Frederick C. Field, noted chemist and research engineer and co-developer of the Hubbard-Field Stability Test for asphalt paving mixtures, was born in 1875 in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. Early in his career as a highway researcher, Field worked as a chemist for the city of Seattle, Washington, and later moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where he served as a chemist for that city.
Field joined the Asphalt Association then headquartered in New York City, in 1924 where he served in various capacities until his retirement in 1947. While with the Association, later to be named The Asphalt Institute, he was a pioneer in the development of uses for asphalt in hydraulic structures. He worked closely with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in promoting the use of asphalt mattress pavements for revetments on the lower Mississippi River and was also largely responsible for the asphalt grouting of the Galveston, Texas jetty.
He was also an early leader in the work to standardize and reduce the number of grades of cutback asphalts.
Field’s most noteworthy achievement in his long and distinguished career was his work with Asphalt Institute Engineer of Research, Provost Hubbard in developing the Hubbard-Field Method for the laboratory design of asphalt paving mixes. The Hubbard-Field Method features a density void analysis and a stability test. It was one of the first physical tests on asphalt mixtures and is still in use today throughout the world.