Imad Al-Qadi Receives Transportation Research Board’s Roy W. Crum Award

Imad Al-Qadi Receives Transportation Research Board’s Roy W. Crum Award

Research team wearing masks standing on fresh pavement

The Illinois Center for Transportation Director will be presented with the award at the 103rd annual meeting

Named for Roy W. Crum, who served as the Board’s director from 1928 until his death in 1951, the Crum Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of transportation research. Dr. Imad L. Al-Qadi, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering and Founding Director of the Illinois Center for Transportation, is the 2023 recipient of the Roy W. Crum Award. He is recognized for his diverse and distinct career accomplishments that have influenced the field of transportation and contributed tremendously to its growth by developing pavement material standards, analytics, and technologies that continue to shape the evolution and advancement of resilient and sustainable transportation systems.

The award will be presented on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, during the Chair’s Plenary Session portion of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Annual Meeting, January 7-11, 2024, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Al-Qadi has made exceptional contributions to the field of transportation sustainability and pavement engineering. His transformative work in ground-penetrating radar, truck platooning, life cycle assessment, life cycle cost analysis, highway and airfield pavement sustainability, instrumentation, geosynthetics, advanced highway and airfield pavement modeling, asphaltic materials and recycling, and binder rheology has revolutionized modern-day approaches to pavement sensing, testing, and modeling.

A revolutionary in analytical and computational techniques, resiliency, and sustainability, Dr. Al-Qadi led the development of performance-based mixture design specifications and fracture testing protocols for asphalt mixes, known as the Illinois Flexibility Index Test (I-FIT), which predicts potential cracking. I-FIT has become the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official’s (AASHTO) standard T 393 and is implemented in many countries around the world. He also led the development of the first roadway and roadside life cycle assessment tool for pavements, structures, lighting, drainage, and landscaping for the Illinois Tollway Authority to quantify their projects’ impact on the environment and to optimize design and treatment alternatives based on performance, environmental impact, and cost. In addition, he led several projects on pavement design and instrumentation, including Virginia’s Smart Road and the Cagliari Airport in Italy. Dr. Al-Qadi developed the first mechanistic performance-based t-grading system for crack-sealant selection, which is currently included in seven AASHTO standards.

Dr. Al-Qadi has not only demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the field of transportation engineering, but also continues to develop innovative approaches and analytical techniques as well as new standards. In the past three decades, his approach to research has evolved with the needs of the moment, and he has become a leader in ground-penetrating radar, recycled materials, life cycle assessment, E-trucks and truck platoons, pavement-tire interaction, and algorithms to predict pavement response to loading.

Al-Qadi began attending TRB as a student in 1986, with his service beginning in 1993 as a member of the TRB Technical Standing Committee on Surface Requirements of Asphalt Mixes. Since then, he has attended more than 38 consecutive TRB Annual Meetings during which time he has authored or coauthored 120 Transportation Research Record papers that have been accepted for presentation. During the last 30 years, Al-Qadi has provided uninterrupted service to TRB as a chair, co-chair, or member of 11 Technical Activities Division (TAD) committees, subcommittees, and taskforces. During this period, he also served as the Chair of the TAD’s Operations and Preservation Group and Preservation and Maintenance Section.

Dr. Al-Qadi was also a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s 2019 report on Research to Support Evaluation of Truck Size and Weight Regulations. The report developed a research plan to reduce the major sources of uncertainty in projections of the consequences of proposed changes in truck size and weight limits. He is the author of more than 800 publications and a proud educator – having mentored more than 100 PhD students and postdocs, who have gone on to become leaders in their industries and professions. He led the establishment of the Academy of Pavement Science and Engineering and served as the Chair of the Board of Governors and was an elected President of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Transportation and Development Institute.f the TAD’s Operations and Preservation Group and Preservation and Maintenance Section.

Dr. Al-Qadi’s contributions have garnered numerous national and international honors and awards, including the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award (1994) and the Quadrennial International Geosynthetic Society Award (2002). He also received ASCE’s Airfield Robert Honorjeff Award (2021), Turner Award (2014), James Laurie Prize (2007), and Carl Monismith Award (2022) as well as the American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s S.S. Steinberg Award (2013). In 2010 he was elected an ASCE Distinguished Member.

Dr. Al-Qadi received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in civil engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

This story was written as part of the Transportation Research Board’s TRB News Newsletter.