Mike Acott earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of East Anglia, in England in 1971. He earned a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Natal, South Africa in 1980.
Mike’s initial position was with the Sand and Gravel Association in the UK as a technical officer. His work history includes over eight years in South Africa, starting as a Research Engineer for the National Institute for Transportation and Road Research. He then served with Mobil Oil in South Africa as an Asphalt Engineer and Planning Advisor from 1977 through 1982. He subsequently served as a Road Manager with Vialit (Pty) Ltd. for Mobil Oil before coming to the United States in 1982.
From 1985 through 1992, Mike served as the Executive Director and Vice President of Operations for the National Asphalt Pavement Association before becoming the association’s President in 1992.
During the course of his career, Mike authored or co-authored 21 reports ranging from technical reports relating to mix design to topics such as Issues and Trends in the US Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Industry.
He has been active in the Transportation Research Board, a major division of the National Research Council, and is a former member of its Executive Committee. As such, he has helped ensure that asphalt issues remain at the forefront of discussions with leaders and agencies throughout the world.
Mike is a Board member of the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) based at Auburn University in Alabama. NCAT was established in 1986 and operates as a partnership between Auburn University and the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) Research and Education Foundation. Today NCAT serves as both a research and testing facility for HMA but also features a full-scale test track used by state agencies and private companies alike.
Mike became NAPA’s President in 1992 and has served in this capacity since – a position spanning over 26 years. He also served as the Chairman of the Global Asphalt Pavement Alliance from 2010 through 2013, which includes the paving industry organizations from Australia, Europe, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and the US.
NAPA is a large US-based national trade association representing the asphalt paving industry and counts more than 1,100 companies as its members. NAPA’s influence is global however, and through Mike’s leadership it has often partnered with other organizations to solve industry problems or promote the industry.
A major focus of NAPA and indeed Mike’s has been the formation and cultivation of partnerships with government, trade unions and industry alike. These have often focused on the workplace environment and efforts to improve the conditions of workers in the field around paving operations. An example of this is NAPA’s early adoption of warm-mix asphalt technology and promoting it as a way to reduce paving cost and lower worker exposure to asphalt fume.
Another technology NAPA promoted under Mike’s leadership was Stone Matrix Asphalt mix design techniques – also adopted from Europe and used in the US as a premium mix. NAPA is further leveraging these designs with the inaugural International SMA conference that occurred in November.
One of the more important achievements in Mike’s career is serving as an industry representative as part of the industry observer team on Monograph 103. This publication represents the conclusions of an eight-day comprehensive review of bitumen (asphalt) and bitumen emissions (fumes) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer held in Lyon, France in October of 2011. This achievement followed years of industry led research in all manner of facets surrounding the role of asphalt to that of long-term worker health.
Mike championed a partnership with the State Asphalt Pavement Associations and the Asphalt Institute in 2000 to form what is now known as the Go-To-Market asphalt industry promotional effort, also more widely recognized as the Asphalt Pavement Alliance. This partnership has endured many reorganization and mission changes, but has remained an important, joint promotion effort for the industry.
Mike Acott has been an exemplary role model for the hot mix asphalt paving industry worldwide and has established NAPA as a highly respected organization on many fronts including legislative, technical, worker health and industry promotion.
It is AI’s pleasure to present Mr. Mike Acott with its highest award of recognition – the Roll of Honor.