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Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI) Of The American Society Of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) International Data Analysis Contest

 

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Guidelines for 2015–2016 Academic Year

The contest guidelines for the 2015–2016 academic school year have been prepared by the Transportation & Development Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Federal Highway Administration for those interested in participating in the international data analysis contest.

Table of Contents

 

Background and Scope of Contest

The International Data Analysis Contest is a joint effort between the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Task Committee on the Long-Term Pavement Performance Contest, a subcommittee of the Highway Pavement Committee of the Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Initiated in August 1998, the contest is designed to encourage students, professors, highway agencies, and consultants from around the world to use the LTPP data collected over the past two decades. The contest offers a unique opportunity for contestants (primarily students) to work individually or in a team to perform research that will benefit the highway transportation community. Contestants must document their findings in a written paper. Authors of winning papers will receive a cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC to be nationally recognized at the 2017 Transportation Research Board (TRB) 96th Annual Meeting. In addition, winners will present their research topic at one or more TRB meeting sessions and will be given the option to have FHWA publish their winning paper, which will be available for researchers worldwide. All participants will receive a letter of recognition from ASCE and FHWA.

Background of the LTPP Program

BRIEF HISTORY

During the early 1980s, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Research Council, under the sponsorship of FHWA and with the cooperation of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), undertook a thorough study of the deterioration of the Nation’s highway and bridge infrastructure system. The study recommended that a Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) be initiated to focus research and development activities that would make major contributions to improving highway transportation. The report, published as “TRB Special Report 202 in 1984, emphasized six research areas, with the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program as one of the key research areas. During 1985 and 1986, independent contractors developed details of the research programs for SHRP. The detailed programs were published in May 1986 as a TRB Report entitled “Strategic Highway Research Program—Research Plans.”

The LTPP program was transferred from SHRP to FHWA in 1992 to continue the work. The program provides research studies of inservice pavements as envisioned by SHRP: as a comprehensive program to satisfy a total range of pavement information needs. It draws on technical knowledge of pavements presently available and seeks to develop better models to explain how and why pavements perform as they do. The LTPP program also seeks to gain knowledge of the specific effects on pavement performance due to various design variables, such as traffic, environment, materials, construction quality, and maintenance practices. As sufficient data become available with time, analysis is conducted to provide better performance prediction models for use in design and pavement management.

GOAL AND OBJECTIVES

The goal of the LTPP program is to increase pavement life by investigating various designs and rehabilitated pavement structures using different materials and under different loads, environments, subgrade soil, and maintenance practices. The specific objectives of the LTPP program are to:

  1. Evaluate existing design methods.

  2. Develop improved design methodologies and strategies for the rehabilitation of existing pavements.

  3. Develop improved design equations for new and reconstructed pavements.

  4. Determine the effects of (a) loading, (b) environment, (c) material properties and variability, (d) construction quality, and (e) maintenance levels on pavement distress and performance.

  5. Determine the effects of specific design features on pavement performance.

  6. Establish a national long-term pavement database to support the program’s objectives and future needs.

 

LTPP EXPERIMENTS AND DATA COLLECTED

The LTPP program includes two experiment categories: General Pavement Study (GPS) experiments and Specific Pavement Study (SPS) experiments. Within each experiment category, several types of studies have been evaluated by the LTPP program. The GPS experiments consist of inservice pavement test sections throughout the United States and Canada. They embrace an array of site selection factors that provide information for a national database to meet the objectives of the LTPP program. The SPS experiments have their own set of unique goals, construction needs, and experimental approaches that cannot be achieved by the GPS experiments. The SPS experiments are intensive studies with specific evaluation variables.

Several broad classes of data stored in the LTPP database include:

  1. General Test Section Information.

  2. Inventory Data.

  3. Climatic Data.

  4. Materials Test Data.

  5. Maintenance Data.

  6. Rehabilitation Data.

  7. Traffic Data.

  8. Pavement Monitoring Data.

 

The data collected are housed in the LTPP Information Management System. It is the world’s largest pavement performance database ever created, with enormous potential for the development of products to improve pavement technologies in the future.

