Samikaran Bhattarai, a technology master’s student, has been selected as the recipient of this year’s College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) Graduate Student Researcher Award.

Bhattarai worked on a research project titled “Permeability and Strength of Pervious PET Concrete Composite.” The primary objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a novel form of pervious pavement composite (PPC) by replacing 100 percent Portland cement in conventional pervious concrete with post-consumer PET plastic bottles.

Pervious pavements are a unique and effective means to address important environmental issues and support sustainable growth. By capturing storm water and allowing it to seep into the ground, pervious pavement is capable of recharging groundwater, reducing storm water runoff and meeting the United States Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) better management practice of storm water runoff.

Findings from this study showed that PPC could be used as a sustainable alternative for pervious pavements for low-strength construction such as driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots. His continued research efforts and interest resulted in four publications: one journal article, one conference proceeding article, and three presentations. Additionally, Bhattarai presented results from this project at the Illinois State University Research Symposium in spring 2017 and spring 2018.