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Federal Highway Administration / Publications / Focus / June 1998

Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations

Publication Number: FHWA-SA-98-023
Date: June 1998

Florida Engineering Schools Add Superpave System to Curriculum

With most States planning to implement the Superpave system within the next 2 years, highway agencies and industry are starting to wonder where they'll find enough engineers trained in the Superpave mix design procedures. To meet that need, five Florida universities have teamed up with the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Florida Division to make training on the Superpave system available to undergraduate students.

If all goes according to plan, training on the Superpave system will be available beginning this fall to undergraduate engineering students at five Florida universities: the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, the University of Central Florida, Florida International University, and the joint engineering school of Florida A&M University and Florida State University. The schools will use the curriculum on the Superpave system that is now being prepared by the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) with funding from FHWA. After the curriculum is completed and approved by a panel of experts from industry, academia, and highway agencies, it will be available to any university. The curriculum will also be distributed to State highway agencies, FHWA offices, and other interested parties.

To prepare for the new curriculum, faculty from the Florida universities plan to attend a 1-week course on the Superpave system at NCAT this summer. The universities will later be supplied with the Superpave binder test equipment and the Superpave gyratory compactor. Funding is being provided by Florida DOT, the universities, and FHWA.

The goal of the training program is simple, says Greg Schiess of FHWA's Florida Division: to ensure that Florida DOT and its contractors can find engineers with the skills needed to design and build Superpave pavements.

The training program in Florida is modeled on the Indiana program initiated by Lee Gallivan of FHWA's Indiana Division (see November/December 1997 Focus). "We're following everything Lee did, and Lee has been to Florida to explain what they did in Indiana," says Schiess.

For more information on the program in Florida, contact Greg Schiess at FHWA (phone: 850-942-9685; fax: 850-942-9691; email: greg.l.schiess@fhwa.dot.gov).

For more information on the Superpave curriculum, contact Lee Gallivan at FHWA (phone: 317-226-7493; fax: 317-226-7341; email: victor.gallivan@fhwa.dot.gov).

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