Michael I Darter

Michael I Darter
Michael I Darter
  • Professor Emeritus


Michael I. Darter received his B.S. (University of Utah 1966), M.S. (University of Utah 1968), and Ph.D. (University of Texas At Austin 1973) in civil engineering. He served on the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois from 1973 until he retired in 2003. Dr. Darter taught graduate and undergraduate courses in pavement evaluation and rehabilitation, pavement management, pavement design, statistics and probability, and materials. His major area of academic study has been in the area of highway and airport infrastructure. He is an international authority in design, rehabilitation, and management of highway and airport facilities. Through research, teaching, and international consulting, he has contributed significant new knowledge and many widely used engineering tools in pavement design/build, evaluation and forensic analyses, management, performance specifications, life-cycle costs analysis, expert witness, rehabilitation and maintenance procedures. A few of these include the following:

  • Co-developer of the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) method of evaluation used by commercial and military airports worldwide (adopted and standardized by FAA, USAF, USN, USA, and ASTM).
  • Highway pavement design and rehabilitation includes development of the 1993 AASHTO Overlay Design Procedure. He was also part of the national consulting team that produced the 1986 AASHTO Design Guide working on Part III Rehabilitation and Part IV Mechanistic Concepts.
  • Led the concrete pavement team over 7-years in the development of the mechanistically based NCHRP 1-37A Design Guide. This design procedure has now become the national AASHTO Mechanistic-Empirical Design Guide that is being implemented nationwide.
  • Developed the Illinois DOT Interstate Highway network pavement feedback system (ILLINET), CRCP and JPCP rehabilitation procedures used by many State highway agencies, and a knowledge base advisory system for pavement evaluation and rehabilitation for the FHWA.
  • Developed concrete pavement performance related specifications (PRS) for the FHWA over a period of time from 1990 to 2014 and assisted in the implementation on several large construction projects in Indiana, Florida, Tennessee, Illinois Tollway, and Wisconsin with great success.

Dr. Darter's many awards and honors for his accomplishments in transportation infrastructure engineering include:

  • 1985 First “Eldon J. Yoder” award for the most outstanding paper at the Third International Conference on Concrete Pavement Design and Rehabilitation at Purdue University.
  • 1989 “Eldon J. Yoder Award” for the most outstanding paper at the Fourth International Conference on Concrete Pavement Design and Rehabilitation at Purdue University.
  • 1989 Transportation Research Board “Grant Mickle Award” for the most outstanding paper in maintenance and operations.
  • 1992 “Outstanding Educator Award” from the American Concrete Pavement Association.
  • 2000 Prestigious “Outstanding Faculty” award from the University of Illinois (one faculty member from the entire University faculty based on student nominations).
  • 2001 “Eldon J. Yoder Award” for the most outstanding paper at the 7th International Conference on Concrete Pavement, International Society of Concrete Pavements.
  • 2003 Emeritus Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • 2005 Honorary Member, International Society of Concrete Pavements.
  • 2012 Marlin J. Knutson Award for Technical Achievement, American Concrete Pavement Association.
  • 2012 AASHTO Best Pavement Construction Award in the United States, AAHSTO and Utah DOT (Engineer of Record I-15 CORE project).
  • 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, Utah DOT & Utah ACPA.

Dr. Darter is an internationally recognized expert in pavement research and consulting. He has made invited presentations and seminars in over 30 foreign countries. He was a member of the 1992 U. S. delegation study tour of European concrete pavement highways with 20 state, federal, and industry engineers, and he prepared the widely disseminated trip report. Dr. Darter gave the Keynote Address at the 9th International Congress on Concrete Roads (PIARC) in Istanbul, Turkey in 2004. He gave the Keynote Address at the 8th International Conference on Concrete Pavement Design in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Dr. Darter is a member of many professional organizations including Past Chairman, TRB Committee on Data Analysis Work Group; Past Chairman, TRB Committee on Pavement Maintenance; Past Chairman, ACI 325 Concrete Pavements; Honorary Member, International Society of Concrete Pavements; Life Member, American Society of Civil Engineers; Life Member, Association of Asphalt Pavement Technologists Member; TRB Pavement Technology Review and Evaluation; American Concrete Institute; American Statistical Association; American Society for Testing; and American Society for Quality.

Current Research Overview:

Current research includes the further development of performance specifications for highway construction, implementation of mechanistic-empirical design of concrete pavements, and development of improved pavement rehabilitation procedures.