Robert W. Sweet retired as Chief Engineer, New York State Department of Transportation, being known as “Mr. Asphalt” in his state. A pioneer in asphalt construction in New York, he was responsible for the first asphalt Interstate projects there (on 1-81 and 1-87). This led to the paving with asphalt of much additional Interstate mileage in New York. Mr. Sweet is recognized as an authority on highway design and has advanced asphalt use through numerous oral presentations and articles extolling its merits.
Mr. Sweet served the New York State Department of Transportation and its predecessor, the Department of Public Works, for 45 years advancing from his first position as a junior assistant engineer in 1923 to the top engineering post which he held for seven years, prior to retirement.
A native of Waverly, New York, Mr. Sweet graduated from Elmira Free Academy, Elmira, New York, and attended Syracuse University, College of Applied Science. From March 1942 to October 1945 he served with the U. S. Navy at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Florida, and with the Seabees in New Caledonia, South Pacific, attaining the rank of Chief Warrant Officer.
He was a licensed Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor in New York State and was a member of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers, the American Association of State Highway Officials and the Highway Research Board.