AMAP gears up for 13th annual conference in Albuquerque, NM
Mark your calendars now to join us for our 13th annual conference, set for Feb. 7-9, 2012, at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa in Albuquerque, NM.
As in years past, owners, paving contractors, engineers, consultants, suppliers, producers and all those with vested interest in the modified asphalt paving industry are invited to attend.
Based on the extremely positive feedback we received on our 2011 lineup of presenters, we are working to bring together another broad-based group of presenters from government and industry to discuss the latest news and issues affecting the asphalt industry. Topics on tap for discussion during the 2012 event will include the state of the American infrastructure, the status of global raw material supply and a refiner's perspective on asphalt supply.
Those of you who turned out for our 2011 conference in Kansas City will recall that we had excellent attendance, and our post-event surveys featured rave reviews on the entire conference program. Presentations that garnered especially high marks included Jay Hansen's discussion on highway funding; Bill Haverland's presentation highlighting the effects of crude supply on asphalt distribution and Jean-Pascal Planche's discussion on Europe's modified asphalt binder experiences.
During the 2011 event, we also welcomed James Collins and Jean Pascal-Planche into AMAP's Paving Hall of Fame, and the group's distinguished list of members will continue to grow as we induct another honoree at our 2012 event.
Our 13th annual conference will definitely be an event that you won't want to miss, so be sure to make plans now to attend. Registration information will be posted in November on the AMAP website at www.modifiedasphalt.org. For further information, please call Bob Berkley at
(314) 843-2627 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
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AMAP debuts revamped website
This spring, AMAP launched its newly revamped website at www.modifiedasphalt.org, and if you haven't yet checked it out, we encourage you stop by.
The new site is a one-stop shop for information on AMAP. It features a modern and sleek design, which is highlighted by vivid, rotating home page photos of modified asphalt roads in a variety of environments.
Under the "About" tab, site visitors can read about AMAP's history, and see lists of its past-presidents and Hall of Fame and Person of the Year winners. The "Membership" tab features a downloadable membership application, along with lists of AMAP's officers and board members, committee and committee chairs and a current list of companies that are AMAP members.
Within the site's online educational library, visitors can access presentations from AMAP's past annual meetings and a variety of white papers and technical reports issued by AMAP. Specific owner/agency and producer/contractor case studies are also available for viewing and download.
The newly revamped website also features online registration for AMAP's annual conferences. For students interested in applying for AMAP's David Jones IV Scholarship, there is a downloadable application, along with information on the scholarship and a list of past recipients.
The "Resources" section of the site offers access to an industry event calendar, a helpful glossary of asphalt industry-related terms, website links to other asphalt organizations and a link to streaming video of a recent introductory course on modified asphalts presented by AMAP to the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the North East Asphalt User/Producer Group.
Another new feature on the site is the "News/Press" section, which features access to the latest press releases sent out on behalf of AMAP and links to recent news coverage on the organization.
"We're thrilled about the look, the functionality and all the features on the new site, and we hope our members, and anyone with an interest in modified asphalt will stop by for a glimpse of all the site has to offer," said Bob Berkley, Executive Director of AMAP.
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AMAP Honors: Becky McDaniel
In this issue of AMAP News, we continue to pay tribute to individuals whose efforts are advancing the asphalt industry by recognizing Rebecca (Becky) McDaniel, Technical Director of the North Central Superpave Center at Purdue University.
Having earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in materials from Purdue, McDaniel's interest in asphalt paving dates back to her childhood. The daughter of an engineer with the Indiana State Highway Commission, she grew up driving along road construction sites with her dad. But, it was a summer job with the Indiana highway department that cemented her interest in a career in the asphalt industry.
"When I first went to college, I was actually an English major with a goal of becoming a technical writer," noted McDaniel. "After my summer job with the highway department, I transferred to Purdue and finally decided on a major in engineering."
After obtaining her bachelor's and master's degrees from Purdue, McDaniel joined the Indiana Department of Transportation's (INDOT) Division of Research in 1985, where her duties focused on pavements, materials and accelerated testing. During her time at INDOT, McDaniel was temporarily assigned to the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) office in Washington D.C., where she had the unique opportunity to serve as loaned staff to the Program for several months before full funding was authorized.
"I was a young, single research engineer at the time, so living in D.C. was pretty exciting," said McDaniel. "I helped with setting up expert task groups and committees, assisted a bit with the procedures for preparing requests for proposals and did literature reviews on a range of topics."
In 1995, McDaniel assumed her current role with the North Central Superpave Center at Purdue. In her early days with the organization, much of her work was focused on the training of paving inspectors and other personnel. Today, however, her efforts with the Center are focused on conducting research designed to refine the Superpave system and sharing her findings through a variety of channels, including presentations, webinars and an organizational newsletter and website.
"Our current projects include continued research on issues related to recycling asphalt pavements, which has been an emphasis of ours for about 10 years or so," said McDaniel. "We're also looking into issues related to the surface characteristics of pavement, such as friction and tire-pavement noise."
