ACPA recently provided 22 national and chapter staff members with training on AASHTOWare’s Pavement ME design tool.

In two sessions, held last week and at the end of February, Eric Ferrebee, Director of Technical Services, introduced the basics of the pavement design tool, then discussed how to evaluate and optimize designs, including hands-on training and example problems.

These 2.5-hour training sessions covered six major topics, including:

  • Pavement ME overview – A brief walkthrough of the different designs/analyses that can be performed with Pavement ME as well as some background on the history and development of the tool.
  • Hands-on, jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP) design walkthrough—Review of the various design inputs required for a JPCP design analysis run.
  • Example JPCP design run—Following the introduction of the inputs, Eric demonstrated how to bring it all together inside the program. He also discussed how to evaluate a design’s output report to understand why a design analysis works or fails.
  • Sensitivity analyses of critical inputs and engineering solutions—A discussion about the critical inputs that have the biggest impact on design runs. Some of these are obvious parameters that can be controlled by the designer, while others are default values in the program that should not be varied without good reasoning. This also included a discussion about engineering solutions that can improve predicted performance of designs, as well as pitfalls to avoid.
  • Calibration impact—An overview of calibration of Pavement ME and what impact it has on the results. The process of calibration can be long, costly, and arduous. Additionally, some states lack enough concrete pavement performance data to properly do calibration. Eric discussed why this should not stop adoption of Pavement ME for concrete designs, and why national calibration factors should be used.
  • Additional hands-on pavement ME training—In the closing portion of the training, Eric focused on additional useful features of Pavement ME, how to optimize designs, and how to maximize efficiency of using the program.

Eric previously presented similar trainings to DOTs, consultants, and industry officials in Arkansas, Florida, and Oklahoma.