Highlights from the 56th Illinois Bituminous Conference

The 56th Annual Illinois Bituminous Paving Conference, held on December 14-15, 2015 at the iHotel and Conference Center in Champaign, Illinois, was a great success this year with over 300 people in attendance. The event brought together highway engineers, government officials, contractors, consultants, university researchers, and representatives of private industry to collectively discuss highway improvement and disseminate current technical data.

This year, the conference, was preceded by two special workshops: The Tack Coat Best Practices Workshop, which offered owners and contractors the opportunity to find out more about the latest in tack coat technologies and best practices and the Crack Potential Testing Workshop, which focused on the facture characterization of asphalt mixtures, giving an overview of a new protocol developed using the Illinois Flexibility Index Test (I-FIT), a semi-circular bending fracture test to determine asphalt mixtures’ resistance to cracking.

The main conference featured discussions and presentations on a variety of topics including asphalt modification, improvements to hot mix asphalt, ultra-thin overlays, quality control, and more. Speakers included leaders in government, industry, and academia such as Geoff Rowe of Abatech, Jim Trepanier of IDOT, Wayne Jones of the Asphalt Institute, Bill Pine of Heritage Construction and Materials, and ICT Director Imad Al-Qadi, among others. See a complete list of the Conference presentations here.

During the conference, special awards were presented to exceptional people in the asphalt field:

Matt Mueller, IDOT’s recently retired Engineer of Tests, was awarded the Leadership in Bituminous Engineering Award for his vision and leadership in field of asphalt concrete. Abdul Z. Dahhan received the Engineer/Technical Contribution Award for leading asphalt concrete sustainability in IDOT’s District 1. The Student Research Award this year went to ICT’s Rebekah Yang for her work in developing the Tollway pavement life-cycle assessment tool. Finally, Imad Al-Qadi and Hasan Ozer shared the Innovative Research Award for their work on the I-FIT.

A pre-conference reception was held on the evening of the 14th and was well attended, with around 150 people. There were exhibitor booths from several leaders in the asphalt and pavement industry on hand showing the latest in technology and services available on the market.

The 57th Annual Illinois Bituminous Paving Conference is scheduled to take place on December 12-13, 2016 at the iHotel and Conference Center in Champaign, Illinois. Please save the date and sign up here to receive email notifications about the next conference.