TRP Chair Spotlight: Sheila Beshears

Sheila Beshears, Aggregate Technology Coordinator for the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Bureau of Materials and Physical Research (BMPR), is currently involved in three ICT/IDOT projects: 

  • R27-124: Evaluation of Porous Granular Embankment Materials Used as Pavement Subgrade/Granular Subbase
  • R27-125: Sustainable Aggregates Production—Green Applications for Aggregate By-Products
  • R27-129: Implementation of AIMS in Measuring Aggregate Resistance to Polishing, Abrasion, and Breakage

In her current role at IDOT, Beshears is the point person for geological issues in pavements. She states, “I enjoy guiding ICT/IDOT research because of the benefits that the research brings to IDOT.” For instance, Beshears explained that in project R27-124, the research being done will allow IDOT to assess the quality assurance processes for use of aggregate subgrade materials. Also, project R27-125 is expected to have a positive environmental impact by finding ways to integrate aggregate by-products into pavement construction, which means less waste. In project R27-129, researchers are creating a more cost-efficient system to test the friction resistance of aggregates.

Beshears began working at IDOT in 1991 as a materials inspector in District 2. She joined BMPR in 1998 as a quality assurance geologist before moving into her current role. She holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from Western Illinois University.