New Engineering Lab to Advance Asphalt Technology and Infrastructure Sustainability for Louisiana
BATON ROUGE – On Wednesday, May 16, the LSU College of Engineering unveiled the new L. H. Bossier Asphalt Laboratory in Patrick F. Taylor Hall, supported by private donations made through the LSU Foundation.
“By donating this lab, we form a public-private partnership connecting industry with academia and advancing the paving industry overall,” said Bryan Bossier, president and CEO of Diamond B Construction Co. “We anticipate the result to be better products and practices to ultimately benefit every traveling taxpayer nationwide. The Bossier family is in our third generation of LSU alumni and welcome this opportunity to give something back to the school and state that has been so good to us.”
This generous donation has provided space remodeling and equipment that will markedly expand the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s capacity for students to perform hands-on experiments as an important part of their formal coursework. The infrastructure will also allow students and faculty to perform meaningful research in the area of asphalt production.
“Civil engineers design roads, bridges and highways, our infrastructure,” said LSU Boyd Professor George Z. Voyiadjis, chair and Bingham C. Stewart Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “This lab will provide our students with cutting-edge technology and instruction so they can help to design roads which cost less, ride smoother and last longer. We are profoundly grateful to Bryan Bossier and Diamond B Construction for providing this extraordinary lab for use by our students and faculty. We also commend Bryan and his dad and their company for their efforts to provide better roadways throughout Louisiana!”
Housed in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, or CEE, this lab will be used for undergraduate and graduate classroom demonstrations and laboratory classes. Courses to be taught in this lab include CE3700 - Engineering Materials Laboratory, CE4650 - Introduction to Asphalt Mixture Design, and CE4670 - Fundamentals of Pavement Design. The laboratory will also be used for student and faculty research involving the composition and qualities of different types of asphalt and ways to improve its installation, function and longevity.
“Establishing the L. H. Bossier Laboratory at LSU is a significant milestone to the advancement of research and work development in the area of asphalt technology and infrastructure sustainability for our state and the nation,” said Louay N. Mohammad, Irma-Louise Rush Stewart Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and director of the Engineering Materials Characterization Research Facility in the Louisiana Transportation Research Center. “This laboratory offers a unique opportunity to the industry through training of a workforce in pavement engineering, particularly asphalt technology that benefits the individuals who choose careers in private industry and public sector at the federal, state or municipal levels. In addition, it will position LSU amongst the top Tier 1 research universities to compete for research funds in the area of asphalt technology.”
The donor, Bryan Bossier, holds a 1976 B.S. in business from LSU. His father, Leonard H. “L. H.” Bossier, was born and raised in Baton Rouge. Following L. H.’s military service, he obtained a B.S. in mechanical engineering from LSU in 1950, and was only a few credit hours short of a civil engineering degree.
After graduating, L. H. went to work with his uncle building roads in the Covington area. In 1952, he started his own business and ultimately launched several businesses, most notably Diamond B Construction, an asphalt pavement enterprise. Bossier’s concentration has been in asphalt work throughout Louisiana, as well as Texas and Mississippi.
“Pop has a passion for asphalt and now we can pass on the passion to generations of people to learn and improve asphalt,” said Bryan Bossier at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
L. H. Bossier has given to a variety of entities at LSU, including the Alumni Association and the Flagship Fund. Both Bossiers have been very involved with the Louisiana Asphalt Pavement Association – L. H. was a Founding Member – and other organizations at the state and national levels.
Bryan now serves as president of Diamond B, which is the top asphalt producer in Louisiana, and has won several national awards for quality road construction. They operate six asphalt plants around the state, and produce hot mix, cold mix and gravel.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony, LSU students and Mohammad provided lab tours and demonstrations of the equipment.