When J. Don Brock was a student at Georgia Tech University, where he earned a master's degree and a doctorate in mechanical engineering, he was awarded a patent on a high-speed carpet dryer on which he did his master's thesis. It was to be his first of dozens of American and foreign patents, most of them for developments in the hotmix asphalt-paving industry.
Brock sold his patent and used the money to buy an interest in his father's business, which specialized in the design and manufacture of asphalt-heating equipment and became known as Chattanooga Systems.
The Brocks sold the business to CMI and, in 1972, Brock founded Astec Industries (for asphalt technologies) in Chattanooga. It is a leading manufacturer of aggregate processing equipment, hotmix asphalt plants, paving and testing equipment, thermal fluid heaters and storage tanks and trenchers.
He is a director of the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) and a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB).