ATS Asphalt Binder Engineer Joins LEAP Program

The Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association (AEMA) created the Leadership Education for Asphalt Preservation (LEAP) Program to develop future leaders of the asphalt emulsion industry. Members of AEMA can apply to join this annual program to help increase their knowledge and develop a better understanding of various facets of the asphalt emulsion industry. Over the 12-month period, members of the LEAP Program visit diverse jobsites and facilities around the country engaging them in areas they may otherwise not get to see.

Swathi Theeda, ATS Asphalt Binder Engineer, was accepted into the 2024 – 2025 program, which kicked off in February at the annual AEMA Meeting. During the meeting the group visited Associated Asphalt’s emulsion plant in Tampa, Florida, and spent time at the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

“When I saw the LEAP Program’s curriculum including tours of various stakeholders’ facilities, I realized this would help me achieve my goal to make a difference in my sphere of influence as a Civil Engineer,” said Swathi. “During my prior experience working with counties, I witnessed challenges they faced when working with limited budgets. Having a preservation and maintenance toolbox is a good solution, and this program will grant me opportunities to deepen my understanding of pavement preservation and rehabilitation methods to help cities, counties and other owners progress towards proper utilization of resources while effectively managing road networks.”

Asphalt emulsion producers touch multiple parts of the asphalt industry: refining, terminals, labs, agencies, pavement preservation advocacy, aggregates, and application equipment. In 2024 tours include quarries, refineries, emulsifier and emulsion manufacturers, and latex manufacturers throughout the United States and Canada. For more information about the LEAP Program visit