Check out the agenda below, or click to view the PDFProfessional Development Hours (PDHs) will be available for sessions.

Day 1 Speakers & Presentations

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Welcome to the 1st Nevada Asphalt Conference: Advancing Innovations In Asphalt! Learn how the conference came to fruition, who our exhibitors and sponsors are, and how to get the most of this 2-day experience.

Nancy Laffey is the conference organizer and Program Director of the Nevada LTAP. She has an extensive background developing and delivering transportation training in pavement technology, maintenance and construction, asset management, safety, environment, and traffic services topics.

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NDOT and Asphalt Innovation: Supporting and Maintaining Pavement Now & Into the Future

Tracy Larkin Thomason was appointed on January 9th as the Director of the Nevada Department of Transportation by the Transportation Board of Directors. Retiring in 2021 as Deputy Director, Director Larking Thomason brings over 30 years of extensive knowledge in Planning, Engineering and Operations through her various positions in administration, management, and technical roles.

Tracy also brings a national perspective and has a deep understanding of the federal funding process as well as proven leadership capability. For the past two years, Tracy has been working for the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA), developing a national non-profit organization program department and initiating a growing statewide smart and connected infrastructure applications. She is a transportation innovator, applying her unique and diverse experience in visionary leadership, industry collaboration, strategic planning, asset management, engineering, finance, and management.

Tracy received her MBA and her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a Certified Public Manager, State of Nevada, holds a certification as a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer, and holds a license as a Registered Professional Engineer, Nevada

Nevada Room – Sustainability Track 

View the Sustainability Track Presentations here.

Dr. Adam Hand is a Civil Engineering Professor and registered Professional Engineer in several States who joined the University of Nevada Reno in 2016. Prior to that he worked for Granite Construction Inc. for 16 years serving in various roles with the last 6 years as Vice President of Quality Management. He has published over 175 papers and technical reports and delivered over 200 invited presentations. He is a past President of the AAPT that actively serves the industry via technical committees, advisory panels, and board of director appointments including non-profits.

Tim Aschenbrener is a Senior Asphalt Engineer on the Pavement Materials Team in FHWA’s Headquarters Office of Infrastructure. His work and expertise focus on asphalt materials, recycled materials, and quality assurance. Tim joined FHWA in 2012 after working with the Colorado DOT for 22 years. He is Chair of TRB Committee on Quality Assurance Management (AKC30) – a 2022 Blue Ribbon Committee. He received the FHWA Administrator’s 2019 Award for Superior Achievement and is a lifetime member of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists.  

Richard Willis serves as National Asphalt Pavement Association’s (NAPA’s) expert on mix design, recycled materials, life-cycle cost analysis, and pavement design. He serves as the staff liaison for NAPA’s Committee for Asphalt Research and Technology; Council for Engineering, Research, and Sustainability; Workforce Development Committee; and Pavement Economics Committee Life-Cycle Cost Analysis Task Force. He is also a co-host of NAPA’s “Pave It Black” podcast. Richard has a passion for teaching and regularly travels throughout the country to educate people on NAPA’s initiatives and priorities. Before joining NAPA, Richard worked as an associate research professor at the National Center for Asphalt Technology at Auburn University (NCAT). While at NCAT, he conducted research on topics related to recycled materials, sustainability, laboratory mixture characterization, and life-cycle assessment. 

This is an open Q&A discussion on current Sustainability topics. Panelists include:

  • Richard Willis (National Asphalt Pavement Association)
  • Adam Hand (University of Nevada–Reno)
  • Edgard Hitti (Granite Construction)
  • Bob Siffert (Ingevity)
  • Crista Heckman (Polyco)
  • Scott Gibson (RTC Washoe)
  • Brian Matthews (NDOT)

Asphalt Room – Specifications Track  

View the Specifications Track Presentations here.


Specifications Comparison, NDOT vs. Washoe county RTC. Do We compare construction specifications apples to apples?

Charlie Pan is the Chief Materials Engineer in Pavement for the Nevada Department of Transportation since 2020 and he has been with NDOT for almost 20 years. He has more than 25 years of construction/material testing related experience in Concrete and Asphalt Mix Design, Roadway and Pavement Design, Pavement Management System, Pavement Preservation and Project Management. He is active on several AASHTO COMP Technical Subcommittees and serve as the vice chair on TS4a. Dr. Pan Received his Ph.D. (in Material) and MSCE (in Structure) from Purdue University in Indiana.  He is a licensed Civil Engineer in the state of Nevada.


What should you keep in mind when developing specifications? What should you avoid? What considerations are important to achieve an appropriate and cost-effective level of quality for your project? These topics will be discussed, including some real-world examples, along with a brief introduction to percent-within-limits as a tool to evaluate success.

Mike Robinson is a consulting engineer specializing in all aspects of flexible pavements, training, and construction claims support. His experience includes work as a designer and resident engineer for a large state DOT, as a contractor and construction material producer, and as a consultant working with large and small agencies, contractors, and other engineering professionals. He is a licensed civil engineer in seven states.


