Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Executive Associate Director Jon Epps received the Bob M. Gallaway Award from the Texas Asphalt Pavement Association (TXAPA)/Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Seal Coat Committee Sept. 18, 2019. The committee also announced the creation of the Dr. Jon Epps TXAPA/TxDOT Quality Seal Coat Awards Program. TXAPA was founded with just 11 members in 1944 and has grown into one of the largest asphalt pavement associations in the United States. Its mission is “to enhance the quality, performance, and usage of asphalt pavement through technical, educational, and training services.”
Epps has spent 40 years in the seal coat industry, but he points to his mentors and colleagues over the years for their inspiration and wisdom in guiding him in his career. In the 1970s, Epps worked with TxDOT on seal coat projects involving both Bill Stockton (now TTI deputy agency director) and the late Bob Gallaway (long-time TTI supporter and Texas A&M University professor emeritus). “It’s an honor to receive this award,” says Epps. “The award has been around for years, and Gallaway was my mentor early in my career.”
The award Epps received was established in honor of Gallaway “for his many years of outstanding service to the seal coat industry and whose leadership and technical expertise and educational endeavors have resulted in the immeasurable enhancement of a major product used in the construction and maintenance of our nation’s road and street system.”
Today, Epps embraces Gallaway’s legacy by encouraging others in the industry. Recently, he’s worked with TTI Research Engineer Cindy Estakhri and TTI Research Specialist Darlene Goehl on workshops designed to improve seal coat quality. Outside TTI, Epps works with industry professionals serving as committee co-chairs, such as TxDOT Director of Engineering and Safety Operations Michael Lee and Missouri Petroleum Vice President of Texas Operations and Chair of the TXAPA/TxDOT Seal Coat Committee Kevin King.
Epps’s people-first attitude inspired the TXAPA/TxDOT Seal Coat Committee to create the Dr. Jon Epps TXAPA/TxDOT Quality Seal Coat Awards Program. Epps notes, “The awards program is intended to recognize outstanding planning, design and construction of high-quality seal coats. It encourages a high level of performance and generates healthy competition.”
TXAPA has worked with Epps over the years on numerous projects. “Dr. Epps has done so much for the seal coat industry in Texas,” says Harold Mullen, TXAPA executive vice president. “Though he’s not one to list his accomplishments, we’re proud to congratulate him on the Bob M. Gallaway award, and we believe the Dr. Jon Epps TXAPA/TxDOT Quality Seal Coat Awards Program allows us to tap into his heart for others in the industry.”