Robert Lytton, TTI research engineer and Benson Chair Professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, has received the 2006 NOVA Award from the Construction Innovation Forum for his Pavement Composition Analysis (PCA) research.
Lytton’s award-winning research uses an air-launched, ground-penetrating radar to aid highway construction quality control. The radar is swept over a completed section of pavement to analyze its properties, including its composition, number of layers and the thickness of each layer. Engineers can then plot lane-width maps with contours of each composition element, helping them pinpoint flaws in the construction process and ultimately resulting in safer, longer-lasting roadways. This method is equivalent to analyzing 18,000 core samples in a given lane-mile of a project, while only two cores every four lane-miles is required for calibration with Lytton’s PCA method, saving both time and money.
The NOVA Award was instituted by the Construction Innovation Forum in 1989 to recognize innovations that have proven to be significant advances that have had positive, important effects on construction to improve quality and reduce cost.