Industry News

ACPA Celebrates Career of Suneel Vanikar

ACPA was on hand last week to celebrate the career of Suneel Vanikar, P.E., Pavement Design and Analysis Team Leader with the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Office of Infrastructure.

Jerry Voigt, ACPA President & CEO, joined with Vanikar’s colleagues, friends, and family members to celebrate. Vanikar is retiring effective May 1, after 35 years of distinguished service to the FHWA.  

Jerry Voigt (L) and Suneel Vanikar (R) take time for a photo during a celebration last week at FHWA headquarters in Washington, D.C..

Jerry Voigt (L) and Suneel Vanikar (R) take time for a photo during a celebration last week at FHWA headquarters in Washington, D.C..

“Suneel Vanikar has been an exceptional advocate for concrete pavement technology implementation to improve our nation’s Federal-aid highway system,” Voigt said adding, “Among his many contributions are his work in guiding the development and advancement of high-performance concrete, as well as fast-track construction, innovative concepts, and nondestructive testing used in producing quality concrete pavements. 

“His interest and leadership in pursuing and implementing new and emerging concrete pavement technologies has been unrivaled,” Voigt said, citing the 2006 FHWA Scanning Tour, “which continues to pay huge benefits to owners/agencies, the concrete pavement industry, and the highway users who benefit from technologies such as two-lift concrete pavements and geotextile interlayers, which are used increasingly in concrete paving.”

Voigt said Vanikar demonstrated the same enthusiasm and positivity in advancing technology as he did in growing and reinforcing an excellent working relationship between the Federal Highway Administration and the concrete pavement industry.  

“For as long as I’ve known him, Suneel has been consistently patient, fair, and objective in his dealings with ACPA staff, Chapter/State affiliates, and members,” Voigt said.

Taylor Appointed CP Tech Center Director

The board of directors for the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center (CP Tech Center) at Iowa State University announced that Peter Taylor, Ph.D., P.E., has been appointed as the Director, effective April 10. 

He replaces Tom Cackler, P.E., who has served as Director since 2005. Cackler is retiring from his post as the Center’s director later this month and will begin a consulting role to the Center. 

Peter Taylor becomes the CP Tech Center's Director, effective April 9.

Peter Taylor becomes the CP Tech Center’s Director, effective April 10.

Taylor previously served as Associate Director since joining the CP Tech Center in 2007. He has been involved in managing and conducting research projects and programs investigating materials-related aspects of concrete pavements and in teaching applied concrete materials technology to practicing engineers. He also serves as a Research Associate Professor in Iowa State’s Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering.

“ACPA congratulates Peter Taylor in his new post as Director of the CP Tech Center,” said ACPA President & CEO Gerald F. Voigt, P.E.   Voigt is part of the 12-member of the CP Tech Center’s Executive Board of Directors. 

“Peter has solid research and technology credentials; has an exceptional service record with the CP Tech Center; and is widely known for his technical expertise in concrete materials and construction,” he added.

“We also extend our thanks and appreciation to Tom Cackler, who served with distinction and a steady hand as the CP Tech Center’s first Director for almost a decade,” Voigt said, adding, “Tom’s vast experience with the Iowa DOT, and his dedication to applied research, as well as technology transfer and implementation have proven to be great assets, not only for the CP Tech Center, but also for the broad community of interests in the field of concrete paving.  Tom led the CP Tech Center from its chartering by ACPA as a national organization to becoming an integral part of the concrete pavement community today.  We have every confidence that Peter will carry on Tom and the Center’s outstanding contributions.”

About Peter Taylor
Taylor is a professional engineer, registered in Illinois. He is President-Elect of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), Iowa Chapter, and sits on the board of directors for both the International Society for Concrete Pavements and the Transportation Engineering and Road Research Alliance.

He is active in the American Concrete Pavement Association, Transportation Research Board, the American Society for Testing and Materials, and American Concrete Institute.

Texas Briefing Signals New ACPA Program

Earlier this month, ACPA presented a briefing and concrete paving exchange for contractors and other companies with interests in concrete paving in Texas.   More than 20 participated, including over a dozen member and non-member contractors, as well as suppliers and local promoters.

Houston-TX-2015ACPA’s Jerry Voigt presented an overview of the Association and the concrete pavement industry, including successes with agencies on advancing concrete overlays and the benefits of competition between paving industries.

ACPA’s Leif Wathne provided an update on ACPA’s involvement with the federal-aid highway bill other legislative issues, and an overview of the Association’s work in with the Federal Highway Administration.  Like most contractors across the country, Texas contractors are keenly interested in efforts to secure federal highway funding and a meaningful, long-term highway bill.

ACPA’s Gary Mitchell led an interesting discussion on ACPA’s ongoing work with the Federal Aviation Administration and Military Tri-Services, including field issues, interpretation of specifications, and ACPA’s accredited training program that was piloted last fall.

The event included an open forum, which provided the contractors and others the opportunity to discuss their specific issues, needs, and opportunities in Texas and nationally.  “We will be back in Texas.  We have learned a lot from this exchange, and we see mutual interest in pursuing priorities that will help us in Texas and nationally,” said Voigt.

The feedback was extremely positive, so much so, in fact, that Voigt said that other regional exchanges of this type will be planned in the future.

Southeast Chapter Unveils New Website

The Southeast Chapter, American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA-SE) has launched a new website, which boasts dynamic features, high-quality graphics, and rich content.SoutheastChapter-webcap-sm

The site enables visitors to view information about various concrete solutions, as well as resources offered by ACPA National, the Chapter, and other industry partners. This digital resource also includes information about awards programs and recent recipients; upcoming events (including registration links); membership; public advocacy; and more.

The site also offers convenient access to leadership, members, and the staff of Carolinas Concrete Paving Association, Georgia Concrete Paving Association, and the Concrete Paving Association of Tennessee. ACPA encourages members to bookmark and visit the site at

FHWA Recognizes Burwell for Leadership in Innovation

ACPA Congratulates Brent Burwell, P.E., Executive Director of the Oklahoma/Arkansas Chapter-ACPA for being recognized formally by the Federal Highway Burwell-award-032415-smAdministration for his work with the State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) in Oklahoma.

Waseem Fazal, Pavement Engineer with the FHWA’s Oklahoma Division in Oklahoma City, said Burwell was recognized for his overall leadership and participation in the STIC, as well as for advancing initiatives such as the FHWA’s “Every Day Counts” program, SHRP2, and other programs that foster innovative practices and technologies in the Federal-aid highway system.  Fazal added the Oklahoma STIC is one of 27 in the United States.

The STIC Network helps to establish a group of representatives from various levels of the highway community in each State to comprehensively and strategically consider all sources of innovation, according to the FHWA.  

STICs link the FHWA and state DOT’s with other local agencies; contractors, consultants; LTAP’s, TTAP’s, and UTC’s; universities; and federal resource agencies to advance “new ideas and better ways to more quickly deliver transportation to America.”

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