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The story of ATSER

In 1992, Dr. D. Fred Martinez began dreaming of a new company that would revolutionize the engineering and construction industry. At that time construction companies in North America were running on 10 year schedules. The need arose for compressed construction schedules when Salt Lake City, Utah was awarded the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and anticipated huge increases in traffic. Dr. Martinez realized the solution for the need to streamline the approval process for construction compliance laid with technology.

Thus, began the journey to create a company that relied on Science, Engineering, Technology and Research. He played around with the letters to create an acronym to name the company, but realized that he wanted to portray innovation and progress that would put this company ahead of the competition. Subsequently the ATSER company was born and named for:

 

Advanced

Technology

Science

Engineering

Research

 

A quarter of a century later, ATSER is still a prestigious name in the Engineering industry.

The story of the First “IT”

The asphalt mix design process was a difficult and time consuming task faced by the Engineering and Construction Industry. The process often required three weeks of trial and error in the laboratory only to learn the proposed blends of aggregates and asphalt did not comply with the Contract’s requirements.

 

Dr. Martinez brought together a team of engineers, developers, technicians and inspectors to find a way to automate this process. The idea was to use computer technology and the internet (in its infancy at the time) to create a program that would predict the most plausible mix recipe. After the development of the program, the result was reducing the process from three weeks to three days.  The program was so innovative that ATSER sought a US Patent for the design and application.

 

During the patent process a name had to be chosen. Originally planning to call his new design “Tex-Mix”, Dr. Martinez was wisely guided away from that by a late-night meeting with a US Patent Attorney. She told him that it would restrict him geographically and thus curb business growth. Taking that into perspective, Dr. Martinez revisited the title and decided to name it Asphalt-IT “Mix Design System”. Ultimately the innovative program was awarded a US Patent in 1999. The “IT” (Information Technology) naming process became the trademark title to all ATSER’s solutions.

History of Innovation

In 1996, ATSER’s TEAM led in the development and deployment of a Material Acceptance Testing Systems (MATS). ATSER pioneered the development of this type of software for the transportation industry and for its use in alternative delivery programs. ATSER’s innovation was recognized when they were the first firm selected to provide a MATS for the nation’s first transportation design-build project sponsored by Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). This transportation project, Interstate 15 Reconstruction, was needed to address the increase in traffic expected during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games that was being hosted by Salt Lake City, Utah. The project schedule was compressed from 10 years to 54 months, with a projection of $1 million of construction per day. In addition, the design-build contractor was delegated the quality acceptance with UDOT and its agent was responsible for providing quality verification in accordance with US Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Title 23. UDOT engaged ATSER to verify the design-build contractor submitted acceptance results. ATSER first introduced their client-server software, identified as Lab-ITTM 1.0, in the early 1990’s. Lab-IT™ was an offline MATS for material testing inspection and project management software for the transportation industry. This client-server software facilitated the collection of construction materials offline data and reporting. The software allowed for an automated electronic software solution to provide inspection checklist and collect material testing data off-line. The technology was state of the art in the early 1990’s before the advent of the internet and eventually earned ATSER a United States Patent. The software was completely successful in providing governance and standardization for the collection, analysis, reporting of inspection and testing results.