Geotechnical Aspects of Pavements

Online /
Dec 16 - 17, 2024 /
Course Code: 15-1215-ONL24

The confirmation of this course depends on early registration; Register early to avoid the postponement or cancellation of a course.
  • Overview
  • Syllabus
  • Instructor


Please note, This instructor-led course has specific dates and times:
This course is held online over 2 days on the following schedule (All times in Eastern Time Zone):

10 am to 6 pm Eastern (Will include the usual breaks

After participating in this course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Identify challenges associated with the design and construction of modern pavement systems, including roadway embankments
  • Assess the geotechnical inputs needed for the design of pavements and embankments
  • Evaluate and select appropriate remediation measures for pavement subgrades and embankment foundations
  • Develop alternatives for addressing foundation and subgrade problems during design and construction
  • Complete the design procedures of an asphalt pavement system

The course covers the latest methods and procedures to address the geotechnical issues in pavement design, construction, and performance. These methods can be applied to new construction, reconstruction, and pavement rehabilitation projects. The content includes geotechnical assessment, testing and characterization of in-place and constructed subgrades, and designing and constructing pavement subgrades and unbounded materials for paved roads.

The course is designed to cover the elements of the empirical and mechanistic-empirical design approaches. It will cover asphalt pavements, including granular layers and HMA mixes, specifications, and main aspects of construction.

Course Outline

Part I: Geotechnical Engineering for Pavement Engineers

  • Background and Introductory Concepts
  • Water and Soils
  • Consolidation and Settlement
  • Strength and Stiffness
  • Ground Improvement and Applications/Case Studies

Part II: Pavement Engineering

  • Pavement Investigation
  • Subgrade and Granular Layers in Pavement Structure
  • Hot-Mix Asphalt Mixes
  • Pavement Design and Performance
  • Construction

Who Should Attend
Civil Engineers • Managers • Owners of Highways • Ministry of Transportation Personnel • Pavement Design Engineers • Transit System Engineers • Infrastructure Project Managers • Geotechnical Engineers • Consulting Engineers • Specification Writers • Quality Assurance Managers • Construction Engineers • Technicians and Technologists

More Information

Time: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Eastern Time

Please note: You can check other time zones here.


Part 1 - Geotechnical Engineering for Pavement Engineers

Soil types, mass-volume relationships, grain size distribution, index properties, USCS/AASHTO classification, total vs. effective stress, load distribution

Water and Soils
Capillarity, shrinkage/swelling, freeze-thaw, frost heave, permeability/hydraulic conductivity, seepage flow (one- and two-dimensional), constant and falling head tests

Consolidation and Settlement
Components of settlement, time-rate, laboratory consolidation (oedometer) tests, compressibility characteristics, pre-consolidation pressure, over-consolidation ratio, secondary consolidation (creep)

Strength and Stiffness of Soils
Cohesive/frictional components of shear strength, undrained vs. drained strength, field and laboratory testing, repeated loading effects, modulus and resilient modulus

Ground Improvement
Deep vs. shallow methods, stabilization, geosynthetics, compaction, equipment, and procedures

Applications and Case Studies
Embankments, excavations, dewatering/drainage, ground improvement for stability and settlement mitigation

Part 2 - Pavement Engineering

Pavement Investigation
Geotechnical investigation, visual inspection, drainage, laboratory testing, non-destructive testing

Subgrade and Granular Layers in Pavement Structure
Requirements for subgrade, testing including CBR and Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD), compaction requirements, standard and modified Proctor tests; granular layers - objectives, material types, granular base and subbase

Hot-Mix Asphalt
Asphalt cement (AC) - performance grading testing, advanced testing (MSCR, DENT, Ash, Extended BBR); compatibility of AC and aggregates, stripping; other HMA materials, characteristics; HMA mix design methodologies - Marshall and Superpave - basics, volumetrics, procedures

Pavement Design and Performance
Empirical and mechanistic-empirical including AASHTO MEPDG; the concept of Equivalent Single Axle Loads (ESAL); inputs - subgrade soil, traffic, climate, materials, other; design analysis and performance models and analysis; specifications; the importance of drainage

Introduction: subgrade preparation, granular layers, HMA production, delivery and placement, joint construction; Quality Control/Quality Assurance testing and acceptance

Questions and Answers, Feedback on Achievement of Learning Outcomes

Concluding Remarks and Final Adjournment


Paul Dittrich, Ph.D., P.Eng., FEIC

Paul is a Geotechnical Engineering Fellow and Senior Principal Geotechnical Engineer at WSP with nearly 30 years of experience on various local and international projects in the transportation, infrastructure, mining and heavy industry fields. He has experience with many aspects of geotechnical engineering and is the technical supervisor of specialized laboratory and in situ geotechnical testing services in WSP’s Mississauga office.

His main areas of expertise include site characterization, foundation design, settlement analysis, stability of slopes, embankments and excavations, specialized geotechnical analysis/modelling (including staged construction analysis), geotechnical monitoring and ground improvement.

Rabiah Rizvi, P. Eng.

Rabiah is a registered Professional Engineer in the Provinces of Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, and the Territories of Northwest Territories, Nunavut. Rabiah is a Principal Engineer at PTech Engineering Solutions Inc. and has 12+ years of experience in Pavement and Materials Engineering.

Her expertise includes flexible and rigid pavement designs using Transport Canada and Federal Aviation Administration methodology for airfield pavements, AASHTO 93, MEPDG and other methodologies for road pavements. She has extensive experience with structural condition evaluations, including FWD testing and GPR surveys, pavement rehabilitation design, life-cycle costing analysis, pavement construction, evaluation and management of pavements.

Rabiah is knowledgeable about various asphalt technologies, including conventional hot-mix asphalt, warm-mix asphalt, cold in-place recycling, hot in-place recycling, full-depth reclamation (FDR) and foamed asphalt stabilization. She has also implemented Pavement Management Systems for townships and municipalities in Ontario and at airports across Canada.

The Engineering Institute of Canada

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Course Rating
4.6 out of 5

Overall rating of this course by its previous attendees!

Fee & Credits

$1295 + taxes

  • 1.4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • 14 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)
  • ECAA Annual Professional Development Points

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