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CCEE selected as APSE School of Excellence, hosts weeklong workshop

CCEE was selected as an inaugural School of Excellence (SoE) by the Academy of Pavement Scientists and Engineers (APSE). The initiative aims to offer unique learning opportunities for the pavement science and engineering (PS&E) community in multidisciplinary areas.

 APSE was created in 2017 to promote recognition of pavement engineering and the application of scientific principles to solve critical issues in the field. The organization also aims to align education, research and professional practice with new and emerging knowledge in design, materials, analysis, modeling, management and sustainability to address challenges faced by pavement professionals.

“It is a big honor for CCEE’s Transportation Materials (TRM) Group to be selected as the inaugural school of excellence for APSE,” said Professor Shane Underwood. “The TRM Group applied for this opportunity, and we were selected by the APSE Executive Board from a pool of applicants from across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. It is meaningful to us because it demonstrates a broader recognition by the leaders in our discipline about the significant contributions that our group collectively has been able to make to the pavement engineering community.”

As an SoE, CCEE hosted a five-day short course on “Multiscale Modeling of Asphalt Materials and Pavements Using Viscoelastic Continuum Damage Theory” in Fitts-Woolard Hall from June 19-23. There were about 32 participants from across the world.

The course was designed to introduce theories in viscoelasticity and continuum damage mechanics to describe the fatigue performance of asphaltic materials. After the basic principles were introduced, physical implications were addressed through the analysis of experimental data generated from laboratory testing of asphaltic materials. CCEE faculty also demonstrated the FlexMATTM for mixture level analysis and FlexPAVETM for pavement performance prediction. The test methods, mechanistic models, and software programs were used to introduce the Balanced Mix Design Plus (BMD+) and performance-related specifications (PRS).

“This workshop is important because pavement engineering has been historically driven by empirical methods, and what we are promoting is a more mechanistic approach based on understanding the underlying physics that dictate the way our materials and structures perform,” Underwood said. “Participants in this workshop attended from many states and countries and ranged from faculty, students, postdocs, agencies, and industry professionals. Having such a diverse set of attendees who are interested in ways to integrate more physically minded tools is critical in order to build the necessary knowledge base and momentum to enact change. This workshop is also important to APSE as an organization because it helps the organization promote education and research and ways that detailed research studies can advance education. Attendees will take away a clearer understanding of the mechanics governing fatigue cracking growth in asphalt pavements and a better sense of community within APSE.”