Marshall R Thompson
- Professor Emeritus
Thompson joined the CEE at Illinois faculty in 1964 after earning all three degrees from the department. He retired from the active faculty in 1996 but is still professionally active in research and consulting, and still maintains an office in Newmark Lab. In addition to research and teaching, Thompson’s career has afforded him field experience with the Illinois Division of Highways and contractors and extensive consulting experience in airfield and highway pavements, soils and materials, and railroads for various governmental agencies, consultants, industry and contractors.
His research interests are in flexible pavement analysis, design and construction; paving materials; subgrade soils and subgrade stability; soil/material stabilization; and concrete pavement rehabilitation (rubblization). He was the Director of the Illinois DOT - University of Illinois Cooperative Highway and Transportation Research Program from 1987-1997. He has been involved in numerous research studies relating to soils, materials and pavements for highways and airfields, sponsored by many government agencies and industry groups.
Thompson has published more than 205 technical journal papers, bulletins and research reports. He developed the Mechanistic-Empirical flexible pavement design procedures that have been used since 1989 by the Illinois DOT. His recent work includes the characterization and design of Rubblized PCC concrete pavements with HMA Overlays and HMA Perpetual Pavement design.
Thompson’s many honors have included receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the Asphalt Institute in 2012; being elected to the National Asphalt Paving Association’s HMA Hall of Fame in 2005; receiving the Transportation Research Board’s K.B. Woods Award for outstanding technical paper in the field of design and construction of transportation facilities in 2000; and being named the Illinois Asphalt Paving Association’s “Man of the Year” in 1995.
Thompson received the CEE at Illinois Distinguished Faculty Award in 2017 for "technical contributions to transportation and pavement engineering through characterization of asphalt, granular and soil materials responses, behavior, and performance; for the development of new flexible pavement design methods for roads and airfields, and to soil improvement techniques and procedures for horizontal construction and vehicle mobility; for innovations, such as first backcalculation procedure, high-strength stabilized base design, and asphalt overlay of rubblized concrete design; and for more than 35 years of teaching and mentoring CEE students."