Dr. Christian Brockmann

Construction Engineering Professor Spotlight


From its inception all the way to its recent ABET-accreditation, creating an entirely separate degree for students pursuing Construction Engineering was no small order. To build a bachelor’s degree that would create top-notch employees and leaders for the rapidly-growing industry (8%) would need expertise of a certain caliber.

Dr. Brockmann joined the U in 2022 in part to spearhead the Construction Engineering degree, and there couldn’t have been a better fit. With an extensive background in both academia and industry, Dr. Brockmann has left an indelible mark on the field of Construction Engineering and will, in the years to come, be an integral part of the program’s success.

Leadership Experience in Construction Engineering

Dr. Brockmann has been at the helm of staggeringly large-scale construction projects for decades. From 1995 – 1998, he served as the project director for the Bang Na Expressway  in Thailand (pictured above). Though this was much more complicated than any other raised highway, and its $4 billion budget made it not your everyday construction project.

The project challenged him to direct the design and construction of the longest bridge in the world at the time. Upon its completion, the 34 miles long and six-lane elevated highway took the title of the longest bridge in world and held it until 2008. (It remains the 7th longest bridge in the world today.) It took 1,800,000 cubic meters of concrete to build the bridge.

In 2015, his leadership extended to the $2 billion USD Port Said Tunnels project, connecting Sinai, East of the Suez Canal, and Delta. This transformative project involved meticulous planning, tunnel boring machine adjustments, and overcoming challenges in unstable mud soils. Dr. Brockmann planned for the successful completion of this complex endeavor. The total length of the tunnel is 3930m and reached to 4830m by adding the entries and exits; it includes 2 lanes with 3.60m and the maximum depth is 57m under the Suez Canal.

Just a few other of his responsibilities have included Structural Engineer for Berlin’s Hall of Congress and the Dame Point bridge in Jacksonville, FL, Site Engineer for Denmark’s Great Belt Tunnel, and participation in the project management for Qatar’s $40 billion Metro system.

Structural Engineer
Dame Point Bridge, Jacksonville, FL.
Structural Engineer
Hall of Congress, Berlin
Project Management
Port Said Canals, Sinai

Breadth of Knowledge

Dr. Brockmann’s academic journey is as impressive as his professional achievements. Graduating with BSc and MSc in Civil Engineering from Germany in 1981, he continued to expand his expertise with an Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering from France in 1982.

Over the course of his career, Brockmann realized that to effectively oversee construction projects of a certain scale, one requires more than the engineering expertise.

Driven by a pursuit of knowledge as well as a passion for taking on larger and more complex jobs, he earned a BA and MA in Business Administration, an MA in Economics, a PhD in Construction Management in 2007 (Switzerland), and his latest achievement, a 2022 PhD in Economics (Germany).

All of Dr. Brockmann’s attributes, as well as the expertise of our other Construction Engineering professors, provide our students with an outstanding education. We look forward to seeing the success of our graduates supporting economic growth and construction development in such a critical part of Utah’s workforce.


More on Construction Engineering at the U

Since 2022, our bachelor’s degree in Construction Engineering has been the only ABET-accredited program in Utah. Designed meet industry trends, our program encompasses environmental sustainability and software adoption to prepare the next generation of construction engineers, who currently in very high demand on today’s job market.

Read more.

 

 

More news from our department:

 

PhD Student Proposes Vision for the Future of Engineering in Utah

Mina Golazad, Construction Engineering PhD student, has been awarded second place in the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum Scholarship program for her vision of engineering in the future state. Mina’s response to the prompt, “Be Future Ready,” garnered recognition from the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum. This year’s prompt challenged participants to envision the challenges […]

$1M DOE Grant for Advanced Nuclear Energy Research

Dr. Peter Zhu’s team Plays Key Role in Securing $1M DOE Grant for Advanced Nuclear Energy Research We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Peter Zhu, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and his lab have been collaborating with a team at the University of Illinois on a proposal that has just been awarded […]

Research at the U is Building Better Utah Infrastructure

Dr. Pedro Romero Honored with Friend of Industry Award at the 2024 Utah Asphalt Conference The Utah Asphalt Paving Association—the driving force behind our road infrastructure—recently hosted the 2024 Utah Asphalt Conference from February 27 to 28. Recognized as the premier asphalt-related event in the state, the conference brought together the industry’s best minds, including […]