ACCESSING THE DATA AND OTHER LTPP INFORMATION

The LTPP database evolves continuously to accommodate data collected over 25 years. The data are stored using a relational database design that involves over 6,000 data elements in over 400 tables. This approach greatly enhances the system’s ability to store massive amounts of data in a very organized method. However, the LTPP storage scheme makes data accessibility somewhat difficult because it requires extensive knowledge of the information and format of the LTPP database, which includes information on the database structure, data codes, data collection, testing protocols, and relationships between data tables. To address the need for a structured and user-friendly LTPP data source, the data have been made available in a variety of formats throughout the years. The latest and most enhanced system is LTPP InfoPaveTM, a Web-based system that provides easy access to the LTPP data as well as access to LTPP software tools, research reports, and other program information. LTPP InfoPave is an excellent tool that allows students (and other users) to explore the LTPP database, become familiar with the data types, and examine the availability of suitable LTPP test sections to use for analysis. Students are required to use LTPP InfoPaveTM to compete in this contest.

The LTPP program updates the database throughout the year and provides an annual release of the database to the public at the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The public release is known as the LTPP Standard Data Release, or SDR. Each release is sequentially numbered. The most current public release of the LTPP data is SDR 29.0 and is available by contacting the LTPP Customer Support Service Center at ltppinfo@dot.gov or 202–493–3035 or by downloading it from the LTPP InfoPaveTM Web site.

Theme, Categories, Awards, Contest Timeline, and Participants

Students are to focus their analysis and paper topic around the overall contest theme or challenge topic. The challenge topic will focus on components of ongoing LTPP research that have the potential to contribute to other pavement-related areas.

THEME

The theme for the 2015–2016 T&DI/ASCE-LTPP International Data Analysis Contest is:

Select or Develop a Key Performance Indicator Using LTPP InfoPave™ to Evaluate a Question or Concern for Your Region or State.

The overall theme is very broad and gives the contestants the flexibility and creativity to select a topic of interest that will contribute to a better understanding of pavement performance. For example, a topic can range from how the environment does or does not impact pavement performance, or how heavy traffic loads can trigger early pavement distresses.

CHALLENGE TOPIC

This year’s contest includes a challenge topic. The challenge topic for the 2015–2016 T&DI/ASCE-LTPP International Data Analysis Contest is:

Develop Threshold Triggers for Maintenance and Rehabilitation Treatments Using the LTPP Data.

Many highway agencies still need to know what maintenance or rehabilitation treatment to apply and when it should be applied. The findings from this analysis should result in guidelines or parameters for highway agencies to use to help them determine the optimal time for applying pavement maintenance and rehabilitation treatments.

A review of the LTPP maintenance and rehabilitation data should be performed along with a thorough literature review of similar projects such as the Guide for Optimal Timing of Pavement Preventive Maintenance Treatment Applications (NCHRP 14-14).

CATEGORIES

The categories for the 2015–2016 T&DI/ASCE-LTPP International Data Analysis Contest are:

  • Undergraduate Category. A team will consist of one to four undergraduate students only. The analysis is restricted to using only LTPP data. The principal author(s) must be the undergraduate student(s) who conducts the analysis.

  • Graduate Category. A team will consist of one to four students, which may include undergraduate students. The analysis is restricted to using only LTPP data. The principal author(s) must be the graduate student(s) who conducts the analysis.

  • Partnership Category. This category is for undergraduate and/or graduate students working in partnership with a highway agency or private company. In this category, the LTPP data may be supplemented with additional highway agency data, if desired. The team shall consist of one to four students, the external partner, and faculty advisor, if appropriate. The principal author(s) must be the undergraduate and/or graduate student(s) who conducts the analysis. However, additional authors, such as practicing engineers from highway agencies, other agencies, private companies, or faculty members, may be included.

  • Challenge Category. This category is for any team willing to tackle the challenge topic. A team shall consist of one to four students at any level (undergraduate and/or graduate), external partners if applicable, and may include the faculty advisor as a contributing author. The analysis is restricted to using only LTPP data. The principal author(s) must be the student(s) who primarily conducts the analysis.

 

AWARDS

The following table lists the awards for each of the categories described above.

