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Development Of A Field And Laboratory Based Coursework In Asphalt Technology

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.368.1 - 6.368.10

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Rajib Mallick

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526

Development of A Field and Laboratory Based Coursework in Asphalt Technology

Rajib B. Mallick Worcester Polytechnic Institute


A field and laboratory based coursework in asphalt technology was developed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), with the help of a grant from the National Science Foundation. At present, there is a severe lack of opportunity for the undergraduate students to gain field experience and learn application of statistical concepts in quality control in asphalt technology. The objectives of the newly developed coursework are to provide the undergraduate students tools for field experience in asphalt pavement construction, including quality control techniques, and to teach the concepts of statistical quality control through analysis of real time quality control test data. A thorough knowledge of all aspects of asphalt mix design and construction, and an experience of using real time data for statistical quality control is provided to help understand the link between design and construction, and identify potential problems during production, construction, and life of the pavement. As part of the field and laboratory work for the newly developed course, students used testing equipment in the field and analyzed data with portable computers and data analysis software. The students participated in the fieldwork to gain experience in operation of equipment, understand techniques of proper interpretation of test results and making decisions based on test results.

I. Introduction

More than 94 percent of the nation’s highways are paved with asphalt mixes and about $90 billion is spent every year in designing, constructing and maintaining asphalt pavements. In 1987, in response to a growing national concern over the condition of the highway system in the United States, Congress established a five year, large scale, applied research program – the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), aimed at improving the performance, durability, safety and efficiency of the highway system. About $50 million dollars was spent in developing the next generation mix design system for asphalt pavements – the Superpave (Superior Performing Asphalt Pavement) system. Studies have shown that full implementation of Superpave can save as much as $637 million per year (1). However, to implement Superpave properly, and realize its full benefit through improved performance, the industry and state departments of transportation (DOT) must ensure that mix production, laydown and compaction in field projects are controlled

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Mallick, R. (2001, June), Development Of A Field And Laboratory Based Coursework In Asphalt Technology Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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