ICT Alumni Spotlight: Joseph Anochie-Boateng, PhD 2007

Joseph Anochie-Boateng, a former ICT research assistant, is now leading the project team from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa set to collaborate with UIUC on a three-dimensional laser scanning project that will be funded for a three-year period (2011 to 2014) by the CSIR Strategic Research Panel (SRP) at a cost of approximately $1.1 million.

Joseph’s team will employ new and innovative research technologies (modern 3D laser scanning device and novel numerical techniques – FEM/DEM) to effectively address the difficulties associated with the characterization of shape/surface properties of aggregates (natural, recycled, marginal) used in roads and airfields and railroad ballast in South Africa.

Joseph explains, “This project will make a contribution to the existing body of knowledge and offer partial solutions to aggregate testing and performance problems in pavement and rail road infrastructure. New knowledge will be generated and improved procedures for aggregates and ballast characterization will be developed. The immediate impact of these developments will include the lowering of costs, promotion of increased use of recycled and discarded aggregate materials, and improvements in the renewal and sustainability of South Africa’s national road and rail networks.”

The CSIR laser scanning project will also involve UIUC Professor and ICT Investigator Erol Tutumluer, who was also Joseph’s PhD Advisor. This project offers an opportunity to establish a long-term research and development relationship between UIUC and the CSIR, who are also collaborating on the FHWA’s wide-base tire study.

Joseph remembers UIUC and ATREL fondly: “Let me say that I spent more time at ATREL than at UIUC. I miss the spontaneous late-night and early-day lab experiments at ATREL. I miss all the sophisticated research equipment/tools at ATREL including the semi-automated Proctor compaction hammer, the small and the large triaxial testing equipment, Servopac gyratory compactor, RaTT cell and UI-Fast cell setups, direct shear equipment 3D laser scanner, DCP/ADCP and many more types of equipment I used as a research assistant. One thing I still think is terrific is that during my time at UIUC, I noticed that all the research assistants supported and worked together as though we were working for the same Professor – it helped us to develop extraordinary interpersonal and team skills. It was an awesome experience that one can never forget.”

Joseph says he has succeeded in creating his own “ATREL” at the CSIR when his proposals for a Servopac gyratory compactor, four-pint beam fatigue apparatus, UTM-25 with temperature controlled environmental chamber, and UTM-14P triaxial setup (total cost, $260,000) were approved by the Executive Board of the CSIR. The equipment is currently used to support the hot-mix asphalt project focus area of the South Africa National Roads Agency Ltd (SANRAL) new mechanistic-empirical pavement design project. Joseph is a member of the SANRAL materials cluster committee that focuses on asphalt materials evaluation for the project.

Outside of work, Joseph enjoys exploring the many side attractions across the nine provinces of the beautiful country of South Africa. He especially enjoys going on a safari in the oldest and best wildlife park in Southern Africa – Kruger National Park.