School of Civil Engineering & Geosciences

Short Courses (CPD)

Short Courses (CPD)

About the Course

Asphalt Materials and Pavements

  • Sunday 4 - Friday 9 September 2016

A Landmark in Training

Now in its 43rd consecutive year, the MPA/Newcastle University Asphalt Materials and Pavements Course clearly demonstrates that it remains at the forefront of training and education in the sector.

In that time, literally thousands of delegates have attended, participated and we believe enjoyed, the unique opportunity to learn about a broad range of topics and issues relating to highways construction and maintenance design, materials, processes and innovation. Based on delegate feedback, the content and speakers are reviewed every year in order to meet the changing needs of the sector and by doing so keep it fresh and relevant. The friendly atmosphere and opportunity to meet with other delegates from a wide range of highways-related activity and expertise also provide a special networking opportunity for delegates and contribute to the ongoing success of the Course. Past delegates include representatives from across industry and the client sector, many of who now hold significant and high profile positions in their organisations and remain their own best advert. The need for well trained and competent personnel in the sector has never been higher, so take this landmark opportunity to inform and educate yourself and/or your staff. Clearly budgetary pressures are also higher than ever in all businesses but the Course remains excellent value which the acquired knowledge can pay back many times over.

An understanding of the properties and performance of asphalt and the design, construction and maintenance of asphalt road pavements is a fundamental requirement for a highway engineer and those in associated disciplines. However, undergraduate courses are generally unable to cover these subjects in sufficient detail. This course has been designed primarily for highways-related operatives, technicians, engineers and managers or anyone who wishes to extend their knowledge of asphalt materials, pavement design, construction and maintenance. The course will also serve more senior professional engineers who wish to update their knowledge of asphalt materials and pavement design, construction and maintenance.

Professional institutions stress the need for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to ensure that Engineers and technical staff are aware of the latest developments in their field of expertise, and able to apply them. Some institutions set annual targets for the appropriate amount of time that should be spent on CPD. This course is designed to meet this need, by providing an overview of the asphalt pavement industry, focusing on current practices, new developments and recent innovations.

The Course is broad and provides participants with an extensive overview of the subject. The comprehensive lecture notes provide an up to date introduction and include references leading to more detailed study. The course begins by investigating each of the constituent materials followed by consideration of mix composition and design together with quality assurance. Elements of pavement design are then considered, with recent changes in design procedures from empirical to analytical methods being described, along with explanations of how such techniques can be used to meet more specialised criteria. The assessment of and design for maintenance of pavements including reinstatement work will also be discussed.

The course deals with pavement materials as they exist within the framework of Harmonised European Specifications, including those covering bitumen and aggregates.

In addition to 'traditional' UK materials, reference will be made during the lectures to innovative asphalt materials, such as EME2 bases, SMA and thin surfacings, which originated in Europe and have been introduced in the UK over recent years for highway construction and maintenance. Procedures for evaluation of performance and quality control of all these asphalts will also be explained. The implementation of the Construction Products Regulation in 2013 and the knock-on impacts in the sector make such knowledge more relevant than ever.

Other aspects that will be covered during the course include: health and safety in asphalt production and laying, broader sustainability issues including recycling techniques, along with methods for laboratory and site testing of asphalt and asphalt surfacings.

The Course will be based on a series of lectures with time for discussion and practical demonstrations, accompanied by technical videos and site visits. Acknowledged specialists from appropriate backgrounds will contribute lectures to the course and provide an appropriate blend of principles, research and practical application. Response from delegates on previous courses has been taken into account in setting the course syllabus and content to ensure that the course will continue to meet the current and future needs of the industry.

Who is the course aimed at?

The course serves personnel at all levels in the highways sector (both public and private) who are involved in or responsible for the design, specification, procurement, supply, installation, assessment, sales, or maintenance of highways and highway materials.

In association with:
In association with Mineral Products Association Asphalt Materials and Pavements delivered in association with Mineral Products Association
Endorsed by:
Endorsed by Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation Asphalt Materials and Pavements endorsed by Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation

Objectives and Outline

Asphalt Materials and Pavements

Course Outline

  • Sunday: Registration and dinner
    • 17.00-19.00: Registration
    • 19.00: Dinner
  • Properties and characteristics of binders and aggregates
  • Types, properties and design of asphalt mixes
  • Assessment of traffic loading
  • Structural design of asphalt pavements
  • Manufacture, laying and compaction of asphalt
  • Pavement performance
  • Sustainability and recycling procedures
  • Skid resistance and surface texture
  • Thin surfacings and other surface treatments
  • Quality management and certification for asphalt
  • Road maintenance, assessment, design and practice
  • Health and safety aspects of asphalt operations
  • Latest developments in asphalt pavement technology
  • European developments
  • Site visits to include:
    • quarry
    • asphalt plant
    • laboratory
    • paving demonstration
    • pavement inspection and management

Course ends 1200-1230 Friday.

In association with:
In association with Mineral Products Association Asphalt Materials and Pavements delivered in association with Mineral Products Association
Endorsed by:
Endorsed by Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation Asphalt Materials and Pavements endorsed by Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation
  • Sunday 4 - Friday 9 September 2016

Further Information

Asphalt Materials and Pavements

Catering and Accommodation

Full board will be provided at a city centre Holiday Inn Express with ensuite rooms throughout the course beginning with dinner on Sunday evening, and ending with lunch on Friday. On some evenings, meals will be taken during visits to local places of interest. On Thursday, there will be a Course Dinner at a well-known local venue. Refreshments will be available each morning and afternoon (except during site visits).


Miss Colette Brodrick
Secretary (Professional Development Unit)
School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

Phone: +44 (0)191 208 5456

MPA Asphalt is part of the Mineral Products Association (MPA) - the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete (plant mix and precast), dimension stone, lime, mortar, and silica sand industries. It continues to have a growing membership since its formation and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. The Course has been organised, since its inception, by Newcastle University in conjunction with MPA and its predecessor Associations.

Update to course content

Please note that our courses are reviewed regularly, both in response to feedback and so that information about recent research and developments can be included. Thus, content may be subject to change.


Asphalt Materials and Pavements


School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Industry Professionals

Presenters in previous years have included:


Asphalt Materials and Pavements


  • Asphalt Materials and Pavements
    • £1150 (duration 6 days)

Fees include all course materials, accommodation (full board), and transport to and from site visits during the course. The majority of delegates choose to attend the course on a residential basis even if living locally. However, if you do not require accommodation, the fee for the course is £925.

Discounts are available for groups of five or more people. Please contact the Professional Development Unit for further information.

[ Information about Cancellations ]