Philanthropy in Action: The L.H. Bossier Laboratory
April 30, 2021
BATON ROUGE, LA – The LSU College of Engineering and its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) have continued to produce incredible work in asphalt research with the help of philanthropic support.
In 2012, the L.H. Bossier Laboratory, located in Patrick F. Taylor Hall, was established by CEE and made possible by the Bossier family through private donations to the LSU Foundation. This space is used for undergraduate and graduate classroom demonstrations and laboratory classes. When it’s is not occupied for classes, it is 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.
Funding for this lab creates opportunities for student and faculty research, connects academia and industry, and improves infrastructure sustainability for our state and the nation.
"This lab provides our students with cutting-edge technology and instruction so they can help to design roads that cost less, ride smoother and last longer,” said George Voyiadjis, Boyd Professor and chair of the department. “It is imperative to provide, for the future, better roadways throughout Louisiana and enhance our infrastructure."
The asphalt research within the lab has attracted philanthropic support and put the university in a strong position to compete for industry-related funds. Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions Inc. has emerged as a leader in investing in a non-endowed support fund in asphalt research and technology at LSU for the benefit of the L.H. Bossier Lab. This immediate impact fund’s expenditures include providing funding for supplies and equipment, faculty and student salary support, asphalt research expenses, outreach initiatives, and professional development.
After completing a four-year pledge from 2016-2020 to support asphalt technology and research, Ergon Asphalt and Emulsion Inc. established an additional four-year pledge, the “Asphalt Technology Research Fund” in CEE. It was created to commemorate asphalt success and develop future engineers through hands-on experiences for students interested in asphalt technology. This gift continues to fund innovative programs and research that garner both national and international recognition. Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions Inc’s. generosity promotes the advancement of research and helps to keep LSU amongst the top Tier 1 research universities.
“For Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, serving as a resource goes far beyond meeting the needs of our customers,” said Baxter Burns, president of Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions Inc. “We strive to be leaders in the development of improved products and technology, and the relationships we have cultivated with engineering departments in a number of universities play an important role in industry advances. As we provide support needed to educate students in fundamental ways, we are also supporting research that benefits the industry as a whole. Through these partnerships, we are trying to raise the value of the entire industry. We are developing tools and a workforce that are good for everyone.”
Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions is an industry leader in asphalt and emulsion, focusing on providing cost-effective paving, preservation, maintenance, and recycling solutions designed to maintain high-quality roads.
“We work on a daily basis with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and the Louisiana Transportation Research Center in support of Louisiana’s roads and the asphalt that Ergon provides for the state,” Burns added. “It just makes sense for us to support the university financially in [its] research efforts to improve the products for the state.”
The continued generosity of alumni, supporters and industry partnerships with the LSU Foundation help maintain and enhance critical lab facilities in the College of Engineering. Laboratory support for research and teaching requires robust funding for equipment, materials, technology, faculty and staff resources, and students to serve as research and teaching assistants. These state-of-the-art laboratories and top-tier research provide a significant return on investment by transforming lives, leading Louisiana, and impacting the world.
Contact: Chris Marshall
Director of Development