Roll of Honor - Ralph A. Moyer

Ralph A. Moyer

For more than forty years, Professor Moyer’s career has been one of unflagging effort toward the advancement of highway engineering. His research has been predominantly in pavement design, driving safety, and road surface characteristics. But through it all one may discern a pioneering concept of road and vehicle as a combination that governs many highway engineering problems and a persistent emphasis on the relation of practice and research to economic factors.

Soon after he began his teaching and research at Iowa State College and its Engineering Experiment Station in 1921, Professor Moyer became known among the group of highway engineers who saw the importance of studying the behavior of road structures under actual vehicle loadings. As early as 1928, he was in charge of proving-ground type road tests. At the same time he was engaged in research on road materials, including soils, concrete, and asphalt. Later he undertook a study in cooperation with the Public Roads Administration on relationships of road types to vehicle operating costs, riding quality, and safety.

When he joined the Institute of Transportation and Traffic Engineering of the University of California in 1948, he vigorously extended his research in road-surface characteristics and initiated a series of investigations on the economics of freeways.

Professor Moyer’s work in research has been paralleled by a distinguished career as a teacher. His emphasis on the economic import of engineering problems has affected the kind of highway engineering education made available to student engineers. Under his leadership students have learned that highway engineering includes attention to vehicles and roads and dollars as well as the theoretical study of materials.

Professor Moyer contributed much to the asphalt industry in his work with road surface properties. Through his efforts in bringing to the attention of highway engineers the importance of non-skid pavement surfaces better asphalt surface mixes were developed.

Elected 1966