Thirty-five of Carl A. Carpenter’s forty years in highway construction materials research were spent with the United States Bureau of Public Roads.
Mr. Carpenter joined the Bureau in 1931 after five years of laboratory experience with Union Oil Company of California and the Colorado State Highway Department. His accomplishments as project leader on specific research for bituminous paving mixtures and materials drew instant acclaim and, in 1948, he was promoted to head of the Bureau’s Bituminous Paving Mixtures Laboratory. In 1954, he became Assistant Chief of the Materials Division of the Office of Research and Development and was promoted to Chief of that same Division in 1963 – a position he held until his retirement in 1965.
He was the author and co-author of numerous technical reports on asphalt paving mixtures and aggregates. He worked in close association with various technical committees of the American Society for Testing and Materials, the American Association of State Highway Officials and the Highway Research Board, mainly concerned with asphaltic materials, paving mixtures and construction. His contributions to these committees led to improved asphalt construction and technology of materials.
In 1952, he was elected Chairman of ASTM Committee D-4 on Road and Paving Materials and was a member of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT) for more than 25 years – serving as President in 1956.
Mr. Carpenter’s greatest honor was being awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal Service Award in 1963 for outstanding contribution to the studies of the durability and stability of bituminous paving mixtures and for wise guidance in the administration and research activities of the Materials Division.