The presentation will summarize the concept of balanced mix design and the various critical steps to identify the appropriate performance tests and issues facing implementations.

Dr. Peter Sebaaly is a Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Western Regional Superpave Center (WRSC) and the Pavement Engineering & Science (PES) Program at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Nevada & Arizona, USA. He earned his B.S.C.E. (1982) and M.S.C.E. (1983) from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his Ph.D. (1987) from Arizona State University, specializing in pavements/materials engineering.

Edgar Hitti is experienced in management and leadership with over 20 years in the construction, renewable resources and energy industry. He is skilled in pavement engineering, business development, construction, contract negotiation, innovation in recycling, sustainability, procurement, supply chain management and civil engineering. Mr. Hitti holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Notre Dame University and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada-Reno. He currently serves as a National Asphalt Manager with Granite Construction. Prior to that he was with USPolyco as their Director of Business Development & Technical Marketing. Additionally, he has authored and co-authored several publications, the most recent published in Road Materials and Pavement design in 2019 titled “Reflective Cracking Properties of Tire Rubber Modified Asphalt Mixtures.”

This is an open Q&A discussion on current Specifications topics. Panelists include

  • Brian Matthews, Nathan Morian, and Charlie Pan (NDOT)
  • Chu Wei (FHWA)
  • Elie Hajj (University of Nevada–Reno)
  • Edgard Hitti (Granite Construction)
  • Luke Peterson (Ingevity)
  • Mike Robinson (consultant)
  • Nicholas Warnke (Clark County)
  • Reed Ryan (Utah Asphalt Pavement Association )
Day 2 Speakers & Presentations

Nevada Room – General Construction Track

View the General Construction Track Presentations here.


This presentation introduces the state of asphalt pavement technology, outlines the need for continued innovation, and anticipates upcoming trends in the industry.

Dr. Jon Epps has more than 40 years of experience, including 32 years in leadership positions in the academic sector at two land-grant universities – Texas A&M University and the University of Nevada, Reno. He spent 10 years in the private sector as Engineering Services Manager for Granite Construction, Inc. His academic research efforts have led to significant advancements, as well as new and updated standards in the field of pavements and materials, including pavement maintenance management systems; pavement recycling; and pavement economics. Dr. Epps’ work in the private sector included the development and delivery of a quality management program, technology innovation delivery, improved business systems, successful public-private partnerships, numerous internal and external training programs, and a variety of mixture and structural design/build projects.

Dr. Elie Hajj is a Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at University of Nevada. He has over 18 years of experience in academia and industry with an emphasis on sustainability of pavement systems. Dr. Hajj is currently a member of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, International Society for Asphalt Pavements, and multiple Transportation Research Board national Committees. 


How can you achieve better performance by increasing density requirements? What is the status of Intelligent Compaction in Nevada? Attend to find answers to these questions and more! This presentation summarizes techniques used to overcome obstacles to achieving increased density on individual State projects associated with the FHWA Enhancing Durability of Asphalt Pavements Through Increased In-Place Density Demonstration Project.

Tim Aschenbrener is a Senior Asphalt Engineer on the Pavement Materials Team in FHWA’s Headquarters Office of Infrastructure. His work and expertise focus on asphalt materials, recycled materials, and quality assurance. Tim joined FHWA in 2012 after working with the Colorado DOT for 22 years. He is Chair of TRB Committee on Quality Assurance Management (AKC30) – a 2022 Blue Ribbon Committee. He received the FHWA Administrator’s 2019 Award for Superior Achievement and is a lifetime member of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT).

Brian Matthews is the Quality Assurance Manager in Construction for the Nevada Department of Transportation. He oversees testing and inspection instruction and independent auditing of the District’s Construction Crews. His job duties include involvement in many local asphalt and concrete associations. He has been in this role for just over a year. He has worked in the Engineering field in both the private sector and in local and state governments for over 26 years. He is a Professional Engineer in Nevada and California.


Both thermal and physical segregation can affect the density and the desired impermeability of compacted dense graded mixes. Identification of such segregations during paving is often subjective and disputed. However, it can be measured. This presentation discusses why and where segregation occurs in the mix production and paving process, the consequences of segregation, as well as how to correct it.

Robert Humer is the Sr. Regional Engineer of the Asphalt Institute for six western States (since 1989). He is highly regarded for his expertise in HMA mix design and construction for both highway and airport application. Bob has a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands (1977), and worked as research engineer at the Asphalt Institute headquarters laboratory during the 1970’s. As a civil engineer for the Dutch Aviation Authority in the 1980’s, Mr. Humer was intimately involved in all aspects of design and construction of airport pavement facilities in the Netherlands, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. He has worked with both government agencies and consulting firms on such projects as the Midget Man Missile System, the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), and harbors and airports worldwide.


