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MoDOT Recognizes Innovative Researcher

Erik Loehr, MU associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, accepts the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Innovative Researcher Achievement Award from Mara Campbell, MoDOT's organizational results director.

Erik Loehr, a University of Missouri associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is the recipient of the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) 2011 Innovative Researcher Achievement Award. The award recognizes an individual or team that produces exceptional and innovative research to advance transportation in Missouri.

Loehr and his research team worked with MoDOT to develop a practical, less costly approach to designing bridge foundations and earth slopes. By moving away from the one-size-fits-all industry standards, the researchers created new guidelines that allow designers to meet specific project needs. Implementing a change recommended by the research in how shafts are drilled, for instance, will save MoDOT an estimated $45,000 per bridge project.

Loehr, a registered professional engineer, is the director of research in the MU College of Engineering. He has performed research for agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the Federal Highway Administration, as well as for a number of private contractors and companies. (Story and photo courtesy of MoDOT.)