William G. Buttlar

Professor
Narbey Khachaturian Faculty Scholar
Director of Online and Blended Learning
Associate Dean for Graduate and Professional Programs, College of Engineering

"Our graduates are known for their ability to catalyze fundamental knowledge with engineering common sense."

1212 Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory
205 N. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: 
(217) 333-5966
Fax: 
(217) 333-1924
William G. Buttlar is a Professor and holds the title of Narbey Khachaturian Endowed Faculty Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also the founder and director of Online and Blended Programs in CEE at Illinois, and has been the director of the historic (100 years strong) Transportation and Highway Engineering Conference (THE) since 2001.  He also holds a half-time appointment as Associate Dean for Graduate and Professional Programs in the College of Engineering at Illinois, where he oversees Online, Graduate, and Professional programs in the College of Engineering.  He also serves on the campus MOOC Review Committee (which oversees Coursera RFP process – Provost appointed), the campus MOOC/Online Strategy Advisory Committee (Provost/Chancellor appointed), serves on the UI Labs Working Group (VCR appointed), and is Chair of the Upcoming National Symposium, “Envisioning the Future of Online Graduate Education at the 21st Century Research University.” He is also a member of the campus committee for the UILabs initiative in Chicago, and is the faculty lead on the development of a new center within UILabs driven to make Chicago one of the smartest cities on the planet.
 
He has over 180 publications in the area of sustainable and smart infrastructure, asphalt materials and pavements and over 40 invited presentations and keynote lectures.  He serves as Editor-In-Chief of the International Journal of Road Materials and Pavement Design, and serves on the Penn State College of Engineering Industrial and Professional Advisory Council.  Dr. Buttlar also recently served as a Director-at-Large of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists. He is the chair of the RILEM TC-MCD Committee, Mechanisms of Cracking and Damage in Asphalt and Composite Pavements.
 
Dr. Buttlar teaches undergraduate and graduate coursework in the areas of Transportation Engineering, Asphalt Materials and Mix Design, and Advanced Topics in Asphalt Materials.  Dr. Buttlar is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.  He earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Penn State University in the area of Pavements and Materials in 1996.
 
Dr. Buttlar has over 40 invited presentations and keynote lectures presented throughout the US, Europe and in China.  His contributions to research have been recognized through a number of awards, including: Narby Khachaturian Endowed Faculty Scholar Award, 2005-Present; Best Technical Paper, Runner-up, International Society for Asphalt Pavements, 2006; Emmons Award, Runner-up, Best Technical Paper, Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, 2004; Prix Earl Kee Award, Canadian Technical Asphalt Association, Best Technical Presentation by New Authors, 2001; Fred Burggraf Award, National Academies of Science, Transportation Research Board, 2000; George Crawford Faculty Scholar Award, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2001-2005; Best Poster Award, International Society for Asphalt Pavements, Eighth International Conference on Asphalt Pavements,1997; Emmons Award, Runner-up, Best Technical Paper, Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, 1996.
 
His teaching has been recognized through a number of different awards, including: Rose Award for Teaching Excellence, University of Illinois, College of Engineering, 2004; Instructor of the Year, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter, 2003; Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, UIUC Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Honorable Mention, 2005; Collins Fellow, University of Illinois, College of Engineering, Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education, 2000; General Electric Scholar, University of Illinois, College of Engineering, Teaching College,1997; and he has been Listed on the Incomplete List of Teachers Rated as Excellent 17 times during his tenure at the University of Illinois.
 
Research Overview: 
Dr. Buttlar's research specializes in the areas of smart and sustainable urban infrastructure, asphalt materials, performance-related testing, pavement modeling and mechanics, and online education.   Dr. Buttlar’s research portfolio includes support from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the National Science Foundation, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, the Federal Aviation Administration, the O’Hare Modernization Project, and industry.  He is a co-inventor of the AASHTO T-322 Indirect Tensile Test for Asphalt Concrete and the ASTM D7313 Disk-Shaped Compact Tension Test for Determining the Fracture Energy of Asphalt Concrete, and his group recently developed the national thermal cracking code “ILLI-TC” and an acoustic emission based asphalt embrittlement analyzer test and device.  Recent work has led to the development and validation of a smartphone based system to conduct roughness evaluation of pavements using standard metrics such as International Roughness Index (IRI).  His research has also led to the quantification of user costs associated with travel on rough pavements, including sustainability considerations (life cycle assessment).  A 50-to-1 return on investment was suggested by the research when rough roads are resurfaced to restore smoothness.