2015–2016 T&DI/ASCE-LTPP International Data Analysis Contest Awards

CATEGORY AWARD
Undergraduate Best Undergraduate Paper Award

1st PLACE WINNER:
  • All-Expense Paid Trip to Attend TRB Annual Meeting (courtesy of FHWA).
  • $500 Cash Prize (courtesy of ASCE through private donations).
  • Award Certificate.
  • Option to Have Paper Published by FHWA.
Graduate Best Graduate Paper Award

1st PLACE WINNER:
  • All-Expense Paid Trip to Attend TRB Annual Meeting (courtesy of FHWA).
  • $1,000 Cash Prize (courtesy of ASCE through private donations).
  • Award Certificate.
  • Option to Have Paper Published by FHWA.
Partnership Best Partnership Paper Award

1st PLACE WINNER:
  • All-Expense Paid Trip to Attend TRB Annual Meeting (courtesy of FHWA).
  • $500 Cash Prize (courtesy of ASCE through private donations).
  • Award Certificate.
  • Option to Have Paper Published by FHWA.
Challenge Best Challenge Paper Award

1st PLACE WINNER:
  • All-Expense Paid Trip to Attend TRB Annual Meeting (courtesy of FHWA).
  • $1,500 Cash Prize (courtesy of ASCE through private donations).
  • Award Certificate.
  • Option to Have Paper Published by FHWA.
Note:

The review committee reserves the right to move a paper into a different category if the committee thinks the paper is a better fit in that category.

For all teams (regardless of the category in which the paper is being presented), only one student will receive the all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC to present the findings and accept the award on behalf of the team. However, the cash prize will be divided evenly among the student team and each team member will receive an award certificate.

 

CONTEST TIMELINE

The following table shows the contest timeline.

2015–2016 T&DI/ASCE-LTPP International data analysis contest timeline

ACTIVITY DATE
Initiate Contest September 25, 2015
Deadline to Submit Papers June 1, 2016
Complete Evaluation of Papers July 31, 2016
Notify Winners August 15, 2016
Recognition/Awards at TRB 96th Annual Meeting January 8, 2017

 

STUDENT PARTICIPANTS

Graduate and undergraduate students who graduate anytime during the academic year are eligible to participate. Students who are full-time employees on LTPP-related contracts are NOT eligible to participate in the contest. Students who wish to participate in the contest must be sponsored by at least one faculty advisor. Student participants must submit a letter of sponsorship from the faculty advisor showing the advisor’s support and that the paper was neither published nor previously submitted for publication elsewhere. However, after submission for the contest, students may choose to submit their papers for publication elsewhere, either before or after the contest review process is complete.

Note:

The Federal Government is not allowed to conduct business with countries currently on the Restricted Country list. Therefore, students residing or attending universities in restricted countries are ineligible to participant in the contest. FHWA will not provide any data support or travel expenses to a student from a restricted country.

FACULTY PARTICIPANTS

Faculty advisors are NOT permitted to be coauthors with students in the undergraduate or graduate categories, but their names can be listed as “Faculty Advisors” on the submitted paper manuscript. The award prize goes to the students on the team. Faculty members, however, can participate as contributing authors (after the lead student authors and any partners) in the Partnership category.

OTHER PARTICIPANTS

Nonstudents or faculty may participate with students under the Partnership category. Other participants may include researchers, pavement designers, materials engineers, traffic forecasters, and other professional disciplines from highway and other agencies, and international organizations such as the International Road Federation, World Road Association-PIARC, and the World Bank. The student(s) must be the lead author(s) on the paper, the award prize is given only to the students(s).

Paper Guidelines

PAPER REQUIREMENTS

Paper submissions for all contest categories require that the principle author and investigator be a student or a team of students. The paper preparation guidelines are provided in Appendix A. Each paper must have a cover page including authors’ names, affiliations, and addresses. The cover page must also list the category in which the paper is being submitted. An example of the cover page format is shown in Appendix B. Each paper must have a cover page as described in Appendix B, and be submitted in Microsoft Word® format only. Papers submitted in any other format will not be considered.

LENGTH OF PAPER

The length of the paper, including the abstract and references, may not exceed 7,500 words. A paper that is only text should contain no more than 7,500 words. Each figure, photograph, or table accompanying the text counts as 250 words. For example, if two figures (500 words) and three tables (750 words) are submitted, the text may be no more than 6,250 words. The total number of words in the paper should be noted on the title page.

Note that 7,500 words is the maximum length. Authors are encouraged to keep paper length to a minimum and limit the number of figures and tables, providing only essential information of interest to the reader. Papers that exceed the maximum word count will NOT be considered by the Contest Board.

