MDOT employee wins award for highway design and construction app - - Jackson, MS

MDOT employee wins award for highway design and construction approach

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) employee recently received an award for a design and construction approach to help build better highways. W. Griffin Sullivan, an engineer working in MDOT’s Central Materials Lab, co-authored a paper that won the 2015 Best Practice Ready Paper Award from the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

“This prestigious award acknowledges the outstanding talent and skill of our employees working at MDOT,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “I am very proud of Griffin and his colleagues for their work to improve infrastructure design and construction practices to create safer roads for the traveling public in Mississippi.”

Each year, the Transportation Research Board (TRB), an international transportation research organization, reviews research papers to be presented at their annual meeting, attended by around 12,000 people. The presented papers are peer reviewed by subject matter experts worldwide and a few are selected to receive awards.

This year, the Design and Construction Group of TRB awarded a paper written by Sullivan, Brennan Anderson and Dr. Isaac L. Howard. The paper details a better method to design and control construction of base layers of highways. TRB’s peer review and paper selection process is highly competitive, and award winning papers are subjected to even higher standards.

Sullivan, the lead author on the awarded paper, is a master’s degree graduate of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at Mississippi State University (MSU) and is currently working part-time on his PhD in Civil Engineering at MSU remotely while working full-time at MDOT. During his time at MSU, he was a research assistant in the materials lab working on an MDOT funded study that ultimately became part of his thesis and the paper that won the award.

Sullivan, Anderson and Howard will receive the 2015 Best Practice Ready Paper Award in January 2016 at the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about MDOT’s Materials Division, visit To learn more about MSU’s Construction Materials Research Center, visit

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