Congratulations to Mukul Rathore for the successful defense of his PhD thesis, “High Reclaimed Asphalt Content Mixtures: Design Parameters and Performance Evaluation” to the Riga Technical University Faculty of Civil Engineering!
Mukul’s doctoral study was developed at the Department of Roads and Bridges at Riga Technical University and Celu Eksperts in Latvia. This work was supported by European Union’s Horizon 2020 Sustainable, Accessible, Safe, Resilient and Smart Urban Pavement (SAFERUP!) program.
The overall purpose of SAFERUP! is to provide cities with innovative solutions that will form the future urban paved environment, by training talented researchers in the fields of: smart, recycled and durable paving materials; provision for vulnerable users (e.g. elderly & disabled) accessibility and protection; studying user behavior; life cycle analysis; wash-off water management and bioremediation; tempered and acoustic pavements; energy harvesting and self-sensing technologies.
Mukul’s doctoral research was focused on solving issues with asphalt recycling, particularly when conducted at a very high rate.
“Currently, most countries only allow up to 30% recycled asphalt content in new asphalt surfaces,” said Mukul. “For this reason, the ultimate goal of this PhD was to reduce the gap between science and practice for the implementation of pavement mixtures produced using 100% of recycled asphalt—without any new aggregates.”
In his doctoral study, Mukul developed new procedures that can be adopted at both design and evaluation stages of high content recycled asphalt mixtures. These procedures standardize the preparation of laboratory specimens for their reliable comparison, as well as recommend new performance indicators that are particularly important for recycled asphalt mixtures.
Mukul also studied how 100% recycled asphalt mixtures perform in the long-term, after being treated with chemical agents known as “rejuvenators.”
“Because the most important benefit of recycling asphalt is to reduce the carbon footprint of road construction, a systematic life cycle study was also done to understand and compare the environmental impacts of different pavement alternatives,” he added.
Mukul is currently working as a Pavement Engineer at Mott MacDonald Birmingham, a global engineering, management, and development firm in the United Kingdom. He uses the knowledge obtained from doctoral study at RTU in material and testing to solve technical problems associated with pavements and suggest low carbon footprint opportunities for various global projects.
All of us at Riga Technical University are thrilled to see the fruition of Mukul’s dedication and hard work.