Dr. Cathy Liu Earns Prestigious Educator Award

CvEEN Professor Earns 2023 Outstanding Educator Award The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) is a global organization dedicated to improving transportation systems and creating smarter, more livable communities. Within this vast network, the Mountain District ITE represents the U.S.’s mountain states and recognizes outstanding educators in the field. Dr. Cathy Liu has been honored with […]

Building Upon Our Excellent Engineering Education

New Construction Engineering bachelor’s degree prepares students for a career in high-demand


Since 2022, our bachelor’s degree in Construction Engineering has been the only ABET-accredited program in Utah. Designed meet industry trends, our program encompasses environmental sustainability and software adoption to prepare the next generation of construction engineers, who currently in very high demand on today’s job market.

While most colleges include Construction Engineering under the Civil and Environmental umbrella, our autonomous Construction BS puts a more focused effort in training these essential engineers in the rapidly growing and increasingly technologically complex field.

Construction Engineering at the University of Utah prepares students to enter this exciting field. Students take courses in both civil engineering fundamentals—such as construction technology, scheduling, estimating, structural principles, site analysis, computer-assisted design, green building, and materials—and instruction in construction engineering courses, such as those related to contracting, project management, project scheduling, cost estimating, and laws and regulations.

Some courses provided include:

Green Building (Façade I)

One of the most important upcoming challenges for construction is the design and construction of sustainable buildings.

Cost Estimating and Proposal Writing

Concentrates on pricing the different elements of a structure based on the use of resources.

Principals of Construction Engineering

Learn about the preconstruction and execution of various construction projects.

Horizontal and Vertical Construction

Provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the principles, methods, and practices involved in planning and constructing buildings, bridges, roads, etc.

 

As we continue to commit resources into this unique degree, we look forward to equipping graduates with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience needed to enter the workforce as competent and innovative construction engineers, ready to build our future.


Meet the professor:

Dr. Christian Brockmann

Dr. Brockmann joined the U in 2022 in part to spearhead the Construction Engineering degree, and there couldn’t have been a better fit. With an extensive background in both academia and industry, Dr. Brockmann has left an indelible mark on the field of Construction Engineering and will, in the years to come, be an integral part of the program’s success.

Read more.

 

 

 

More news from our department:

 

 

PhD Student Proposes Vision for the Future of Engineering in Utah

Mina Golazad, Construction Engineering PhD student, has been awarded second place in the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum Scholarship program for her vision of engineering in the future state. Mina’s response to the prompt, “Be Future Ready,” garnered recognition from the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum. This year’s prompt challenged participants to envision the challenges […]

$1M DOE Grant for Advanced Nuclear Energy Research

Dr. Peter Zhu’s team Plays Key Role in Securing $1M DOE Grant for Advanced Nuclear Energy Research We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Peter Zhu, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and his lab have been collaborating with a team at the University of Illinois on a proposal that has just been awarded […]

Research at the U is Building Better Utah Infrastructure

Dr. Pedro Romero Honored with Friend of Industry Award at the 2024 Utah Asphalt Conference The Utah Asphalt Paving Association—the driving force behind our road infrastructure—recently hosted the 2024 Utah Asphalt Conference from February 27 to 28. Recognized as the premier asphalt-related event in the state, the conference brought together the industry’s best minds, including […]

Dr. Cathy Liu Earns Prestigious Educator Award

CvEEN Professor Earns 2023 Outstanding Educator Award The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) is a global organization dedicated to improving transportation systems and creating smarter, more livable communities. Within this vast network, the Mountain District ITE represents the U.S.’s mountain states and recognizes outstanding educators in the field. Dr. Cathy Liu has been honored with […]

A Message from Dr. Barber

Join us in Welcoming our New Department Chair – Dr. Tong Qiu


Dear colleagues and friends of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Utah,

I’m pleased to share that after an extensive national search, Dr. Tong Qiu has accepted our offer to lead as our department chair, beginning July 1. Dr. Qiu is currently a professor of Civil Engineering at Penn State University where he has risen through the ranks since 2010. Professor Qiu boasts an impressive array of professional achievements, both in academia and industry. An ASCE Fellow, he possesses the precise blend of skills, personality, and vision needed to elevate our department’s atmosphere and foster excellence in both education and research. We are excited to welcome and support him as he steps into this important leadership role.

