UTEP Students Win First and Second Place in Road-eo Competition at Buda, Texas
FABIOLA TERRAZAS DUARTE | January 28, 2019
Six students from The University of Texas at El Paso won first and second place at the 2018 Asphalt Road-eo Competition in Buda, Texas, hosted by the Texas Asphalt Pavement Association (TxAPA) on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
Students Mayra Reyna, Angelica Torres, and Alexandra Torres won first place and were awarded a $1000 check and a plaque, and Luis Cordoba, Adan Elias Valdez, and Getsemani Molinar won second place and were also awarded a plaque and a $100 gift card.
“We got an email with the invitation and then they sent us a power point presentation from last years’ event and we basically went off from there, they sent us the material, they sent us the asphalt so from there we started working pretty much,” said Luis Cordoba, Civil Engineering undergraduate student.
This year 11 teams from six universities participated in the competition including UTEP, The University of Oklahoma, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas State University and Texas Tech University.
“This was a great experience for all participants since we have a good interaction between graduate students, undergraduate students, professors and professionals involved in the area of Transportation Engineering,” said Victor Garcia, Ph.D. student for Civil Engineering and mentor for the competition.
The objective of the competition was to give students a practical knowledge of pavement engineering. Students had to produce a concrete slab that was then subjected to three tests. The first test was to measure rutting, the next one cracking, and finally skid resistance. The teams also had to put together a presentation to disseminate the process and thoughts taken to develop their mix designs and slabs.
“When we were working on the cracking test I think that was like the most exciting part of the competition,” said Getsemani Molinar, Research Assistant at CTIS. “When they announced us it was a good feeling because I believe that most underestimated us, I mean it was a good feeling.”
The competition also helped students connect with professionals that are working in the field. TxAPA held a career fair so the students could have the opportunity to interview with participating companies, for internships and full time positions.
“This is the first year that UTEP participates so we decided to send the students who have been working hard at CTIS because we saw it as an opportunity for them to learn the whole process for designing the material used on our roads,” said Garcia.