Program for Sustainable Pavement Engineering & Research (PROSPER)

Program Objectives

  • Advance research, development, and implementation of next-generation sustainable roadway systems.
  • Integrate cutting-edge technologies from various disciplines to tackle real-world highway and airport pavement infrastructure problems.
  • Investigate sustainable paving materials and construction technologies, pavement non-destructive testing and evaluation, performance monitoring, maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation.

Research Focus Areas

Roadway Infrastructure Assessment and Modeling

  • Rapidly and reliably evaluate the existing condition of infrastructure systems using non-destructive technologies augmented by numerical simulations and artificial intelligence
  • Wireless Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags in highway and airport construction projects for temperature monitoring and concrete strength estimation using PCC maturity concept
  • Development of multi-functional self-powered Micro-Electro-Mechanical Sensor (MEMS) system capable of real-time, remote monitoring of localized strain, temperature and moisture content in highway/airport pavement systems

Mechanistic and Performance Based Pavement Analysis, Design and Construction Technology

  • Improving the pavement performance prediction accuracy of Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG)/AASHTOWare Pavement ME through local calibration
  • Use of RFID/MEMS based real-time field data for mechanistic calibration of pavement performance models
  • Development of simplified flexible and rigid pavement design models
  • Improved pavement forecasting models for repaired/rehabilitated pavement sections in Iowa

Sustainable Infrastructure/Engineering Materials

  • Development of electrically conductive concrete (ECC) with nano-structured superhydrophobic surfaces to achieve ice- and snow-free pavement surfaces
  • Economic and energy viability of heated airport pavement systems
  • Integrating Alternative/Recycled Materials into PCC Mix Design System
  • Use of biomass derived lignin in roadway geo-materials stabilization and unpaved road dust mitigation