The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Sustainable Pavements Program (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/sustainability/) is a comprehensive effort initiated in 2010 to advance the knowledge and practice of sustainability related to pavements including asphalt, concrete, granular, other materials in pavement systems, and new and emerging materials. A critical outcome of the program is to increase the awareness, visibility, and the body of knowledge of sustainability considerations in all the life cycle phases of pavement systems. As a result, the current program tasks, (identified in the program’s road map - https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/sustainability/hif17029.pdf) are focused on incorporating and advancing life cycle thinking with the goal of incorporating life cycle thinking tools such as life cycle cost analysis and life cycle assessment into pavement material and structural design decision making.
To reach this goal, there are several significant research opportunities that must be explored such as the following:
- Develop techniques to practically incorporate environmental impacts from construction, use, and end-of-life phases into life cycle assessment in a manner that encourages innovation in the respective areas.
- Develop models to evaluate the life cycle impacts of improved construction quality.
- Develop a decision-support framework that collectively considers pavement performance, LCCA, and LCA and identify and define the performance metrics related to LCCA and LCA and data requirements to support these metrics.
The selected applicant will collaborate with staff members throughout various relevant offices within the US DOT such as the Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty; Office of Infrastructure Research and Development, and Office of Infrastructure. The selected applicant will reside with FHWA’s Office of Infrastructure at the USDOT/FHWA Headquarters in Washington, DC, but may also spend some research time at FHWA’s Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, VA.
An ideal candidate will have a doctorate degree civil or environmental engineering or related field. Experience in sustainability/life-cycle assessment and life-cycle cost analysis is highly desirable.
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). 2015. Towards Sustainable Pavement Systems: A Reference Document. FHWA-HIF-15-002. Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC. (Web Link).
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). 2017. Sustainable Pavements Program Road Map. FHWA-HIF-17-029. Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC. (Web Link).
Pavement design; Pavement sustainability; Pavement materials; Life cycle assessment; Life cycle cost analysis; Life cycle thinking