Pavements, Transportation, and Materials


The major objective of the pavement engineering research at Oregon State is to provide recommendations to construct transportation infrastructure that is more cost effective, socially beneficial, and does less damage to the environment. Professors Erdem Coleri and Jason Weiss lead research in the pavement engineering area.

The Pavement Materials and Structures Laboratory is equipped to conduct modeling and testing in several areas of pavement technology including asphalt binder and mixture characterization, aggregate characterization, asphalt mix and structural design, concrete materials testing, and concrete pavement design. Research conducted at the Pavement Materials and Structures lab encourages the use of more sustainable pavement materials, such as permeable pavements, rubber asphalt, warm-mix asphalt technologies, recycled asphalt pavements, recycled concrete, and alternative cement binders. The lab is also equipped with computational modeling tools to investigate possible applications of pavement design strategies that can have a considerable impact on fuel consumption, vehicle maintenance costs, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and lifecycle costs. The laboratory enables researchers to develop research programs to study pavement materials at both the applied and basic research levels.


Pavements Research Emphasis

  • Pavement materials

    • Concrete and asphalt mixture testing and design
    • Multiscale modeling methods
    • Imaging methods for microstructure characterization
    • Damage mechanics
    • Internal curing for concrete pavements
    • Concrete maturity
    • Salt-pavement degradation
    • Freeze-thaw modeling
  • Structural pavement design

    • Mechanistic-empirical pavement design methods
    • Incorporation of reliability into pavement design
    • Local and national calibration of ME pavement design models
    • Early opening requirements and saw cutting timing for concrete pavements
  • Pavements and sustainability

    • Network level decision making tools
    • Life cycle assessment of concrete and asphalt pavements
    • Consideration of vehicle operating costs in pavement design through roughness, texture, and structural resistance
    • Characterization and development of more sustainable pavement materials
    • Perpetual pavements
    • Composite pavement strategies
  • Pavement management systems

    • Automated pavement condition surveys
    • Falling-rolling weight deflectometer testing
    • Use of ground penetration radar for performance modeling and asset management
  • Pavement construction

    • Construction analysis for pavement rehabilitation strategies (CA4PRS)
    • Self-consolidating concrete
    • Intelligent compaction
    • Rapid patching and repair materials
  • Wireless sensor networks

    • Pavement and railroad performance monitoring using wireless sensor networks (WSN)
    • Development of truck and train weigh-in-motion systems using WSN
    • Implementation of vehicle counting and classification systems


The School of Civil and Construction Engineering engages in a wide variety of research, education, and technical transfer activities in Transportation-related areas. Professors Erdem ColeriSalvador HernandezKatharine Hunter-Zaworski, David HurwitzRobert Layton, and Haizhong Wang, are pursuing threads of research emphasis that include Transportation Safety (user behavior, heavy vehicles, mixed-mode crashes, and statistical modeling), Multi-hazard Evacuation (lifeline corridors, evacuation modeling, and disaster logistics), Traffic Control Devices (signal phasing, timing, and display, sign and pavement marking comprehension and response), Accessible Transportation (improved design of passenger transport vehicles) and Freight Transportation and Logistics (freight planning and intermodal freight systems modeling). These research endeavors leverage the resources of the Driving and Bicycling Research Laboratory and the Accessible Transportation Laboratory. Additionally, the transportation engineering faculty have continuously offered a series of transportation safety workshops for 32 years across Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. 


  • Accessible Transportation Laboratory
  • Driving and Bicycling Research Laboratory
people in driving simulation
person in driving simulation

Transportation Research Emphasis

  • Transportation safety

    • User behavior
    • Heavy vehicles
    • Mixed-mode crashes
    • Crash Modeling
  • Multi-hazards evacuation

    • Lifeline corridors
    • Evacuation modeling
    • Disaster Logistics
  • Traffic control devices

    • Signal phasing, timing, and display
    • Sign comprehension
    • Pavement markings
  • Accessible transportation

    • Vehicle design ( air, rail and public transport)
    • Vehicle dynamics and securement
  • Freight transportation and logistics

    • Freight planning
    • Intermodal freight systems modeling
  • Traffic system modeling and simulation

    • Macro, meso, and micro traffic simulation
    • Agent-based traffic modeling and simulation
    • Connected and automated vehicles
    • Transportation network analysis
Other Research
  • Railroad engineering 
  • Transportation education and outreach 


The Infrastructure Materials focus area at Oregon State University emphasizes the fundamental understanding of materials and property relationships, microstructural development and its impact on long-term performance, durability and sustainability of civil and construction engineering materials, principles of green construction and materials selection as well as rehabilitation, assessment and repair of infrastructure with a focus on materials aspects. Research opportunities abound and are supported in the suite of world-class Infrastructure Materials Laboratories, lead by Professors Erdem ColeriJason Ideker, Burkan Isgor, David Trejo, and Jason Weiss


Scanning electron microscopy image of fine lightweight aggregate particle mitigation alkali-silica reaction.
Outdoor Exposure Site
Reinforced concrete slabs simulating Oregon bridge decks.
Weather station

Materials Research Emphasis

Concrete Durability

  • Corrosion

    • Corrosion of steel in concrete

    • Fundamental studies on passivity and passive films

    • Corrosion-resistant reinforcement

    • Chloride thresholds and limits

    • Effects of rebar surface condition on corrosion

    • Effects of cement type on corrosion

    • Corrosion detection and monitoring in concrete structures  

    • Corrosion modeling

    • Cathodic protection systems for reinforced concrete

    • Microbially induced corrosion (MIC)

  • Alkali-silica reaction

    • Fundamental understanding of reaction mechanisms

    • Pore solution analysis 

    • Linking accelerated laboratory tests to field performance

    • Outdoor exposure site testing

    • Alternative materials for mitigation

    • Efficacy of repair materials/techniques

    • Improved standards, including test methods

  • Freeze-thaw attack

    • Phase change induced damage

  • Other Concrete Durability

    • Combined forms of attack

    • Sulfate attack

    • Abrasion resistance

    • Microbially induced concrete deterioration

    • Linking accelerated lab methods to field performance


  • Alternative materials

    • Specification development

    • Durability concerns

    • Service-life prediction

    • Calcium aluminate cements, calcium sulfo-aluminate cements

  • CO2 Sequestration

    • Impacts on Class H cement

    • Degradation rates

    • Co-sequestration of gases

    • Service-life modeling

Service-Life Prediction 

  • Non-destructive evaluation to evaluate in-situ performance
    • Acoustic emission
    • Surface resistivity
  • Cracking Potential 
    • Early-age shrinkage and expansion
    • Volume change, both beneficial and detrimental
  • Modeling
    • Initiation stage models for reinforced concrete
    • Propagation stage (corrosion) models for reinforced concrete
    • Modeling coupled processes of deterioration in concrete structures
    • Modeling cathodic protection systems
    • Remaining life predictions

Novel Analytical Techniques 

  • Micro- and nano-scale characterization to analyze distress mechanisms
    • Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy
    • X-ray diffraction
    • Pore solution analysis
  • Advanced Techniques to predict performance
    • Neutron radiography/tomography
    • X-ray computed tomography
    • X‑ray photoelectron spectroscopy