Elected May 1990

Richard L. Davis


Richard L. Davis received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1938 and began his working career in the development of new asphalt emulsion formulations.


In August 1941, he went to work for Hercules Powder Company, manufacturing a new type of smokeless powder used in explosives. As Supervisor of the first rolled powder line in the United States, his word on this revolutionary assignment would mirror his future career as a leading thinker in the Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Industry.


In 1949, Mr. Davis returned to the asphalt industry where he became noteworthy among his peers for his efforts in the application of statistical methods to the very complex problems of HMA pavements and to improved mix design and paving methods.


In 1960, Mr. Davis became Senior Consulting engineer for Miller-Warden Associates of Swarthmore, PA. In 1961, he joined the Koppers Company of Pittsburgh, PA, rising to the position of Manager Engineering and Technical Director where his work included asphalt chemistry research, asphalt rheology, construction methods for HMA pavements, and process quality improvement.


Mr. Davis wrote prolifically for the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT) concerning improvements for asphalt mixes and procedures for mix designs. His career was dedicated to the advance of the industry's quality of HMA. With the promotion of Large Stone HMA, he provided an economical solution to rutting by means of improving shear resistance, He developed a method of mix design for large stone mixes, based on bearing capacity principles, and has addressed many technical meetings on the benefits of such mixes.


Mr. Davis has been a member of the ASTM since 1949 and has been Chairman of the D04.94 Subcommittee on Statistical Procedures for many years, has been a member of TRB since 1950, of AAPT since 1952, and has been active on the Quality Improvement Committee and Materials and Mix Design Task Force of the National Asphalt Pavement Associaton (NAPA).


Mr. Davis retired from Koppers Company in 1988.