PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University officially opens its
Washington Center for Asphalt Technology Tuesday, Feb. 1, with a number of
officials attending from the state Department of Transportation and the
Asphalt Paving Association of Washington.

WCAT, part of the WSU department of civil and environmental engineering,
was made possible though cash and equipment donations from the asphalt
industry and WDOT. The laboratory is housed in newly remodeled facilities in
Sloan Hall. Established in partnership with the WDOT and the APAW, the
center is fully equipped to carry out bituminous and asphalt concrete testing in
compliance with the newly adopted Superpave system. Superpave is method
of testing the performance of paving materials under a prescribed set of
environmental and engineering conditions.

WCAT’s goal is to offer hands-on education to undergraduate and graduate
students, offer workshop training to the industry and expand WSU’s research
capabilities.

A technical advisory board governs the center with representation from the
three supporting agencies. Faculty responsible for WCAT are civil engineering
professors Eyad Masad and Tom Papagiannakis.

In conjunction with the laboratory opening, a three-day seminar on asphalt
technology is planned for 40 asphalt industry and state transportation
department personnel. Thursday’s program includes laboratory
demonstrations to showcase the center’s material testing capabilities.

WSU has a well-established reputation for its research and educational
programs on asphalt and paving technology, said Papagiannakis. “This new
center will enhance that reputation and improve university service to the
industry.”

He added that the continuous commitment of the funding agencies is more
impressive now than prior to the adoption of I-695 and the resulting budget
cuts.

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