Seven Universities Compete in Third Annual Asphalt Road-eo
Twelve teams of students from seven universities across Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana competed in TXAPA's third annual Asphalt Road-eo competition at our campus in Buda, Texas, on December 7. Throughout the day, the students and their asphalt slabs were put to the test in four different categories: friction, rutting, cracking, and judging panel presentations.
The results of these tests, combined with the scores of the judges (Robert Lee, Texas Materials; Michael Lee, TxDOT; Chuck Fuller, TXAPA; Josh Houston, Primoris Heavy Civil) determined the top three teams. First place: Team TLC - Louisiana Tech University (pictured); Second place: Blue Team - The University of Texas at El Paso; Third place: Team UTSA ITE - The University of Texas San Antonio
Although all the teams did an incredible job engineering their asphalt slabs without having been given any instruction, Michael Lee said the team from Louisiana Tech University stood out among the crowd. “They really did a great job on their presentation,” he said. “They did a lot of research on their design, and that really came across in their final product.”
The winning team out of LA Tech, Team TLC, was grateful to not only have won top prize, but to have been a part of the 2019 Asphalt Road-eo in general. They had this to say about their experience: “The opportunity to test our skills alongside great universities was a unique and challenging experience that we are incredibly thankful for. We extend a big thank you to the judges and sponsors as well for their hospitality and constructive feedback. This was an extremely productive event for all of us on the team. We are excited to come back next year and look forward to seeing you again.”
Each of the four members of the winning team received a $1,000 check to help fund their educational journey toward a career in engineering or a related field, and the two runner-ups were given a team trophy to take back to their respective universities.
The competition also doubled as a great networking opportunity for the students, who had the chance to connect with representatives from TxDOT, Texas Materials, and Austin Materials at our career fair. The student competitors, most of whom are nearing their college graduation, were able to learn about potential internships and employment opportunities within the industry.
For the second year in a row, Josh Houston led the coordination of the competition as Chairman of TXAPA's Quality Asphalt Paving and New Technology Committee. Oklahoma Asphalt Pavement Association Executive Director Larry Patrick also returned to support the Oklahoma University teams for a second year and for the third year, Amit Bhasin, University of Texas at Austin Professor, Center for Transportation Research Director, served as the University Coordinator for the Asphalt Road-eo competition he started with his students and TXAPA in 2017.
The seven universities represented in this year's competition were: the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Louisiana Tech University, the University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M University, and Texas State University.
This competition would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors: Angel Brothers, Century Asphalt, U.S. Polyco, Austin Materials, TxDOT, and Texas Materials, a CRH Company.
After this year's competition, we're feeling more energized and excited than ever about the future of asphalt pavement because of the young, talented minds that we got to see in action. We're very much looking forward to next year's Asphalt Road-eo, and hope to see even more teams join us to compete!