John Bukowski graduated in 1973 from the University of Pittsburgh with a civil engineering degree. After graduation, he joined the United States Marine Corps. During his six years, he served as an engineering operations training officer, battalion adjutant, legal officer and series commander with a final rank of Captain.
In 1978, Asphalt Institute (AI) engineers Fred Waller and Vaughn Marker recruited John to work for AI. He began his career working in the lab and then in the publications and communications group. In 1988, John was named Director of Publications and was principally responsible for the production of the 6th edition of The Asphalt Handbook (MS-4) in 1989.
John’s 27 years with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) began in the Office of Implementation at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center before joining the Office of Technology Applications in 1991 as a member of the Asphalt Team. He worked with John D’Angelo and Tom Harman on the development and refinement of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) Superpave System. As part of that team, John managed the procurement of the Superpave Simple Shear Tester (SST) and initiation of the original five (5) Superpave Centers at Penn State University (Northeast), Purdue University (Midwest), National Center for Asphalt Technology (Southeast), University of Texas-Austin (Southwest), and University of Nevada-Reno (Western). Most importantly, John was the FHWA lead for the National Asphalt Training Center (NATC) projects at the Asphalt Institute and was responsible for implementation assistance and training on the Superpave Performance-Graded (PG) Asphalt Binder and Mixture system. The institute’s SP-1 and SP-2 manuals were derived from the training materials developed for those courses.
John has provided continuing leadership on the resolution of technical issues affecting the industry as a leader of the Asphalt Mixture Expert Task Group (ETG) since its inception at the end of the Strategic Highway Research Program. He has led FHWA policy and guidance on the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), reclaimed asphalt shingles (RAS), and ground tire rubber (GTR) in asphalt materials. In 2000, AASHTO awarded the Pathfinder for Innovation in Quality to the “Saving Superpave Team” – of which John was a member. He also was part of the team that received the FHWA award for Engineering Excellence – the first time the award was ever given to a team.
John’s greatest legacy has been fostering a true partnership between the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and industry. The open dialogue that this partnership has permitted has allowed asphalt suppliers and paving contractors to work together with users to advance technology in the asphalt industry. John has welcomed and endorsed the input of industry as part of the ETGs.
John has been an active member of the Association for Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT) since joining in 1979. He is a Life Member (30 or more years of continuous membership). John exemplifies a lifetime commitment to research, engineering and education in asphalt technology and it is AI’s pleasure to present Mr. John Bukowski with its highest award of recognition – the Roll of Honor.