Noah Thibodeaux receives award.

Noah Thibodeaux, a student from UTC partner school NJIT, was named CAIT’s Student of the Year. He was honored at the CUTC Award Banquet prior to TRB. Photo ©CUTC.

At the 99th Annual Transportation Research Board Meeting, a student from UTC partner school NJIT was recognized by CUTC as a Student of the Year. The award highlights outstanding UTC students and their accomplishments in the field of transportation.

Every year at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting, the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) recognizes the research, academic success, and leadership of some of its outstanding University Transportation Center (UTC) students.

At the 99th annual meeting, Noah Thibodeaux, a Ph.D. Student and Graduate Research Assistant at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, received the 2019 Student of the Year Award alongside his peers at the CUTC Annual Banquet on Saturday, January 11.

“It’s an honor to receive this award and to have the opportunity work alongside Rutgers CAIT,” he said. “The results of this project will yield a better understanding of infrastructure maintenance and repair.”

Noah has been a student of the John A. Reif. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) since entering college as an undergraduate student. Throughout his time there he has worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, and now is a Graduate Research Assistant.

His interests are in novel construction materials and their durability properties, and more specifically furthering the understanding of concrete sustainability and durability both in the research community and in the industry.

Noah’s recent UTC research with the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT), has focused on using rapid-repair materials to repair infrastructure without causing undue service delays and without having to completely shut down roadways, bridges, or tunnels.

There are a variety of different types of rapid-repair systems, but using the wrong one or using it improperly can lead to accelerated deterioration that results in re-repairs. This can become time consuming and expensive, and happens for a number of reasons such as freeze-thaw cycles.

So, by subjecting samples of “repaired” concrete to 300 cycles of freezing and thawing, Noah and researchers at NJIT were able to simulate the freeze-thaw damage that concrete will see over a lifetime. With this information and additional testing, they developed a guideline on freeze-thaw damage and rapid-repair materials that will give agencies the tools to select the right materials, save money on repair costs, and improve system resiliency overall.

Student award winners at the CUTC Banquet.

UTC students were honored among their peers and hundreds of transportation professionals. Photo ©CUTC.

The project was also featured in CAIT’s newsletter this summer.

Some of Noah’s other recent accomplishments include, presenting research at the American Concrete Institute Fall Convention this fall, and presenting work at the Annual NJDOT Research Showcase. Looking ahead, he said that he is interested in pursuing his research and work so far through a career in academia or the private sector.

Matthew Bandelt and Matthew Adams, both assistant professors of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NJIT and co-directors of the Materials and Structures Laboratory (MatSLab), recommended Noah for the award.

“Noah has acted as a leader among his peers as a Ph.D. Student and Graduate Research Assistant at NJIT,” they said. “Within our research group, Noah consistently helps organize laboratory maintenance activities, assists other students with their on-going experimental activities, and more. On top of that he has excelled academically and has conducted impactful research on rapid-repair cementitious materials. Because of his hard work and accomplishments, Noah is an excellent ambassador for the UTC Region II consortium.”