By Tim Kalinowski on June 11, 2021.
Lethbridge College civil engineering technology program graduates Amy Gregorchuk, Liudmyla Wagner and Daniel Mitchell have been named finalists for the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta’s (ASET) Capstone Project of the Year Award for their research on green alternatives to asphalt.
“We wanted to find a way we could integrate recycled products, and in return come up with a potentially better project for our roadways in Alberta,” says Gregorchuk. “In Alberta there is a ton of landfills being filled with tires and materials that we ultimately just want to break down, and try to have it last as long as we can. As well, if we can take some of our provincial budget and reduce that number by having longer lasting roads, by having less rutting, and having just an overall better product– that was kind of our ultimate goal: to see how the crumb rubber can affect the sustainability of the roads and the character of the roadways.”
The Lethbridge College team’s experiments showed if crumb rubber produced from recycled tires is mixed in correct portions with hot asphalt it can potentially increase the durability and longevity of roadways, says Gregorchuk. But, she admits, getting the project to near completion before the end of term in a time of COVID-19 presented challenges her team was not expecting,
“This is a project you work on,” she says, “and work toward pretty much your whole education throughout schooling. We were extremely excited to have our efforts recognized. We had been stressed out when COVID-19 disrupted classes and our project efforts, but we just put in a lot of time and worked hard, and were thrilled to receive (ASET) recognition.”
Gregorchuk says even being named a finalist for the Capstone Project of the Year is a great credential to put on a resume.
“ASET is something we all look up to,” she says. “We are all working toward becoming a civil engineer technologist or a registered technologist, or whatever profession we want. We work really hard to get these Capstone Projects– not only for our marks, but just to be recognized as a finalist. It is very significant for me. I get a lot of support in my workplace for it, and it’s overall just a great opportunity.”
ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh praised Wagner, Mitchell and Gregorchuk for their innovative work.
“This former Lethbridge College team put the pedal to the metal and, working within the strict confines of their end-of-term project timeline, made important progress in exploring the potential use of environmentally friendly materials in the construction of roads and highways. Kudos to them for driving forward an idea that could have positive ramifications for the environment and the future of Alberta as a whole.”
The Capstone Project of the Year is awarded to engineering technology students who show innovation and ingenuity through their Capstone Project. This project is part of an engineering technology student’s end-of-program requirements. The award was established in 2017 and features finalists from NAIT, SAIT, Red Deer College and Lethbridge College.
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