Alabama Legislature recognizes NCAT for 30 years of research

Published: July 27, 2017
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Auburn University’s National Center for Asphalt Technology was recognized Monday with resolutions from the Alabama Legislature commending the institution’s 30 years of service to the state.

Sen. Tom Whatley and Rep. Joe Lovvorn, both of Auburn, sponsored the resolutions and presented the documents during NCAT’s board of directors meeting at its main facility in Auburn Technology Park South. Auburn University President Steven Leath and Christopher Roberts, dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, attended the event.

“It’s an honor to be here to celebrate this milestone and recognize 30 years of accomplishment at NCAT,” Leath said. “I’m impressed by the partnership between this university and the National Asphalt Pavement Association. It’s a great example for what others can do here and around the country.”

The identically worded resolutions read in part, “The National Center for Asphalt Technology at Auburn University is hereby recognized, and we offer this resolution in the highest tribute to their staff, researchers, and leaders, along with sincere best wishes for continued success as they chart the pathway forward for transportation infrastructure in the State of Alabama.”

NCAT was established in 1986 as a partnership between Auburn University and the National Asphalt Pavement Association. Its mission is to provide innovative, relevant and implementable research, technology development and education that advances safe, durable and sustainable asphalt pavements.

NCAT regularly brings in millions of dollars of sponsored research projects to Auburn University each year and has an annual economic impact of more than $125 million on Alabama.

Whatley recognized the event as a day to celebrate the impact NCAT has had on infrastructure development and the economy in Alabama. “When you build a road, you create a job,” said Whatley, a Lee County resident and Auburn graduate. “What you are doing promotes the economy for Alabama and the country as a whole.”

Lovvorn, also an Auburn alumnus, praised NCAT’s developments in technology and its potential for continued innovation. “I look forward to the next 30 years,” he said. “I feel that they will definitely be the best 30 years of the program.”

Auburn’s civil engineering curriculum was also recognized for its nearly 150 years of improving the state’s transportation network through education, research and outreach.

“NCAT is a shining example of how to take the fundamentals that we try to provide in the classrooms and laboratories and bring them into application,” Roberts said. “This center epitomizes our philosophy to applied research, making our roadways safer and saving taxpayer dollars. NCAT is truly a national asset with national exposure.”

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 29,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.