13
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 14
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Back to Basics: Quality Matters
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 16
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 17
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Thinlay Projects on the Ground
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 19
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 20
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 21
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 22
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 23
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 24
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - NAPA Operational Excellence Awards
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 26
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Outstanding Brochure Award: Differentiating With Diamonds
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Community Involvement Awards: Community Values
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 29
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 30
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 31
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 32
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 33
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 34
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 35
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 36
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 37
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 38
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 39
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Ecological Award: Think Green
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 41
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 42
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 43
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 44
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 45
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 46
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Asphalt Operations Safety Innovation Awards: Improving Safety Culture and Accountability
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 48
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 49
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 50
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 51
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 52
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Outstanding Website Award: Asphalt Pavement Resources at Your Fingertips
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 54
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Industry Calendar
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 56
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Index of Advertisers / Advertisers.com
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 58
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - cover3
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - cover4
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