Innovative teaching methods in flexible pavement systems

Yusuf Mehta, Fazil Najafi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Flexible pavement systems consist of materials exhibiting complex mechanical behavior, like asphalt concrete, granular or clayey base conditions and various inset conditions. The interaction of these materials within a pavement system is still not understood very well. Solving complex pavement systems has always been very challenging for researchers and practitioners and even more challenging for faculty. The instructors make unrealistic simplifications to explain the concepts without explaining its implications. The authors present a detailed outline and recommend a flow of topics so that the students can understand the pavement system better. Before the instructor can begin explaining a pavement system it should spend some classes on reviewing the different materials involved in a pavement system. Then explain the how the individual layers in the pavement system serve its purpose and then explain the various interactions between materials. Begin with assuming all materials as elastic material, but clearly explain why it is unrealistic focusing on the interaction between layers. The concept of interaction does not change if the mechanical behaviors of the individual layers are modified. Then change the properties of individual layers to realistic values, briefly explaining the test methods and illustrating with actual laboratory data. Then solve a single problem in class step by step with realistic values and then use pavement analysis programs to solve complex problems, making sure they understand the output of the program. The authors recommend using backcalculation analysis and a field visit to observe the falling weight deflectometer tests to explain the behavior of the pavement system. The authors present the illustrations, typical example problems and tools to be used in the course, which will be extremely useful to effectively teach this complex system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-30
Number of pages4
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Event2002 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Vive L'ingenieur - Montreal, Que., Canada
Duration: Jun 16 2002Jun 19 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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