This presentation covers fundamentals of mechanistic-based structural design of flexible perpetual pavements including an introduction to several design tools.  Case studies will be presented that focus on both long-term performance and economics of perpetual pavements.

Dr. David Timm is the Brasfield & Gorrie Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Auburn University where he also serves as the associate department chair. He has been a faculty member there since 2001 after completing his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses mainly on full scale accelerated pavement testing at the NCAT Test Track which has supported the development and deployment of perpetual pavement design systems.

Reed Ryan is UAPA’s Executive Director and has been since 2012. He has a history of working in the transportation / infrastructure industry. His undergraduate degree is in political science, and he has a graduate degree from The George Washington University Law School. Reed enjoys reading and has a long list of books that he is willing to recommend. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys spending time with his family.

This is an open Q&A discussion on current General Construction topics. Panelists include:

  • Brian Matthews (NDOT)
  • Dan Gotta (Universal Engineering)
  • Dave Timm (National Center for Asphalt Technology)
  • Jon Epps (Texas A&M)
  • Mike Robinson (consultant)
  • Nicholas Vestvie (Nortech Geotechnical/Civil Consultants)

Asphalt Room – Preservation Track  

View the Preservation Track Presentations here.


This presentation discusses broader pavement preservation benefits and challenges, as well as the successes and challenges of RTC Washoe’s Pavement Preservation Program. 

Mo Rahman has 26 years of experience in the asphalt materials industry. He is the Technical Marketing Manager for Ergon. Mo has specialized in construction materials, production/operations, evaluation/testing, quality control/quality assurance, and managing QC lab. He has a Bacherlor and Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering and is a licensed professional engineer in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.

Scott Gibson serves as a project manager of the Regional Transportation Commision of Washoe County Nevada and has more than 40 years of highway construction and pavement engineering experience. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He oversees a variety of road construction projects and is in charge of the RTC’s pavement preservation program. Scott is an avid cyclist and brings to his work an awareness of the need to improve the quality and safety of of our community’s cycling infrastructure.


If virgin aggregate resources are scarce in your area, learn what others have done to use materials reclaimed from previous projects. This presentation will include agency practices and expected benefits from using reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in pavement preservation treatments.

Greg Duncan is a Senior Engineer at Applied Pavement Technology, Inc., with more than 30 years of pavement materials, construction, and roadway maintenance engineering experience. Greg is a certified National Highway Institute (NHI) instructor and regularly teaches NHI’s “Maintenance Leadership Academy” and “Constructing and Inspecting Asphalt Paving Projects” courses. Greg regularly works on national and state projects dealing with preventive maintenance treatments.


Become familiar with the applications and requirements for both asphalt emulsion fog seals and rejuvenator emulsion seals. Discover if these applications are right for you!

Eric Reimschiissel has over 47 years of industry experience in the asphalt pavement preservation industry and has valuable knowledge and experience of paving asphalts, emulsions, microsurfacing, slurry seals, chip seals, crack seal, pavement preservation practices and pavement maintenance. He continues to provide leadership and guidance for many agencies for specifications and procedures. Eric is a past President and current Board member of the International Slurry Surfacing Association and serves on the FHWA-AASHTO Expert Task Force on Emulsions and Asphalt, providing information to AASHTO and FHWA.  Eric was the lead person for the FAA for the creation of the Airport Emulsion Seal Coat Specification and he was the first person to place microsurfacing in the states of Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.


This presentation covers emulsions used in Nevada currently and from a historical perspective—with an eye on the future.

Doug Olsen has been in the industry for over 40 years, with the last 10 from the supply side of the industry. He represents Idaho Asphalt Company’s as their Technical Marketing Director and works with several agencies throughout the Western United States on product specifications and placement.


This presentation covers the history, purpose, and application of ultra thin asphalt concrete surface (UTACS) material.

Michael Dunning has over 45 years of construction management, inspection and materials experience beginning in Southern California. In 1976, he began working as a Construction Engineer for Fluor overseas in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Dubai building refineries. He then worked in Nevada for Frehner Construction as a construction engineer building the Southfork dam near Elko, Nevada, followed by construction contract manager at G.W. Wallace, on civil projects. He then worked as a hotplant manager for Hansen. In August 1997, he joined Clark County Department of Public Works, Construction Management Division, for 21 years as supervisor of the Quality Assurance Section. In 2019, Michael joined NCE as Associate with focus on pavement materials and design.

This is an open Q&A discussion on current Preservation topics. Panelists include:

  • Chris Robb (Maxwell Products)
  • CJ Davis and Justin Eldredge (Holbrook Asphalt)
  • Doug Olsen (Idaho Asphalt)
  • Eric Reimschiissel (American Pavement Preservation)
  • Michael Dunning (NCE)
  • Mo Rahman (Ergon Asphalt and Emulsions)
  • Scott Gibson (RTC Washoe)
  • Paul Harmon (NDOT)
  • Sajan Abraham (City of Henderson)