Reimagining the unbound pavement testing, design and construction to get due benefit of digitalisation

Prof. Jayantha Kodikara

The world is experiencing the effects of increasing digitalisation within the so-called Industry 4.0 revolution where physical and digital worlds are merging. Inevitably, the geotechnical practice is also taking necessary steps to adapt to this change. Ideally, the essence of such a change must be towards not only productivity and economic gains but also towards the enhancement of human well-being and sustainability. A key aspect of Industry 4.0 is the integration of processes to maximise benefits.

Building on the ideas generated within SPARC Hub, this presentation will focus on a practical approach to the integration of processes involved in the unbound pavement technology. Unbound pavements with thin seals account for around 90% of road pavements in Australia, which is the ninth-largest road network in the world. While unbound pavements have served well in Australian climate and traffic conditions, much of the processes involved in testing, design, construction and subsequent condition assessment of these pavements are predominantly disparate processes without much connectivity. In addition, some of the processes are highly empirical based on age-old data, and have not benefitted sufficiently from the recent advances in unsaturated soil mechanics. It follows then that we are at crossroads to reimagine these processes so that this technology can reap due benefits of the ongoing digitalisation. In this context, this presentation will highlight a practical approach that integrates these processes through smarter yet cheaper testing leading to the up-to-date science-based design and performance-based intelligent construction. The presentation will also highlight some of the innovations that SPARC made to achieve this goal and show their applicability in the global context. Furthermore, while these general concepts are presented in the context of unbound pavements, it is argued that they can be usefully explored for other similar transformations in geotechnical practice.

About the speaker

Prof. Jayantha Kodikara Director of ARC Hub for Smart Next Generation Transport Pavements – SPARC, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University

Professor Jayantha Kodikara is Director of ARC Hub for Smart Next Generation Transport Pavements – SPARC, at the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University. He is also the Leader of Monash Pipeline Research Group, which has led/is leading multi-million global projects including Advanced Condition Assessment and Pipe Failure Prediction Project and CRC-p Smart Lining for Deteriorated Pipe Rehabilitation Project. His current primary research areas are unsaturated soils, geo-infrastructure including pipelines and road pavements, and structural health monitoring using advanced sensing such as distributed fibre optics, GPR and associated modelling.  Altogether, he has over 300 publications on a diverse range of topics, and graduating about 40 PhD students. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer in Australia and a Fellow of Engineers Australia.  His fundamental research has led to the development of MPK (Monash-Peradeniya-Kodikara) Framework and Model for unsaturated compacted soil modelling, which uncovered a direct link of the traditional compaction curve to advanced unsaturated soil modelling. Seminal contributions in the applied research area include the elucidation of buried water pipe failure and deterioration mechanisms, which has led to paradigm shifts in pipeline asset management globally. He has received several awards for innovation and industry collaboration including three national and International Water Association Awards, B/HERT Award in 2016, ARRB Impact Award in 2019, and Monash Vice-Chancellor’s and Dean’s Awards for Innovation and Enterprise in 2019 and 2013.

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