LENGTH AND CONTENT OF ABSTRACT

Each paper must have an abstract. The abstract may not exceed 500 words, be self-contained, and not require reference to the paper to be understood. The abstract should present the primary objectives and scope of the study; the reasons for writing the paper; the techniques or approaches described only to the extent necessary for comprehension; and findings and conclusions should be presented concisely and informatively. The abstract should not contain undefined, unfamiliar terms, undefined acronyms, reference citations, or displayed equations or lists.

FOOTER

All pages of the submitted paper must have a footer that contains the following information:

  • Contest Year (2015–2016 T&DI/ASCE-LTPP International Data Analysis Contest).
  • Contest Category (Undergraduate, Graduate, Partnership, or Challenge Category).
  • Page Number.

PAPER SUBMISSION

Participants must submit their papers to the Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI) of ASCE in ELECTRONIC FORMAT ONLY via email. Papers may also be submitted on CD or DVD and mailed to the address shown below. In either case, all papers must reach T&DI’s office no later than June 1, 2016.

EMAIL SUBMISSIONS

Subject line should read: 2015–2016 T&DI/ASCE-LTPP International Data Analysis Contest: ltpp@asce.org or abaker@asce.org.

CD/DVD SUBMISSIONS

American Society of Civil Engineers
Transportation & Development Institute
1801 Alexander Bell Drive
Reston, VA 20191-4400
ATTENTION: Andrea Baker—T&DI/ASCE-LTPP Task Committee
2015-2016 T&DI/ASCE-LTPP International Data Analysis Contest

The Contest Board will screen the papers to check eligibility status and for duplicate papers. The board will then transfer all files to Adobe® Acrobat® PDF format prior to sending to reviewers, which ensures that contest papers and their contents are not lost or altered in the process of file copying and/or transfer via email.

Appendix A – Paper Preparation

COVER PAGE

Each paper must have a cover page that includes all authors’ names, affiliations, and addresses. It should also list the contest category in which the paper is being submitted (see Appendix B). Papers are reviewed anonymously; therefore, names and affiliations of authors should appear only on the cover page.

FACULTY ADVISOR SPONSORSHIP LETTER

Following the cover page, a signed letter from the faculty advisor for participants should be included on the academic institution letterhead. The letter shall state the advisor’s sponsorship of the student or team, that the advisor endorses their participation, and that the paper contents were neither published nor submitted for publication elsewhere.

ABSTRACT PAGE

The abstract page must follow the cover page and the faculty advisor sponsorship letter. It should include the paper title without the name(s) of the author(s). The abstract shall not exceed 500 words.

PAPER FORMAT (LIMITED TO 7,500 WORDS, INCLUDING FIGURES AND TABLES)

MAIN HEADING – LEVEL 1 CENTERED

(Font: Times New Roman, 14 point, bold. All capital letters.)

Heading Level 2 – Left Justified
Font: Times New Roman, 14 point, and bold italic. Leave two spaces before and one space after.

Heading Level 3 – Left Justified
Font: Times New Roman, 12 point, underlined. Leave one space before and after.

Body Text
Font: Times New Roman, 12 point. Single spaced.

Footers
Font: Times New Roman, 10 point. Single spaced. Page number centered.

References
List references alphabetically by authors’ last names using the ASCE style.

Appendix B – Contest Cover Page

T&DI/ASCE-LTPP International Data Analysis Contest

2015–2016

INSERT Contest Category

Paper Title

(INSERT THE PAPER TITLE USING MAIN HEADING FORMAT)

By:

Author 1 (Full Name)

Affiliation

Complete Address, Phone, Fax, and Email*

and

Author 2 (Full Name)

Affiliation

Complete Address, Phone, Fax, and Email*

Full Name of Faculty Advisor (if any)

Affiliation

Complete Address, Phone, Fax, and Email*

 

Word Count: Abstract:  
  Text:  
  Figures (250 words each):  
  Tables (250 words each):  
  Total:  

 

* Please use an email address where you can be reached if you leave the current university.

Consent: This paper is submitted to the 2015–2016 T&DI/ASCE-LTPP International Data Analysis Contest for the ____ Category. The author(s) certifies(y) that the paper contents were neither published nor submitted for publication elsewhere.

 

 

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