A story published by the University of South Alabama (Link: https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/publicrelations/pressreleases/071520asphalt.html)

University of South Alabama engineering students examine an asphalt pavement core sample held by Dr. Shenghua Wu, assistant professor of civil engineering/pavement engineering. The sample was removed from a road made from 100 percent reclaimed asphalt pavement, which is the focus of research by Wu and the students. data-lightbox='featured'

Reported by Civil Engineering magazine, April, 2020.

An Alternative Permeability Indicator to Determine Optimal Maintenance Timing for Open-Graded Friction Course

Abstract: Open-graded friction course (OGFC) is a low impact development practice that provides a better drainage solution and a safer driving condition. However, there exists a gap in understanding how internal pores in OGFC mix affects hydraulic conductivity particularly when it is clogged in service, and there is a lack of study on determining the optimal maintenance timing for a OGFC pavement. This study aimed at characterizing relationship of volumetric and permeability properties for OGFC slab specimens and quantifying permeability deterioration over time using a developed precipitation simulator and permeability measuring device and rutting test. Seven test temperatures (40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70°C) during a rutting test were considered to simulate the condition of OGFC pavement under the effect of traffic and high temperature. In addition, the effect of size of clogging materials on permeability was also evaluated. The test results suggested that interconnected air void was lower than total air void, and higher rutting temperature resulted in reduced interconnected air void. The clogging experiment suggested that 0.3-0.6 mm material causes the most clogging while 0.075-0.15 mm size material cause least clogging. Based on this study, it is recommended to use a field measured rut depth as an alternative permeability indicator for determining optimal maintenance timing for a OGFC pavement using the correlation established between permeability and rut depth. A case study of OGFC pavement demonstrated that when the field measured rut depth reached 4.5 mm or higher, a timely maintenance is needed.

TRB 2020 Final 1.10.2020



A brand-new Anton Paar Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR) is used for characterizing  rheological properties of asphalt binders  at undergraduate CE315 Civil Engineering Materials lab course.


Lightweight aggregate is used to replace traditional aggregate such as limestone and gravel in the Portland cement concrete, in order to achieve a specialty concrete. The lightweight aggregate is often synthetic, weighing less than 1100 kg/m3. USA’s football stadium is one example of utilizing lightweight aggregate to reduce dead load from concrete floor. The unit weight of lightweight concrete is 90 to 115 lb/ ft3 while the conventional Portland cement concrete is  140 to 150 lb/ ft3. See how much loading can be reduced, and how much beams and columns can be saved?







An unforgettable and educational field trip to Louisiana Transportation Research Center (LTRC) at Louisiana State University (LSU), Baton Rouge, AL for students who are taking Pavement Design course. Many thanks go to Dr. Doc Zhang (Pavement & Geotechnical Research Administrator) for hosting and organizing this event for us, as well as Dr. Tyson Rupnow (Associate Director of Research), Dr. Moinul Mahdi (Pavement Research Facility Manager), Mr. Kevin Gaspard (Pavement Research Manager), Mr. Gavin Gautreau (Senior Geotechnical Research Manager), and Dr. Samuel Cooper III (Materials Research Administrator), and many other LTRC staff.


Another project at Mobile Container Terminal that uses roller concrete concrete (RCC) pavement due to its efficiency, cost effectiveness, and durability. Pavement Structure of 18 in. RCC (2 lifts) + cement stabilized soil: isn’t that simply to support heavy container and traffic loading at terminal?








Let us see how you would connect what you learnt from Mechanics of Materials class to the real-world brewery engineering design. Details see the term project guideline and vessel specification. Thanks go to Brandon at Fairhope Brewery Co. for giving us an excellent tour.






I have taken many students who took technical elective course “Pavement Design” with me to visit National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) to get exposed to the world-class research facility in asphalt pavement. And this time I was so glad that I had the opportunity to be a “student” at NCAT for the Professor-training course, which was kindly hosted by NCAT at Auburn University and National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). It was an intensive 5-day training course from June 17-21, 2019, which was designed for professors who are dedicated in teaching pavement engineering and asphalt technologies. Many thanks go to NCAT staff and professors who organized this great learning experience! Never too old to learn!


Yuntiandu Glass Bridge is located in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan Province, China where was the Avatar movie was filmed. Although this glass bridge was not part of the movie, it has attracted millions of brave tourists to experience  “Do you dare to walk on the transparent glass bridge?” every year. The bridge was constructed in 2014, and completed in December 2015 and open to tourists in 2016. It is 538-m (1765-ft) long, 6-m (2-ft) wide, distanced 280 m (919 ft) from the bottom of gorge. A total of 99 pieces of transparent glasses with thickness of 5 cm (2 in.) each were installed as part of pavement on the bridge. It was designed to hold 800 people and expected to be visited by about 8,000 people per day, and it had reportedly attracted more than 80,000 visitors per day. Do you dare to walk on the glass pavement to see the most spectacular gorge view ever?

Link to watch the stunning video:  IMG_2235      IMG_2221



More details: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/hunan/zhangjiajie/glass-bridge.htm