Development of University Level Training Modules for Pavement Design, Pavement Management and Pavement Rehabilitation
III. Research Problem Statement Background
Over the past two decades there has been a steady and significant decline in development and implementation of state-of-the-art training and education in the areas associated with highway pavement design, construction, management, maintenance and rehabilitation. Some of this can be attributed to the recent changes and innovations in this area such as the new AASHTO Pavement Management Guide, the development of mechanistic design procedures being incorporated into the 2002 Pavement Design Guide and other related research studies and findings. However, much of this decline can be traced to the loss of experienced professionals throughout the industry including academia. Institutions which just a few years ago where considered top tier in pavements educational training have either partially or in some cases completely dismantled these programs. As the leaders in transportation technology, it is therefore our duty and responsibility to reverse this decline and rebuild the educational engine required to implement the current state-of-the-art technology into state-of-the-practice and develop the future technology solutions that continue to face our industry.
IV. Research Problem Statement
Develop training and teaching modules that can be rapidly deployed in an academic setting and in a tiered approached such that two-year community colleges as well as full four-year colleges and universities could implement the necessary educational units. These modules should provide the basic framework that includes the currently accepted methods and practices adopted or approved by AASHTO. The modules should provide flexibility and span the basics through the graduate level associated with a masters degree.
V. Research Objective
To consolidate current technical advances in the area of pavements engineering into educational or training modules that would enhance the continued implementation and future development of trained professionals.
VI.Estimate of Problem Funding and Research Period
$500,000 and 30 months
VIII. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation
Several recent forums, including the Strategic Planning Forum of the AASHTO JTFP and the Infrastructure Renewal Forum, have identified this as a critical need. The Infrastructure Renewal Forum had this to say about the urgency and payoff potential:
Enormous! Result in reduced risk for both owner and industry of transportation facilities. Increased productivity, improved quality of final product, and cost savings in the management of road networks. This will be an essential part of getting research out. Without this effort, research will be put on the shelf with limited knowledge of its results and even more limited use. Work force emerging from educational systems is not adequately trained to work in highway industry. Co-op and Intern programs are very limited and do not produce the number of qualified people required by the industry. This project is of high priority to attract and retain personnel in pavements field.
VIII. PERSON(S) DEVELOPING THE PROBLEM