Dr. Qiu’s doctoral studies in Civil Engineering were completed at the University of California – Los Angeles. He is a very active researcher who incorporates leading technology which results in real engineering products. His research spans a broad spectrum, from theoretical explorations to hands-on experimentation, encompassing soil dynamics, fluid mechanics in porous materials, and the modeling of geological systems. Dr. Qiu also harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to address various geotechnical engineering challenges. His work receives support from a diverse range of funding sources, including federal agencies like NSF, FHWA, DOS, FRA, and SERDP, state entities such as PennDOT and the State Police, as well as private sector partners like Google, Tensar International Corporation, Alpine Equipment LLC, and Mission Critical Solutions, in addition to backing from DOT University Transportation Centers. The University of Utah is the perfect fit for his continued career growth.

It’s been my honor to serve as Department Chair for the past 11 years. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support over that time. Just a few of my privileges have included recruiting a number of excellent faculty members and seeing the growth of our department, both in the quality of education we provide our students as well as the caliber and capability of our excellent faculty and staff. I look forward to continuing as a professor in the department striving to contribute to our collective success, including offering support to Dr. Qiu as he steers our department forward.

Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Dr. Qiu and in providing him with our unwavering support as he assumes leadership.

Warm regards,

Dr. Michael Barber

 

 

 

More News From Our Department


PhD Student Proposes Vision for the Future of Engineering in Utah

Mina Golazad, Construction Engineering PhD student, has been awarded second place in the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum Scholarship program for her vision of engineering in the future state. Mina’s response to the prompt, “Be Future Ready,” garnered recognition from the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum. This year’s prompt challenged participants to envision the challenges […]

$1M DOE Grant for Advanced Nuclear Energy Research

Dr. Peter Zhu’s team Plays Key Role in Securing $1M DOE Grant for Advanced Nuclear Energy Research We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Peter Zhu, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and his lab have been collaborating with a team at the University of Illinois on a proposal that has just been awarded […]

Research at the U is Building Better Utah Infrastructure

Dr. Pedro Romero Honored with Friend of Industry Award at the 2024 Utah Asphalt Conference The Utah Asphalt Paving Association—the driving force behind our road infrastructure—recently hosted the 2024 Utah Asphalt Conference from February 27 to 28. Recognized as the premier asphalt-related event in the state, the conference brought together the industry’s best minds, including […]

Dr. Cathy Liu Earns Prestigious Educator Award

CvEEN Professor Earns 2023 Outstanding Educator Award The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) is a global organization dedicated to improving transportation systems and creating smarter, more livable communities. Within this vast network, the Mountain District ITE represents the U.S.’s mountain states and recognizes outstanding educators in the field. Dr. Cathy Liu has been honored with […]

 

 

PhD Student Proposes Vision for the Future of Engineering in Utah

Mina Golazad, Construction Engineering PhD student, has been awarded second place in the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum Scholarship program for her vision of engineering in the future state.


Mina’s response to the prompt, “Be Future Ready,” garnered recognition from the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum. This year’s prompt challenged participants to envision the challenges new civil engineers will face in designing resilient structures for the future and predicting the changes Utah cities will undergo in the next 50 years. Scholarships were awarded based on participants’ proposal to addressing these challenges.

In her response, Mina outlined a vision for the future of civil and construction engineering, emphasizing the necessity for resilient and sustainable infrastructure to combat the impacts of climate change and accommodate population growth—two predominant issues Utah will face in the future. She highlighted key challenges, including preparing for extreme weather events, managing limited water resources, building smart cities, and integrating new technologies.

Specifically, she underscored the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in optimizing smart city operations. Mina outlined her intention to specialize in leveraging AI and big data to model urban systems, predict infrastructure failures, and enhance city management.

Furthermore, Mina emphasized the importance of collaboration and interdisciplinary engagement in addressing Utah’s growth challenges. She advocated for engineers to work alongside economists, ecologists, public health experts, and marginalized communities to develop holistic and multifunctional infrastructure solutions.

Mina’s forward-thinking response earned her the second-place award in the ASCE Utah Younger Member Forum Scholarship program, accompanied by a $1,000 scholarship. She will be honored at the ASCE Utah Section Annual Meeting on Friday, June 28th, 2024. The achievement reflects the dedication and innovation of our students in tackling pressing civil engineering challenges.

