University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
Samples of materials mixtures in bins.

 Mixtures of aggregate, sand and other binder materials used to create asphalt concrete samples in bins, Modified Asphalt Research Center. Research in the center focuses on ways to make asphalt more environmentally sustainable. Photo: Jeff Miller.


The constructed facilities materials group works toward helping define, address and advance all aspects and challenges of engineering materials utilized in many manmade structures and infrastructures.


The highway materials group pursues the most pressing and promising research needs for this growing area of technology, working across departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in cooperation with petroleum producers, additive manufacturers and industry stakeholders. This group conducts research and education activities related to modified asphalts as well as environmentally sensitive “green” pavement technologies. This includes binder lab testing, green mixes (high recycled content and reduced temperature), high-performance mixes (safe, quiet, designed for intersections, and traffic resistant), modeling, implementation, standards development, field validation/testing, and education/outreach (seminars, classes and student involvement).


Geological engineers working in the area of soil and waste material behavior, make a difference by blending geoscience and engineering principles to solve practical problems that are important to society.

Selected current research projects

• Asphalt Research Consortium, a 5-year contract with the Federal Highway Administration

• Transportation Pooled Fund project: ““Investigation of Low Temperature Cracking in Asphalt Pavements” led by University of Minnesota, in partnership with University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and Iowa State University.

• NCHRP 09-50 project, entitled, “Performance-Related Specifications for Asphaltic Binders Used in Preservation Surface Treatments.