MTO's "Reverse Co-op"

As our province grows and strives to develop a safe and efficient transportation system, investments in human and capital resources are needed to explore new ideas, address existing concerns, and chart innovative ground in the transportation field. Recognizing this need, two years ago MTO signed a partnership agreement with the University of Waterloo to participate in UW's Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology (CPATT) with in-kind support. As part of the in-kind contribution, Joseph Ponniah, Senior Pavement Research Engineer from MTO joined the University of Waterloo in 2003, as manager, liaison and research professor. As part of his "reverse co-op placement" Joseph acts as a liaison person between MTO and Waterloo, represents MTO's interests at the Center and works with the other partners to provide knowledge base and new products and technology for building better highways.

Two years after his arrival at CPATT, Ponniah is currently conducting research in a variety of exciting transportation technology areas. For example, right now Ponniah is researching the development of seismic-wave based non-destructive test methods of evaluating asphalt pavement. In addition, he is researching the impacts on pavements due to vehicle weight dimensions reforms. Furthermore, Ponniah is also researching the development of an adhesion test for evaluating tack coat, as well as the validation of the perpetual pavement design concept.

When asked about the benefits of his "reverse co-op" at CPATT. Ponniah said, "By becoming a partner of CPATT, MTO sends a message that innovation and excellence is not simply expected, but encouraged. As well it demonstrates MTO's strong commitment to support research for developing innovative solutions to address complex transportation issues in Ontario."