While working full-time with the North Central Superpave Center and raising three children, Becky also spent more than a decade working on her Ph.D. Her dissertation was focused on the long-term field performance of modified asphalt mixes.
"I followed the performance of a trial project, incorporating seven polymer and particulate modifiers on a heavily traveled interstate over an 11-year timeframe," noted McDaniel.
As a woman working in a male-dominated industry, McDaniel says her career has had its ups and downs.
"In the beginning, I really had to work hard to prove myself, which was frustrating at times," said McDaniel. "But the challenges I faced made me stronger and taught me how to be more confident."
To the many other women out there that may be considering a career in the asphalt industry, McDaniel says, "Go for it."
"This is a very rewarding field, and since there are a limited number of women working in it, there's a great opportunity for women to make a real impression and be remembered."
In 2012, McDaniel will continue to make her own impression on the asphalt industry when she takes the reigns as president of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT). She will be only the second woman to hold the position since the organization was formed in 1920.
In addition to her work with AAPT, McDaniel has also been a longtime active member of the Transportation Research Board and ASTM International. Looking to the future, she hopes to continue her work to promote the benefits of asphalt pavements.
"Because of the economy, the asphalt paving industry is struggling right now," said McDaniel. "In the coming years, my hope is to focus my efforts on making asphalt the pavement of choice once again."
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Our President's View
Good Roads - A Political Football?
It is maddening for everyone in the asphalt pavement industry to watch our political leaders continually underfund and neglect the United States' highway system and force our infrastructure into decline. The Interstate Highway System was built more than 50 years ago under the leadership of President Dwight Eisenhower. This visionary highway project helped drive the American economy to prosperity for decades and gave drivers the freedom to travel effortlessly across this great country. Americans enjoyed the benefits of a highway network unrivaled around the globe.
Today the U.S. infrastructure has fallen from a quality ranking of number one in the world to 23rd, as reported by the World Economic Forum. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently published a report that gave our infrastructure a grade of D (on a scale of A to F). The decline is directly attributable to inadequate funding. A recent report on infrastructure funding found that China is spending 9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on infrastructure and Canada is spending 4 percent of GDP on infrastructure. The US is currently spending 1.7 percent of GDP on infrastructure. In a global economy that demands efficiency to compete successfully, the crumbling American infrastructure is handicapping the potential for economic growth.
Motor fuel user fees (not taxes) are currently the primary funding source for highway funding. They are the fairest form of revenue collection in the U.S. Only users of the highway system pay the fees, and the funds are dedicated to the Federal Highway Trust Fund, which is used only for infrastructure construction and maintenance. Unfortunately, the federal motor fuel user fees are a fixed amount, not a percentage of the fuel price (unlike income and sales taxes), and they have been 18.1 cents per gallon since 1993. Inflation has severely eroded the buying power of the Highway Trust Fund since 1993 and there simply is not enough money available to maintain our roads and bridges in good condition. Maintaining our current system is a priority for transportation agencies across the country, but building infrastructure additions and improvements that will ease congestion and improve efficiency are on hold indefinitely.
Unemployment in America today is above 9 percent, but unemployment in the construction industry is almost 20 percent. Adequate transportation funding will not only put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back to work (jobs that cannot be exported) – it will also improve the efficiency, reliability and safety of our highway system. Increasing the motor fuel user fees or finding a suitable alternative is the only solution to the infrastructure dilemma in America. The current level of U.S. debt is intolerable, and funding highway improvements with deficit spending is not acceptable to anyone.
We need our elected officials to act as leaders and solve our problems, rather than responding only to emergencies and following today's polling data before making any decisions. President Eisenhower pushed the original Interstate Highway Bill through Congress without the support of the American people. He did so because he had a vision and knew it would be good for America. Where would we be today if Ike had waited until the public polls showed support for an Interstate Highway System? Imagine the United States of America without an Interstate Highway network – what would our economy look like? Democrats and Republicans must work together to fund a robust six- year highway bill now! Make your voice heard and let your representatives know how desperately our industry and the country need it.
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From the Executive Director
I have been attentively listening to the "Jobs for America" speeches by our President, Barack Obama. For the first time in many months, I am encouraged and excited about the prospect that our industry is finally being recognized as the best way to get people back to work and, as importantly, improving our country's way of life.
Whatever you think of this administration, we have to applaud this effort by the president to get our economy on track. Estimates indicate that the proposal could create 800,000 to 1.9 million jobs. Many of those jobs will come from new employees within construction-related ancillary businesses. Equipment producers will need more workers, as will material suppliers, quarries, plant manufacturers, salesmen, laboratory technicians; and the list goes on and on.
In Ron Corun's article above, he clearly relates the statistics relevant to the financial shape the state DOTs are facing. Obama's proposal, if passed, will lessen a great deal of that suffering. This is our chance to let the members of Congress know how we feel. Please contact your representatives. Tell them the political posturing has got to stop! We need this plan. The plan needs us. To find your representative's contact information, visit: www.contactingthecongress.org. We are the bosses; let them know that.
