Alumni Spotlight: Hao Wang (Ph.D., 2011)

Hao Wang will always fondly remember his time as a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and as a research assistant at ATREL. “While working on several projects related to the mechanistic analysis of pavement damage, finite element modeling, material performance testing, and non-destructive pavement testing, I learned to be a researcher,” Wang says. He also enjoyed the camaraderie, explaining, “ICT is like a big, close family. Everybody worked together and helped each other—like when a test pavement was built.” He also enjoyed the weekly Kent seminars where graduate students shared their research, learned from experts and enjoyed a pizza lunch.

Wang assisted in the completion of IDOT project R59, which examined pavement damage due to environmentally-friendly wide-base tires. This research led to other innovative projects that show the benefits of wide-base tires, including less pavement damage and reduced fuel consumption.

As a student researcher, Wang also contributed to a project studying the effects of friction on rolling tire-surface interaction for NEXTRANS and co-sponsored by IDOT. Other research included analyzing test methods and specification criteria for mineral filler used in asphaltic mixtures for NCHRP. While at ICT, Wang also assisted in the investigation of short-term performance of modified stone matrix asphalt (SMA) produced with warm-mix additives, which was sponsored by IDOT and the Illinois Tollway Authority.

After Wang graduated with his Ph.D. in May 2011, he accepted an assistant professor position in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rutgers University. There, he is leading a project investigating hot-mix asphalt payment adjustment for the New Jersey Department of Transportation and teaching transportation and pavement courses in his department.

When he is not teaching or researching, Wang enjoys playing badminton and watching movies.