2019 TAC Young Professional and Student Award Winners

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The following students and young professionals (age 35 or younger) were recipients of a 2019 Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) award. 

TAC Young Transportation Professional Award

This award recognizes an employee of a TAC member organization who is 35 years old or less, and who has demonstrated personal accomplishments, industry and professional contributions, and leadership

Papa Masseck Thiam  |  FPInnovations

Papa has earned two Master’s degrees (in pavement engineering from Laval University, and in Civil Engineering Project Management from École Polytechnique de Montréal), and is a designated project management professional as well as a licensed professional engineer in two provinces. The results of his early research at Laval University on the effects of climate change on pavement performance were featured in the mechanistic-empirical pavement design software. As a Research Engineer with FPInnovations, Papa collaborates with provincial transportation agencies, universities and the forestry industry. He recently helped create an engineering analysis enabling reduced frost depth starting thresholds for winter weight haul programs, and has researched the pavement impacts of larger trucks and wide base single tires, as well as mitigation methods for shoulder cracking. Papa has participated in numerous international `conferences, and has co-authored more than a dozen scientific papers published by TAC, TRB and in technical journals. He is a member of the TRB technical committee on freeze-thaw action on infrastructure, the I3C Chair Technical Committee, the Canadian Geotechnical Society, and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. He is a mentor to young pavement engineers, and demonstrates high standards of both scientific rigour and cooperation.

Allan Widger Consulting Corporation Grant for Young Geotechnical Engineers in Transportation

This grant provides financial support to a young geotechnical engineer who is 35 years old or less with a master’s degree and three years of work experience in the transportation field, enabling him or her to attend TAC’s spring and fall technical meetings, and the conference

Sam Esfandiarpour  |  Thurber Engineering Ltd.

Sam completed his PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba in 2017. His research has focused on road materials and pavement structures, and strengthening the standardization of pavement evaluation techniques and the use of recycled materials. He developed models for Manitoba asphalt mixes that predict dynamic and creep compliance values without the need for physical tests. He has authored or co-authored several TAC conference papers, and won a TAC Student Paper Award in 2015. In 2017, he joined Thurber Engineering where he has worked on many highway construction and rehabilitation projects. He recently joined TAC’s Pavement ME Design Software User Group, where he has been able to help other users.

TAC Student Paper Awards

These awards recognize the excellence of papers delivered at TAC’s annual conference by full-time post-secondary students, evaluated by members of TAC’s Education and Human Resources Development Council

1st prize $500

Erfan Hajibandeh | University of Manitoba

Dynamic Modulus of Asphalt Concrete Mixtures Using Small Scale Samples



2nd prize $300

Salvatory Materu |University of Manitoba

Evaluation of Warm Mix Asphalt Technology for Pavement Rehabilitation



3rd prize $200

Hanaa Al-Bayati |University of Waterloo

Examining the Effect of Coarse Recycled Concrete Aggregate on Moisture Damage Resistance of HMA Mixtures



For the full list of 2019 award winners, browse our awards booklet.


Thank you to our Premier Sponsors