College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Ceylan receives 2021 Laurie Prize

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has honored Halil Ceylan, civil, construction and environmental engineering professor and director of Program for Sustainable Pavement Engineering and Research (PROSPER), with the 2021 James Laurie Prize for significantly advancing transportation engineering with his career contributions in smart, sustainable and resilient transportation infrastructure systems.

Halil Ceylan. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Ceylan is the first recipient of this award from the state of Iowa.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this prestigious award,” Ceylan said. “This highlights the important and impactful work the PROSPER research team at Iowa State is doing in the field of transportation and infrastructure systems. The strong relationships that we have built over the years with our funding agencies, whether they are at the federal or local level, and collaborators, and the hard work of our research team members are the key for this prestigious recognition.”

The James Laurie Prize was established by the ASCE on October 1, 1912, and is named in honor of the first president of the ASCE. The prize is now awarded on the basis of making definite contributions to the advancement of transportation engineering in research, planning, design or construction.

Ceylan has extensive experience in pavement field investigation and forensic testing, pavement performance evaluation and modeling, mechanistic-based pavement analysis and design concepts, nondestructive testing and health monitoring for transportation infrastructure systems using smart sensors and systems, sustainable and smart infrastructure/engineering materials, innovative airfield pavement engineering solutions, and engineering application of intelligent data mining and computational and artificial intelligence techniques. He is also the Iowa State site director for the Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS).

Over the course of his career, he has been involved with over 115 research projects – worth more than $20.7 million project funds since 2002 – related to transportation infrastructure systems and pavement-transportation-geo materials. Research sponsors include: The Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Strategic Highway Program, Portland Cement Association, and various state departments of transportation, among others. Ceylan has authored more than 340 peer reviewed publications and has delivered more than 350 presentations, including more than 100 invited talks and several keynote lectures. He has advised and mentored over 70 graduate students, postdoctoral research associates, and research staff. He serves as the chair of the ASCE Geo-Institute (GI) Pavements Committee, chair of the newly-formed ASCE Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) Task Force Committee on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Impacts, and associate editor of ASCE’s Journal of Transportation Engineering Part B: Pavements, and editorial board member for eight other international journals, and is a member of more than 25 national and international committees and organizations, including the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Science and Engineering, American Concrete Institute (ACI), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).


The 2021 James Laurie Prize will be presented to Ceylan at the joint event of the ASCE T&DI International Conference on Transportation and Development and the ASCE International Airfield and Highway Pavements Conference on June 8-10, 2021.