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Applications now being accepted for 3rd annual David R. Jones IV Scholarship award
College students interested in the field of asphalt technology are once again encouraged to submit their applications for AMAP's third annual David R. Jones IV Scholarship award.
Next spring, we will award a monetary prize to at least one college junior or senior majoring in a field of study related to asphalt technology, such as civil engineering, chemical engineering and chemistry. Preference will be given to applicants with experience and interest in asphalt technology.
Made possible by outside donations, the David R. Jones IV Scholarship award was developed in 2009 in memory of the late Dave Jones IV, who served in a variety of capacities in the asphalt industry, including time at the University of Texas, where he was a key member of the Asphalt Research Team responsible for Performance Graded (PG) Asphalt Binder Specification.
Applications are currently available on the AMAP website at www.modifiedasphalt.org, and will be accepted through Dec. 1. Completed applications should be mailed to: AMAP Scholarship, P.O. Box 270006, St. Louis, MO 63127, Attention: Kevin Hardin.
Those wishing to help build the fund are encouraged to send a check made out to the David R. Jones IV Scholarship Fund, and mail it to the above address. All contributions made go directly to the fund for use by students, with no administrative fees deducted from the donations.
"We're thrilled to announce that our 2009 scholarship winner has gone on to secure full-time employment with AMAP member company, Momentum Technologies," noted Bob Berkley, Executive Director of AMAP. "Our 2010 batch of scholarship winners was also a very impressive group, and we look forward to receiving our next set of 2011 applications from highly qualified students nationwide. It's wonderful to have the opportunity to give students the chance to achieve their career goals through this special fund that bears Dave Jones' name, and we encourage any student with an interest in asphalt technology to submit their applications today."
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PRI Asphalt Technologies opens new Midwest office
PRI Asphalt Technologies recently celebrated the grand opening of its second location in Munster, Ind. The new full-service laboratory provides additional support to PRI's existing clients as well as enhanced, local AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory (AMRL) accredited services to clients in the greater Chicago area and surrounding north central states.
The new location offers third-party independent testing, evaluation, product certifications, product improvement and development services and forensic investigations for asphalt binders, asphalt cutbacks and emulsions, aggregates and other pavement preservation and maintenance products. Mix design services for Superpave, Marshall, micro-surfacing and slurry seals are also available.
Having officially opened its doors in June, the Midwest office features a staff of five, including a lab manager, a business services manager and three technicians. More information on PRI Asphalt Technologies and the new Indiana office is available on the organization's website at www.priasphalt.com.
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ArrMaz Custom Chemicals completes asset purchase of Road Science, LLC
Specialty chemical manufacturer and AMAP member company ArrMaz Custom Chemicals, Inc. has acquired Tulsa, Okla.-based technology and marketing company Road Science, LLC.
According to Pat Lavin, Division President of ArrMaz, the acquisition will combine Road Science's expertise in preservation, maintenance and recycling solutions for the road paving industry with ArrMaz's knowledge of custom asphalt additives to create a world-class road solutions company.
The merger will allow Road Science to provide beginning-to-end customer solutions, ranging from the production of custom-designed chemicals to the development of complete application systems aimed at improving pavement performance and lowering life cycle costs.
The combined entity will operate under the Road Science name as a division of ArrMaz Custom Chemicals and will be headquartered in Tulsa at Road Science's current home base.
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Pace Construction and TK Investment USA sign on as new member companies
We're pleased to announce that Pace Construction Company and TK Investment USA, Inc. have joined our distinguished list of member companies.
With over 60 years of bridge and highway construction experience, St. Louis, Mo.-based Pace Construction specializes in heavy and highway construction, and asphalt sales from 10 hot mix plants located throughout Missouri. The company primarily serves state, county and local governments, and commercial customers. Within the 10 asphalt plants it operates, Pace Construction runs two permanent and five potable fully equipped Superpave labs certified through MoDOT's and IDOT's Materials Technician Training Programs. The company is also enrolled in AASHTO's Materials Reference Laboratory's Proficiency Sample Program.
TK Investment USA, Inc. was formed to assist in the exportation and importation of products and equipment between the USA and China. The company is based in Woodstock, Ga.
We welcome both of these organizations as new AMAP members!
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Following is a listing of upcoming asphalt industry-related events.
Virginia Asphalt Association Fall Asphalt Conference
International Warm Mix Conference
Hyatt Regency at the Arch
St. Louis, Mo.
AEMA Asphalt Emulsion Technologies Workshop
St. Louis Union Station Marriott
St. Louis, Mo.
Southeastern Asphalt User/Producer Group Annual Meeting
Hyatt Regency Savannah
National Asphalt Paving Association Annual Meeting
JW Marriott Desert Springs
Palm Desert, Calif.
Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting
Marriott Wardman Park, Omni Shoreham
and Washington Hilton hotels
Association of Modified Asphalt Producers Annual Meeting
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa
World of Asphalt
Charlotte Convention Center
Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists Annual Meeting
Omni Downtown Hotel
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