Mina is among the passionate individuals in our diverse Construction Engineering cohort, which proudly includes significant female representation, all committed to building a better future. Women make up a higher percentage in construction engineering than any other engineering field, making it a unique opportunity for women to thrive. The field also allows women to assume more leadership positions compared to other engineering disciplines, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a dynamic and inclusive career path.

Join us in congratulating Mina Golazad on this remarkable accomplishment. We look forward to witnessing her contributions to the advancement of construction engineering and its future in Utah.

 

 

$1M DOE Grant for Advanced Nuclear Energy Research

Dr. Peter Zhu’s team Plays Key Role in Securing $1M DOE Grant for Advanced Nuclear Energy Research


We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Peter Zhu, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and his lab have been collaborating with a team at the University of Illinois on a proposal that has just been awarded a $1 million grant by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP). This prestigious award recognizes Dr. Zhu’s contributions to the field of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and its advancement to nuclear energy research and development, showcasing the team’s broad expertise in engineering research.

NEUP, a vital initiative for fostering innovation and maintaining U.S. leadership in nuclear research, supports university-led projects across the nation. In its latest round of funding, NEUP has selected 25 projects from 22 states, providing top science and engineering faculty and their students with opportunities to pioneer groundbreaking technologies and solutions in civil nuclear capabilities.

The project, titled “Local resonance-based linear and nonlinear NDE techniques for repaired DSC wall structures,” represents a significant step forward for safer and more efficient nuclear energy solutions. Collaborating with the University of Illinois, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Dr. Zhu and the team will focus on developing novel linear and nonlinear ultrasound techniques. These techniques aim to characterize and quantify the structural integrity of repaired dry storage canisters (DSCs) used for long-term spent nuclear fuel storage and management.

Dry storage canisters are vital for safe storage and management of spent nuclear fuel. However, over time, these structures may undergo wear and tear, necessitating repairs to maintain their integrity. The project’s main goal will seek to enhance the inspection and monitoring of repaired DSC wall structures, ensuring their long-term reliability and safety.

By harnessing the power of advanced NDE methods, the research aims to provide nuclear industry stakeholders with invaluable insights into the condition of DSCs, facilitating proactive maintenance strategies and mitigating potential risks associated with structural degradation.

We are excited about the potential impact of Dr. Zhu’s collaborative efforts and look forward to the advancements this project will bring to the nuclear energy sector.

 

 

Spotlight on Excellence

The U’s ASCE Student Chapter Shines Bright at Symposium


Every year, the ASCE Student Symposium brings the ingenuity and passion of engineering students together for camaraderie, competition, and shared learning. We’re pleased to report that our student chapter came back from this year’s Symposium with some well-earned accolades, including 2024’s Distinguished Chapter Award and their second Certificate of Commendation.

Utah State University hosted the ASCE Student Symposium in Logan, UT from April 11 – 13th, drawing students from across the Intermountain Southwest Conference Region. For the U’s ASCE chapter, this event served as a platform to demonstrate their recent hard work and dedication.

Amidst the spirited symposium atmosphere, the U’s ASCE chapter distinguished itself with remarkable achievements:

  • 2nd Place in the Paper Competition: Erik Bond’s eloquent presentation on ethics captivated the audience, earning accolades and recognition for the chapter’s insightful contributions.
  • 2nd Place in the Construction Institute Competition: Led by Evan Blass, Sarah Neves, Kyle Wineteer, and Szymon Zeliszcak, the chapter excelled in tackling real-world construction challenges, showcasing their expertise and professionalism.

 

Leadership in Action

Congratulations to ASCE for another successful year! President Kamryn Cupal has led with dedication, fostering a sense of collegiality while striving for every member’s success. As Evan Blass steps into the presidency next year, the chapter looks forward to continuing its momentum.

Behind the scenes, Dr. Christine Pomeroy has been a guiding force in her role as faculty advisor, nurturing a culture of excellence and innovation within the chapter.

“I am so proud of our ASCE student chapter,” said Dr. Pomeroy. “Our membership is comprised of future industry leaders. They are a group of bright, hardworking, and enthusiastic students.”

