2019 marks the 62nd appearance of the Asphalt Conference, going back to 1958, which makes it one of the oldest asphalt conferences in the country. I’ve been privileged to be the director since 1985, building on the success of the six directors that preceded me. The conference has seen many changes through the years. The conference has grown from a partial day to a full day-and-a- half, numbers of presentations from 7 to over 20, and registration from 150 to well over 300 participants. Presentation media in the old days included 35 mm slides and overhead transparencies. The technology today is strikingly different! The location of the conference has remained primarily in Rolla, but has shifted sites on campus. The one constant that has been true from the get-go is the high quality of speakers, including nationally prominent individuals. Throughout the years, the conference has maintained strong ties to the Asphalt Institute, MoDOT, and the Missouri Asphalt Pavement Association. The topics presented, of course, have changed with the needs of the day, from the “Ottawa Road Test” to smoothness specifications to Superpave to recycling and sustainability. The introduction of industry exhibitors and corporate sponsors round out the changes over the last 6 decades.
Through it all, the goals of the conference have always been the same: to provide timely, up-to-date, and relevant topics covering the spectrum of activity in the asphalt paving industry, all at a reasonable price. Keeping abreast of the current desired topical trends is only possible by the hard work and expertise of the conference planning committee: 10 to 20 members of the asphalt community drawn from all walks of the asphalt world.
Who should attend? The short answer is anyone that works in the asphalt world: pavement construction, design, specification, maintenance, and material production and supply. So, the folks that attend are typically paving contractors, binder and mixture material suppliers, aggregate producers, equipment suppliers, public agency engineers and staff at the local, state, and national levels, consulting engineers, and testing lab personnel.
Do you want to get your questions answered? Learn new things? See old friends? Network with employers? Well then, mark your calendars and come on down to Rolla December 3rd and 4th, 2019!