Dr. Habib Dagher will be honored in Washington, D.C. this week for his 'Bridge-in-a-Backpack' design.

Founding director of the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, Dagher is the primary inventor of the award-winning Bridge in a Backpack. This composite arch system uses inflatable arches that can be carried to the job site in carriers that resemble large athletic bags. The arches are inflated on-site, firmed up with resin, and then filled with concrete. The easy-to-assemble bridges are strong enough to last up to a century.

Dagher will be honored this week at the White House Champions of Change event, focused on 'Innovators in Transportation for the Future.' Hosted by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the White House Office of Public Engagement, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx will recognize 11 of the nation's top transportation innovators, including Dr. Dagher.

The honor is part of the White House Champions of Change program that honors Americans who are inspiring and empowering members of their communities. The event on October 13th will include a panel discussion, during which Dr. Dagher and the other honorees will explain their efforts. Plus, there will be a blog post and a biography of each honoree featured on the White House website.

Dr Dagher told UMaine Today that he is "truly humbled by the White House Recognition." He says the award is not his alone, but also belongs to the "UMaine Composites Center faculty including Professors Bill Davids, Roberto Lopez-Anido and Eric Landis, staff, and students, as as AIT staff who commercialized the technology including Brit Svoboda, Ken Sweeney, Larry Abatiell, John Kenerson, Tim Kenerson, Matt Pellerin, Dan Bannon, and Wendell Harriman." He went on to thank the Maine Department of Transportation for being a great partner of the center.

Congratulations to Dr. Dagher and the whole team!