Dr. Pomeroy, faculty advisor for ASCE for 7 years, has been instrumental in the chapter’s growth and success. Under her guidance, the chapter was recognized for its commitment to excellence and innovation by receiving the Distinguished Chapter Award, which is only given to one out of the 36 student chapters in the Intermountain Southwest Conference Region.

Additionally, thanks to Dr. Pomeroy’s efforts, the chapter has received two Certificates of Commendation (2024, 2024) for its outstanding activities as recorded in the ASCE’s Chapter Annual Report. This is a distinction earned by only the top 5% of all student chapters worldwide.

Standing as a testament to the power of mentorship and the potential of passionate engineering students, the chapter is poised to continue its legacy of excellence at future symposiums and within the engineering community.

 

Tackling Growing Railroad Challenges

Dr. Peter Zhu’s Rail Engineering Proposal Secures Funding for Innovative Research


Dr. Peter Zhu, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Utah, recently secured funding to enhance railroad infrastructure safety, resilience, and efficiency. Crafted in collaboration with the University of Illinois, his research proposal has been accepted for funding by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) as part of their 2024 Grand Challenges in Railroad Engineering.

Managed in partnership with MxV Rail, the AAR’s call for proposals received nearly 40 submissions vying for limited funding slots. Titled “Improvements on Machine Learning – Rail Neutral Temperature Predictive Tool,” Dr. Zhu’s innovative approach to addressing critical issues within the railway industry ultimately secured the funding to move forward with his project.

One of the most pressing challenges faced by the railway sector is the risk of rail thermal buckling, a leading cause of train derailments. Further, with the rising average temperatures and increasing occurrences of extreme heat events, the risk of thermal buckling now poses significant challenges to the reliability of rail networks.

To mitigate this risk, Dr. Zhu’s research will work to engineer superior load and stress measurement techniques in railroads by using machine learning algorithms and cutting-edge technologies. By utilizing contactless measurement techniques and machine learning models, the team aims to enable real-time anomaly detection of thermal stress at a network level.

Leveraging this funding from MxV Rail and AAR and existing fully instrumented test site on the UTA’s Frontrunner track, Dr. Zhu‘s team will work to pioneer advancements in detecting thermal stress anomalies with in-motion sensing technology to make significant contributions towards enhancing rail infrastructure safety, resilience, and efficiency.

We look forward to seeing the power of interdisciplinary research, collaborative partnerships, and engineering excellence in Dr. Zhu’s work on this project!

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring Real-World Engineering:

Engineering Students Spend a Day with Dunn Associates, Inc.


Hands-on experience is key to shaping the engineers of tomorrow. Recently, 22 students from the senior course 4900 got that chance to take a site visit to view seismic testing and soil borings. This project, focusing on building expansion and site improvements with a strong emphasis on sustainable practices, offered students a glimpse into the real-world applications of their studies.

Partnering with Dunn Associates, Inc., a trusted local Consulting Structural Engineers company, our students had the privilege of witnessing professionals in action. They observed Dunn engineers conducting seismic testing and soil borings, gaining invaluable insights into industry practices and standards.

During the visit, the parking lot buzzed with activity as Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) and Standard Penetration Testing (SPT) were conducted to analyze soil conditions. This data is instrumental in designing safe and stable structures, highlighting the practical applications of classroom knowledge.

This field trip was just one aspect of the Professional Practice & Design course sequence (4900 and 4910), where Civil and Construction Engineering students engage with real clients to engineer integrated design solutions. This capstone experience has been a pivotal component of our BSCE program since 2003, providing students with real-world design experience before graduation. Empowering them to address community challenges in Civil and Construction Engineering, this sequence ensures that our students are well-prepared to make a meaningful impact in their field.

We extend our sincere thanks to Dunn Associates, Inc. for their partnership on this capstone project, as well as to Applied Geotechnical Engineering Consultants Inc. (AGEC) for their support. The collaboration between academia and industry is crucial in preparing students for their future careers. Together, we’re building a brighter future, one project at a time.

At the University of Utah’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, we are committed to providing our students with the tools and experiences they need to succeed in the ever-evolving field of engineering. Through partnerships with industry leaders like Dunn Associates, Inc., we ensure that our students are equipped to tackle the engineering challenges of tomorrow with confidence.


