Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. candidate Julissa Larios Rodriquez will begin a fellowship in the University’s Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Ph.D. program in fall 2022. She joins a select group of University scholars participating in GAANN, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Keri Ryan directs the GAANN program in the College of Engineering. Below are details on the latest GAANN fellow; find more program information on the GAANN Ph.D. fellowship in infrastructure resilience page.
GAANN fellow Julissa Larios Rodriquez
Originally from: Hollister, California
Fellowship start date: Fall 2022
Research subdiscipline: Pavement Engineering and Science (PES)
Research advisor: Dr. Peter Sebaaly
What inspired you to pursue a Ph.D.?
My aspirations for my career have always been to find a topic I could undoubtedly state that I enjoy, and I finally discovered it. While completing my master’s degree, I recognized the complexity and continuously evolving technology in asphalt paving. I was thrilled to be conducting my research in an area that hopefully could push our field into a more sustainable future. The knowledge and passion I’ve seen from the professors inspired me to keep developing my skills and share ideas with other students and colleagues. Research has allowed me to explore different facets of asphalt technologies. Through the support of the GAANN fellowship, I am encouraged to explore other areas through my continuation into a Ph.D.
What are you most interested in learning more about during your Ph.D. study?
My previous research studies have allowed me to scrape the tip of the iceberg regarding recycling materials. Still, I’m excited to delve deeper into additional sustainable methods for asphalt pavements. I am specifically interested in learning about recycled plastics and their viability in asphalt binders, especially since asphalt and plastic are the most recycled materials in the U.S. today. Hopefully, during my Ph.D. I can discover the performance and environmental impact of plastics in asphalt over its pavement life.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy walking through bookstores and expanding on my book and manga collection. Otherwise, you’ll find me snacking or playing with my cat, Raven.