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Petersen Conference Bids Farewell to Longtime Chairman

This year, the Petersen Asphalt Research Conference organized by Western Research Institute bids a farewell to Dr. Raymond Robertson.  Dr. Robertson first chaired the conference in 1990, the year Dr. Claine Petersen retired and the conference was renamed in his honor.

Dr. Robertson continued as chairman for 18 years.  He also established the Pavement Performance Prediction Symposium in 2001.   After a long and distinguished career, the longtime VP of Western Research Institute’s Transportation Technology Division retired in May 2009.

Besides the large number of Petersen Conference participants from throughout the world, Dr. Robertson has worked with the Transportation Research Board since 1978, the American Chemical Society and the Federal Highway Administration. It may not be too much to say Ray Robertson is an icon.  It seems he knows, and is known to, virtually everyone in the asphalt research community. 

Dr. Robertson took asphalt research at WRI from the Strategic Highways Research Program of 1988 to a program that encompasses the Federal Highway Administration-sponsored Fundamental Properties of Asphalt and Modified Asphalts III, the five-member Asphalt Research Consortium, and the RITA Cooperative Agreement, as well as significant private contract work.

Before that, he did a seven-year stint in the oil shale and tar sands program with the Department of Energy’s Laramie Energy Technology Center, which was later de-federalized and reorganized as Western Research Institute.

Dr. Robertson’s retirement marks the end of an era at WRI and for the Petersen Asphalt Research Conference.  He will be honored at a dinner July 14.  The 46th annual Petersen Asphalt Research Conference will be held July 13-15, 2009, in Laramie, Wyoming.  Click here to learn more.


Ray Robertson 
WRI’s Transportation Technology vice president retired in May 2009 after 32 years with the Institute and its earlier federal government iterations. 
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