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July 2005Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-05-028

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Highway Materials Engineering: FHWA Course Offers Fast-Track Education

From soils and foundations to asphalt and concrete, an intensive introduction to a range of highway materials is provided in the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) annual 6-week Highway Materials Engineering course. Applications are now being accepted for the 2006 session. In selecting applicants, priority will be given to employees of State, local, and Federal agencies involved in highway construction. The course will run from January 30-March 17, 2006, at the University of Nevada-Reno, with a 1-week break from February 20-24.

The course covers the following subject areas:

  • Materials control and acceptance-Quality assurance
  • Soils and foundations
  • Steels, welding, and coatings
  • Aggregates and unbound bases
  • Asphalt materials and paving mixtures
  • Concrete.

Included are approximately 150 hours of classroom instruction, 50 hours of laboratory work, reading and assignments, and exams.

"It's been an excellent training opportunity. It's a very intense and very useful course, with good coverage of all the subject areas."

Skills gained in the course include the ability to:

  • Identify and describe the characteristics and engineering properties of the materials used in highways.
  • Identify and describe the selection criteria and important design properties of highway materials.
  • Describe the important steps and considerations in mix design procedures.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of materials quality assurance and be able to develop an effective materials acceptance plan.
  • Describe field and laboratory testing procedures and the significance of test results, along with their relationship to laboratory designs.
  • Describe issues and trends of importance to State department of transportation materials engineering personnel.

The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) typically sends at least one staff person a year to the course. "From our perspective, it's been an excellent training opportunity. It's a very intense and very useful course, with good coverage of all of the subject areas," says Larry Lockett, Chief of ALDOT's Bureau of Materials and Tests.

FHWA's Highway Materials Engineering course provides an intensive introduction to a range of highway materials.

FHWA's Highway Materials Engineering course provides an intensive introduction to a range of highway materials.

The course fee is $5,100. Travel and other costs for participants must also be funded by their own agencies. Applications are due to FHWA by November 1, 2005, and applicants will be notified of their status by December 1, 2005. To obtain an application or for more information, contact Michael Rafalowski in FHWA's Office of Pavement Technology, 202-366-1571 (fax: 202-493-2070; email: michael.rafalowski@fhwa.dot.gov).

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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