There’s a funny joke you usually hear about the weather in Canada, “There’s only two seasons, Winter and construction.” As telling as the wisecrack can be, manoeuvring through traffic just to get to class or work everyday is more of a headache than a joke.

The average Canadian spends at least 30 minutes a day commuting to work, so 5% of a person’s day is spent just getting to and from work. The thought of losing anymore of time on the road most likely leads you to feeling some level of preemptive road rage.

If being stuck in bumper to bumper gridlock isn’t your thing, than you’ll be excited to hear that Carleton University‘s Professor Halim Abd El Halim has been working on a solution to the incessant cycle of road repairs.

Dr. Abd El Halim is a Professor of transportation engineering, team lead at the Centre for Advanced Asphalt Research and Technology (CAART) and Director of the Master of Infrastructure Protection and International Security (MIPIS) Program at Carleton’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Professor Halim developed the Asphalt Multi-Integrated Roller (AMIR) from his research and work at CAART. The AMIR is a compactor that produces “…finished pavements with superior performance characteristics compared to conventional compactors.”

Traditional compactors use heavy rollers that passes over asphalt quickly, the lighter AMIR compactor applies less pressure over a greater surface area with its rubber track. “Compaction is not about weight,” says Halim. “It’s about how long the rollers are in contact with the asphalt.”

Dr. Halim is extremely proud of the AMIR as it has been extensively embraced by Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation. An underpass bridge in the Ottawa region has yet to need road repairs after the AMIR was used for its reconstruction in 2014.

With extensive research and engineering done by CAART, we’re all hopefully going to be seeing a lot less of the construction season on our roads. Engineers and technology professionals like Dr. Halim are constantly working to improve our lives. By making our roads safer and more efficient, these professionals give us more free time to spend on the more important aspects of life.

Thanks to the work of academics like Dr. Halim, Carleton University has been a leader in infrastructure research and development. Carleton is a sponsor of NEM 2017. They understand that the hard work of engineering and technology professionals like Dr. Halim, improve the health, happiness, safety, comfort, and efficiency of all of our lives; and for this we are thankful.

With the AMIR IV going into commercial production next year, hopefully construction season will soon be a thing of the past. Regardless, the next time you’re stuck in gridlock, be confident that there are great minds out there looking to make your rides a lot smoother and shorter so you can focus on what matters to you.