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Introduction to Geotechnical Issues in Pavement Design

COURSE NO: G07-004
Introduction to Geotechnical Issues in Pavement Design
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course introduces geotechnical issues in pavement design, construction, and performance, including: 1) the identification of the geotechnical parameters of interest; 2) the influence of climate, moisture, and drainage; 3) the impact of unsuitable subgrades; 4) the determination of the geotechnical inputs needed for designing different types of pavements; and 5) the evaluation and selection of appropriate remediation measures for unsuitable pavement subgrades.  A brief history of the AASHTO highway pavement design techniques is included to illustrate how geotechnical design considerations have grown in importance and prominence over time. In addition, the mechanistic-empirical design approach developed under the NCHRP 1-37A Pavement Guide is discussed.


This 7 PDH online course is intended primarily for civil, geotechnical, highway, and transportation engineers interested in gaining a better understanding of pavement design.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Understanding the historical perspective on pavement design
  • Learning about the components of a pavement system
  • Learning about flexible, rigid, and composite pavements
  • Learning about unpaved and naturally surfaced roads
  • Understanding pavement performance with ties to geotechnical issues
  • Understanding the issues related to new construction, rehabilitation and reconstruction
  • Understanding the design considerations related to natural subgrade, cut and fill, environmental effects, drainage, and soil improvement
  • Understanding the sensitivity of pavement design to geotechnical parameters
  • Learning about empirical, mechanistic and mechanistic-empirical design
  • Familiarizing with the AASHTO pavement design guides
  • Familiarizing with the NCHRP 1-37A Pavement Guide
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of the FHWA publication "Geotechnical Aspects of Pavements", FHWA NHI-05-037, by B. Christopher, C. Schwartz, and R. Boudreau, May, 2006.

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Introduction to Geotechnical Issues in Pavement Design (Chap. 1 - 3) (3.4 MB)
Reference Material Only (12.6 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of forty (40) questions to earn 7 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of this FHWA publication. The remainder of the publication is provided for reference only.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: