Asphalt Road-eo


What is the Asphalt Road-eo

The Asphalt Road-eo is an engineering competition for university students, sophomore to senior level. The concept for the Road-eo is like the famous ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition, with one big exception. While concrete is a practical choice for structures, even canoes, asphalt is a road-building material through and through. The Asphalt Road-eo gives students a taste of what it is like to evaluate the needs of a roadway project, take on a design challenge, and create a product close to the real thing. A prospective civil engineer couldn't beat the Rodeo in terms of hands-on, practical experience! Each team produces a 2x2 pavement slab from the same materials (provided by TXAPA member firms to ensure consistency).

Volunteers from industry and the Texas Department of Transportation subject the slabs to tests designed to emulate rutting and cracking and measure skid resistance. The goal is to come as close as possible to a mix design that balances these properties, what is known as a Balanced Mix Design, or BMD. In addition to the physical properties testing, teams go before a panel of judges to present their design rationale and defend it if necessary. Competitors may earn extra points for successfully incorporating waste materials into their designs and may lose points for expensive additives unless they can show a cost-benefit. The Road-eo can be intense, but it's worth it. Past participants say that the event changed their career trajectory. That is by design. One of the main objectives of the Quality Paving and New Technology committee, which oversees the planning of the Road-eo, is to expose participants to the people of the asphalt pavement industry and TxDOT. The industry tends to be a "best-kept secret." It's a game changer once someone learns about the opportunities to do meaningful work with passionate, like-minded people. When young people compete in the Road-eo, it opens their eyes to possibilities they didn't know existed.

Just the Facts: Teams consist of 3-4 undergraduate students and include a faculty mentor or advisor. Each student on the winning team receives a $2,000 TXAPA Scholarship; second-place winners receive $1,000 each. The event starts with a welcome dinner and mixer the night before the competition, which lasts from 8 am to 4 pm the following day.