Paving the Way

One Engineering Student’s Impact on Utah’s Asphalt Industry


Beatriz Fieldkircher, an engineering PhD candidate at the U, has long been passionate about making a meaningful impact on the world around her. She’s now doing exactly that, though in an unexpected way—by creating better solutions for asphalt pavements.

But how did such a broad desire to create a better world get chiseled down to the very specific and intricate field of asphalt and pavement research?

When she started studying Civil Engineering at the University of Santa Catarina in Brazil, Beatriz realized that by creating more sustainable and enduring infrastructure, she would be creating a more sustainable and enduring environment and society.

Specifically, while studying asphalt pavements, her interest piqued when she learned that pavements are, intriguingly, designed to fail within certain parameters. Which is what brought her to Utah.

In 2022, Beatriz sought an internship in the asphalt materials lab at the University of Utah under the guidance of Dr. Pedro Romero, an esteemed professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering whose research on asphalt pavements has been instrumental for the state of Utah. Initially driven by the desire to design enduring pavements, Beatriz’s research began to hone in on asphalt’s behavior under varying temperature conditions.

While in Utah, she watched the challenge of the temperature’s extreme variation affect the pavements.

“I saw that the studies conducted by Dr. Romero’s group addressing temperature conditions on asphalt benefit not just the contractors and agencies, but also society. And this sense of purpose increased my desire to be in academia, producing scientific knowledge.”

Now a PhD student with Dr. Romero, Beatriz recently earned recognition at the Utah Asphalt Conference, where she was awarded The Utah Asphalt Pavement Association’s $1,500 One-Time Annual Scholarship—a distinct and prestigious recognition in the state’s engineering and transportation industry.

Beatriz’s research continues to focus on asphalt mixtures and their behavior in varying temperatures. She will continue to pursue creating materials that can better endure climate change with increased temperature differentials leading to accelerated infrastructure deterioration, specifically by looking at thermal cracking. Determined to make a difference, she aims to utilize her expertise in asphalt materials, pavement design, and climate prediction to develop solutions capable of withstanding Utah’s extreme temperatures.

While balancing a full-time job as a research assistant with her graduate studies, Beatriz still makes time for her physical and mental health by taking daily workouts, having regular conversations with her family back home, and indulging in the rhythmic delights of samba, a cherished part of her Brazilian heritage.

On weekends, one can find Beatriz immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of a samba school in Salt Lake City, where she dances with joy and passion, finding solace and inspiration amidst the rhythms of her culture.

As Beatriz Fieldkircher navigates the challenges of academia and the complexities of asphalt research, she remains passionate about her pursuit of knowledge, driven by a deep-seated desire to make a meaningful impact on the world around her.

 

 

 

Research at the U is Building Better Utah Infrastructure

Dr. Pedro Romero Honored with Friend of Industry Award at the 2024 Utah Asphalt Conference


The Utah Asphalt Paving Association—the driving force behind our road infrastructure—recently hosted the 2024 Utah Asphalt Conference from February 27 to 28. Recognized as the premier asphalt-related event in the state, the conference brought together the industry’s best minds, including Dr. Pedro Romero, an integral member of our Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for over 20 years.

On the first day of the conference, Dr. Romero received the prestigious Friend of Industry award from the Utah Asphalt Paving Association. This honor is given to individuals who exemplify and champion the spirit of public-private collaboration. The recipients work diligently to elevate infrastructure standards in the State of Utah via the asphalt pavement sector. These awardees are at the forefront of advocating for policies and initiatives that foster a secure and innovative environment for the asphalt pavement industry. They work towards reducing operational costs while upholding principles of responsibility, safety, and ethical conduct.

Receiving this award proves that the research produced from Dr. Romero’s group is not confined to theoretical realms; rather, it is actively applied by the industry to enhance transportation infrastructure, benefiting the well-being of Utah residents.

This is aligned with University president Randall’s commitment to expand the university’s learning and knowledge enterprise beyond campus borders. The goal is to improve lives and make a global impact, a mission that Dr. Romero’s research actively supports.

Receiving the Friend of Industry award is a true honor as it affirms that the work undertaken at the University of Utah is positively impacting the world we live in—Dr. Romero’s efforts are playing a vital role in actively improving the overall quality of Utah’s infrastructure. Congratulations, Dr. Romero!

Congratulations, Dr. Romero!