College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

CCEE’s Buss receives Black and Veatch Building a World of Difference Faculty Fellowship

Ashley Buss, assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, recently received the Black and Veatch Building a World of Difference Faculty Fellowship. 

Buss is one of two Iowa State University researchers to receive this award during this most recent awarding period. 

With this fellowship, Buss hopes to increase research and testing on asphalt emulsions, including running microscopy tests and wants to increase student involvement within the research. 

“This award will enhance our ability to perform more microstructure testing, and it means that I can hire more students,” Buss said. “We’re going to study microstructures of asphalt emulsions and get students involved in the process of taking data and turning it into visualizations for communicating scientific discoveries.” 

Buss received her Ph.D. from Iowa State University and has been an assistant professor within the CCEE department since 2015, with an emphasis in civil engineering materials and pavement engineering. 

Buss’s research focuses on pavement preservation, sustainable pavement technologies, asphalt mixtures and materials. 

Dr. Buss is a principal investigator for pavement-related research projects in Iowa, Oregon, Minnesota, and the National Road Research Alliance, a national pooled-fund focused on enhancing sustainable roadways. She has also served as co-investigator for research projects in Ohio. 

Currently, Buss serves on the Transportation Boards Standing Committees on Non-Binder Components of Asphalt Mixtures, Standing Committee on Quality Assurance Management, and Standing Committee on Design and Rehabilitation of Asphalt Pavements.

“We’ve had grants supporting asphalt emulsion research, and once you dive into a subject, you can always go further because there are so many applications” Buss said. “At first, it was getting the lab set up — just the capability to make the materials we wanted to work with and then we were able to test different formulations, and then once we got to that point, we can do more and more scientific testing.” 

This fellowship appointment will span over the course of three years. Buss and her team will receive $7,500 each year, for a total of $22,500 to fulfill their goals. 

Black and Veatch Building a World of Difference Fellowship focuses on how to attain sustainable infrastructure in the long term and the role education plays in supporting new innovations.