UT Arlington receives $10 million grant to develop energy-efficient roads

The University of Texas at Arlington got a $10 million grant to develop greener, energy-efficient concrete for roads.

The grant will be used to establish a tier-one university transportation center at UTA.

UTA is the lead university with four others in this research with advanced materials. The work will lower the cost of road construction and use concrete in ways no one has ever imagined.

Smart roads will soon be part of our society along with smart cars and smartphones because of new concrete being developed at UT Arlington.

UTA received a five-year $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for its research and development of a better cleaner smarter concrete.

"Up to 80% of all emissions from vehicle tailpipes can be absorbed into the concrete that they are developing here, and that will be a game changer," said Robert Hampshire with the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. 

That concrete will soak up and transform heat given off from vehicles, roads and buildings.

"We're creating a new material that will be able to harvest that waste heat from the environment and convert it to usable electrical energy," said UTA student Myrsini Maglogianni.

Students are changing how we use pavement, says Michael Morris, director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. He says UTA is paving the way for technology to be embedded in the roads of tomorrow as more people get behind the wheel of electric vehicles. 

"The eventual step will be to put induction loops into the pavement itself so lane two, if you have an electric vehicle travel ion, lane two the next ten miles you recharge your battery as part of your trip moving forward," he said.

The research will make highways and roads last longer. 

The grant will also develop the next phase of transportation professionals for the changing roads we will drive on.