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Research Interests

  1. Professor Little's research has concentrated in the following areas during the last five years:

  2. Develop improved asphalt-aggregate mixture design and analysis procedures;

  3. Develop constitutive models explaining the behavior and performance of asphalt-aggregate mixtures as well as unbound aggregate mixtures; Evaluate the effects of additives or modifiers (including fibers and fillers) on the performance of asphalt binders and asphalt mixtures;

  4. Evaluate new and innovative asphalt-aggregate systems such as large stone mixtures and stone-mastic mixtures;

  5. Explain the mechanism of micro-damage and micro-damage healing in asphalt concrete pavements and apply this mechanism to reduce fracture fatigue and permanent deformation damage;

  6. Develop plasticized sulfur systems to be used as substitutes for asphalt cement and Portland cement;

  7. Develop improved methods to predict the rutting susceptibility of asphalt concrete pavement surfaces;  

  8. Develop fracture mechanics based techniques to explain the behavior of stabilized aggregate systems and the benefits of aggregates with low levels of chemical stabilization;  

  9. Develop improved mixture design methods to assure durability of lime and lime-fly ash stabilized soil and aggregate systems;  

  10. Develop a thermodynamics-based approach to determine the potential for development of deleterious chemical reactions occurring between calcium-based chemical stabilizers and soil and/or aggregate systems;

  11. Improve designs of pozzolanically stabilized mixtures to meet the structural demands of airport pavement;

  12. Determine how to use increased levels of fine aggregate in asphalt concrete and Portland cement concrete mixtures;

  13. Establish rheological and multifunctional effects of calcium hydroxide in bitumen and asphalt mixtures;

  14. Develop methods to assess asphalt-aggregate bond strength and durability (in the presence of moisture) based on surface energy measurements of aggregates, asphalts, and mastics;

  15. Evaluate the level and rate of damage in asphalt mastics as affected by fillers and polymer modification;

  16. Develop image analysis techniques to evaluate the effect of shape, texture, and angularity characteristics on the performance of both unbound and bound aggregate systems, and

  17. Develop a wet weather aggregate characterization system to insure appropriate surface-tire interaction and skid properties.

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