Purdue Road School expected to draw more than 3,000 participants

Governor Eric J. Holcomb will be a featured guest at the 109th Purdue Road School Transportation Conference and Expo March 14-15.
attendees interacting
The exhibit hall in the Purdue Memorial Union North and South Ballrooms featured a lineup of 52 exhibitors during the two-day event in 2022.

Governor Eric J. Holcomb will be a featured guest at the 109th Purdue Road School Transportation Conference and Expo on March 14-15 at Purdue University. 

Executive Vice President for Research Karen Plaut will welcome participants during the opening session in Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse at 9:30 a.m. on March 14. Then, Governor Holcomb will be joined by Michael Smith, Indiana Department of Transportation commissioner, and Chris Jensen, mayor of the City of Noblesville, in a fireside chat moderated by Richard Hedgecock, president of Indiana Constructors, Inc. The panel members will share their perspectives on Indiana transportation infrastructure and the impact those investments have on economic development in the state.

“There are many reasons Indiana was named number one in infrastructure,” Holcomb said, "and I’m looking forward to sitting down with Richard, Commissioner Smith and Mayor Jensen to talk about some of those reasons, in addition to all the recent successes we’ve seen in the future of mobility and the positive impacts advanced transportation is having across the Hoosier state.”

This year’s program will offer more than 190 technical sessions designed for federal, state and local agencies, industry, consulting and academic colleagues. The sessions are organized into 19 tracks and will be presented in Stewart Center and several adjacent classroom buildings. 

“Purdue Road School is an opportunity to talk and spend time with some of the best and brightest in transportation,” Smith said. “So much is happening to improve infrastructure at all levels across the state and many of those in attendance at Road School have played a part in making that happen.”

Darcy Bullock, a Purdue civil engineering professor and director of Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP), said several sessions this year are devoted to emerging technologies, such as connected vehicle data, UAS applications and electric vehicles, which will help Indiana take its transportation systems to the next level through innovation in design, construction and operations. A wide range of traditional civil engineering sessions related to construction, pavements and project management also are included. Information about the schedule and technical program is available.

“Purdue Road School is an important event that brings together local agencies, INDOT, and the vendor community, with attendance expected to exceed 3,000 in 2023,” said John Haddock, a Purdue civil engineering professor and director of Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP).

The event, co-sponsored by JTRP and LTAP, traces its origin to 1913, when W.K. Hatt, head of Purdue’s School of Civil Engineering, initiated a conference to help county surveyors and city engineers develop and maintain Indiana’s roads and streets. At the 1914 conference, a resolution was passed calling for a yearly school and the conference officially became known as Purdue Road School. 

More than 50 exhibitors will be set up in the North and South Ballrooms of the Purdue Memorial Union during the two days of the event. Complimentary coffee, lunch and afternoon sweets are supported in part by the exhibitors. Participants are encouraged to visit the Exhibit Hall between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. 

Professional Development Hours (PDH) and Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available for all technical sessions.  

people in a room
In 2022, Road School offered 173 hours of technical sessions with more than 325 speakers and moderators.