One alternative to traditional asphalt that Wen and the people in his lab are looking into is bioasphalt. Instead of using petroleum, waste cooking oil can be processed into asphalt. A Spokesman-Review reporter visited Wen’s laboratory and tells us what is underway there.
Haifang Wen, a professor in civil and environmental engineering at Washington State University could make my job easier in the future. One thing I hear regularly when out talking to members of the public about local transportation issues is that there must be a better, longer-lasting material with which to pave our roads. Wen is looking into it- researching new ways of making asphalt better and cheaper.