After serving as a Captain in the US Air Force, Ed returned to higher education and graduated with a PhD in Physical Chemistry in 1974 from The State University of New York. He followed his education by working as a research chemist for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in their Office of Research and Development. Among other duties, he developed, managed, and conducted research programs and individual studies in asphalt technology. From 1986-1989, Ed served as Assistant Director of Research for the Asphalt Institute in College Park, MD. While in that position, Ed served as the co-principal investigator for the SHRP A-001 subcontract, “Survey of Current Asphalt Refining Technology,” leading to the selection and characterization of asphalt binders for the Materials Reference Library (MRL) used during SHRP and in subsequent research programs.
When the Asphalt Institute moved to Lexington, Ed stayed in the Washington, DC area and took on the role of Asphalt Research Program Manager for the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP). In that role, Ed was responsible for the technical direction, financial management, and administration of the $50 million research and product development program, supervising the work of a six-person staff, nine major (greater than $3 million) contractors and 15 support contractors to achieve an on-time completion of the high-profile, national program that led to, among other things, the PG Asphalt Binder Specification. In his role with SHRP, Ed authored or co-authored numerous SHRP reports.
As SHRP ended in 1993, Ed took on the role of Vice President, Technical Services of Advanced Asphalt Technologies, where Don Christensen and he were responsible for developing AAT’s laboratory. Under his leadership, AAT was awarded several contracts and subcontracts associated with Superpave implementation and SHRP follow-up research.
In 1997, Ed started working with the National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board as a Program Officer for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). While in that role, Ed served as program manager and guide for more than 50 asphalt research projects including:
• NCHRP 09-10 (Superpave Protocols for Modified Asphalt Binders)
• NCHRP 09-12 (Incorporation of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement in the Superpave System)
• NCHRP 09-33 (A Mix Design Manual for Hot Mix Asphalt)
• NCHRP 09-38 (Endurance Limit of Hot Mix Asphalt Mixtures to Prevent Fatigue Cracking in Flexible Pavements)
• NCHRP 09-39 (Procedure for Determining Mixing and Compaction Temperatures of Asphalt Binders in Hot Mix Asphalt)
• NCHRP 09-50 (Performance-Related Specifications for Asphaltic Binders Used in Preservation Surface Treatments)
• NCHRP 09-55 (Recycled Asphalt Shingles in Asphalt Mixtures with Warm Mix Asphalt Technologies)
• NCHRP 09-58 (The Effects of Recycling Agents on Asphalt Mixtures with High RAS and RAP Binder Ratios)
• NCHRP 09-59 (Relating Asphalt Binder Fatigue Properties to Asphalt Mixture Fatigue Performance)
• NCHRP 09-60 (Addressing Impacts of Changes in Asphalt Binder Formulation and Manufacture on Pavement Performance through Changes in Asphalt Binder Specifications)
• NCHRP 09-61 (Short- and Long-Term Binder Aging Methods to Accurately Reflect Aging in Asphalt Mixtures)
Rita Leahy, recent AI Roll of Honor recipient, worked with Ed during SHRP and had this to say:
“He (Ed) was masterful at appeasing the egos of the academicians while keeping them focused on the goals of the program. He was the consummate team player; selfless, dedicated, sharp wit and always a gentleman. He taught me everything I know about technical writing. One of his memorable remarks … in reference to an unnamed SHRP research team: ‘I gave them an unlimited budget and they still managed to exceed it!’”
Ed was always encouraging, professional and more than anything else, he was always a true team player, wanting only to serve for the benefit of the asphalt industry. Ed Harrigan is a deserving recipient of the Asphalt Institute Distinguished Service Award.