Background

The Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering has been designated by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) as the center for Superpave QC/QA (previously know as "Level 2 Bituminous"), Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Aggregate Consensus Tests, Tensile Strength Ratio (TSR), and Binder Ignition Oven training/certification for HMA contracts awarded by MoDOT. All persons involved with QC/QA field verification of materials, such as paving contractors, MoDOT inspectors, and independent testing lab personnel, must obtain their certification at Missouri S&T for any of the previously mentioned courses. 

 

Certification: Who Should Attend? 

All MoDOT contracts involving Superpave HMA require that the paving contractor employ QC certified technicians for a given contract. MoDOT inspection personnel must also be certified. Certification is attained by participating in and meeting the requirements of the short course offered by Missouri S&T. All Superpave QC/QA courses will be administered through Missouri S&T. The course lasts 5 days and costs $1100. MoDOT policy states that it is required to hold certifications for Aggregate Technician and Bituminous Technician training (both available through Linn State Technical Center) before coming to Superpave QC/QA. All HMA Aggregate Consensus Tests, TSR, and Binder Ignition Oven courses will also be administered through Missouri S&T. These courses last one day and cost $300. The prerequisite for taking the HMA Aggregate Consensus Tests course is holding Aggregate Technician certification, the prerequisite for taking the TSR course is holding Superpave QC/QA certification, and the prerequisite for taking the Binder Ignition Oven course is holding Aggregate and Bituminous Technician certifications.

Certification Renewal (Re-certification)

All course certifications are now valid for five years. Those wishing to be re-certified must enroll in a re-certification course, also administered through Missouri S&T. MoDOT policy states that there is a 90-day grace period beyond the expiration date of a technician's certification in order to attend a re-certification course. If the 90-day extension is exceeded, one must attend an initial certification course. Check the course schedule regularly and plan accordingly.

The Superpave QC/QA re-certification courses, held here at Missouri S&T, are 2-days long and cost $625. The course includes a review of the basics and changes in the Superpave QC/QA program. Proficiency testing and a written exam are the basis for re-certification. The only dates for the Superpave QC/QA re-certification courses are as indicated under Schedule/Status.

MoDOT IS HANDLING ALL REGISTRATION FOR COURSES HELD AT Missouri S&T. CONTACT:

Robert "Sam" Marshall
PO Box 270
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-522-2742
573-526-0857 Fax
Email: Robert.Marshall@modot.mo.gov

Visit the MoDOT site for all the training related information. (Page opens in a new browser window.)

 

What is SUPERPAVE?

In 1987, the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) began developing a new system for specifying asphalt materials. The final product of the SHRP asphalt research program is a new system called Superpave, short for Superior Performing Asphalt Pavements. Superpave represents an improved system for specifying asphalt binders and mineral aggregates, developing asphalt mixture design, and analyzing and establishing pavement performance prediction. The system includes an asphalt binder specification, a hot mix asphalt (HMA) design and analysis system, and computer software that integrates the system components. The Superpave binder specification and mix design system includes various test equipment, test methods, and criteria. 
Source: Superpave Level 1 Mix Design (SP-2), Asphalt Institute

Superpave is aimed at reducing the occurrence of rutting, fatigue cracking, cold temperature cracking, and stripping.

FHWA is responsible for further validation and development of the Superpave specifications and test methods. Each state has begun its own implementation schedule.

What is QC/QA?

QC/QA is a major change in the way contracts are structured and administered. Among other things, it is a way to get material producers and paving contractors more involved in the entire process, including the material selection and mix design phase, as well as the control (inspection) of the product and construction process. In this way, they have more involvement earlier in the process, and they become more knowledgeable about their product and the influence of the process on the asphalt mix. It gives the contractor/producer more "ownership" of the product and process; anytime a person has more ownership of something, there is potential for great benefit. With the addition of field verification testing during production, the situation actually results in the QA side (MoDOT) becoming more intimately involved with the mix production.

MoDOT Begins, Missouri S&T Takes Over 

MoDOT elected to change its contractual method simultaneously with the shift to the Superpave mix design method, both big changes. This prompted MoDOT to initiate a training program for its own employees as well as the aggregate producers and the paving contractors. MoDOT held a total of five technician certification schools during 1996 and 1997. Starting in January of 1998, the department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Missouri S&T took over the responsibility of the program.  

The courses are held in Butler-Carlton Hall on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus in the Construction Materials Laboratories as well as in a classroom setting. The objective of the courses is to bring together the diverse standpoints in a paving project to share in a common training program that shows not only how but why the various QC/QA procedures are performed.

MoDOT has made changes in the manner in which the technician certification process is handled. The terminology has changed in that the original Hot-Mix Certification previously received at Missouri S&T is now divided into four separate courses:

  • Aggregate Technician
  • HMA Aggregate Consensus Tests
  • Bituminous Technician
  • Superpave QC/QA

Successful conclusion of each course entails participation, proficiency testing covering laboratory procedures, and written examination.