College of Engineering

Pavement Research Institute enters into $399,000 research agreement with Commonwealth

UMass Dartmouth's Pavement Research Institute of Southeastern Massachusetts (PRISM) has entered into a $399,000 research agreement with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works to design and evaluate specialized hot mix asphalt mixtures for roadway applications in Massachusetts.

PRISM, located at the UMass Dartmouth Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center (ATMC) in Fall River, Massachusetts, will be attempting to develop roadway paving mixtures that last longer.  This performance can be measured in terms of reducing roadway distresses, increasing the service life of roadways, enhancing driver comfort, and reducing roadway noise. Moreover, PRISM will attempt to develop these better performing types of pavements by incorporating environmentally friendly technologies, using recycled materials, and utilizing new polymer technologies.   

"Our goal is to help the Commonwealth renovate thousands of miles of roads and highways in a way that extends the life of the surface and re-uses materials," said Dr. Walaa Mogawer, director of the PRISM and the principal investigator on the initiative. "We believe there is great potential to save money and preserve our environment at the same time."

Through this research agreement, PRISM will work with the Massachusetts Highway Department to identify the pavement performance needs of Massachusetts, identify and select the specialized hot mix asphalt mixtures that meet these roadway performance needs and evaluate the performance of these mixes in the laboratory environment.

For this project all mixes will be developed and tested with state-of-the-art testing equipment located at the PRISM.  Specifically, each mix will be evaluated for their performance in terms of surface friction, cracking resistance, and fatigue life.  

Dr. Mogawer is assisted on the project by Research Engineer Alexander Austerman and Civil & Environmental Engineering undergraduate and graduate students.

People interested in information on PRISM may call Professor Walaa Mogawer, P.E., at 508.910.9805 or visit

Author: "John Hoey"
Date: 27-3-2008

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