Technology to Improve Road Maintenance

March 3, 2011

Dr. Sang-soo Kim, an associate professor of civil engineering in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University (OU), has devoted much of his work to developing technologies that improves road maintenance to maximize quality and reduce repair costs. With the assistance of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at OU’s Voinovich School, Dr. Kim and his company EZ Asphalt Technologies, LLC (EZ Asphalt) have been working to make sure drivers don’t have to worry about when they will hit another pothole.

Dr. Kim developed a mechanism, known as the asphalt binder cracking device or ABCD, for correctly testing asphalt’s low temperature properties and obtained a patent for it. In March of 2007, Dr. Kim approached the SBDC to discuss business start-up assistance and the process of commercializing his product. Two months later the SBDC and Dr. Kim incorporated EZ Asphalt and together drafted a grant proposal to secure over $250,000 in federal funds for additional research of the ABCD.

After a year of further research, Dr. Kim and the SBDC staff had the footing to take the next step toward commercialization, namely marketing and website development. To aid in this endeavor, EZ Asphalt sought and received additional funding in November 2008 through TechGROWTH Ohio, an Entrepreneurial Signature Program, funded by Ohio’s Third Frontier Program.