ASCE will debut a journal next year that will fill a void in covering “the scientific and engineering issues of pavement engineering … specifically with the pavement infrastructure,” said Dallas Little Jr., editor of the forthcoming Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part B: Pavements.
Expected to debut in early 2017, the journal will feature technical and professional articles on the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of airport, roadway, and other pavement systems.
Little, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, is the E.B. Snead Chair Professor of Transportation and Civil Engineering at Texas A&M, and an ASCE Distinguished Member. He provided some insights on what engineers with an interest in pavements can expect from the new journal.
ASCE News: What separates this journal from others in the field?
Dallas Little: [It’s] a journal that looks specifically at paving issues and the scientific and engineering issues of pavement engineering, and deals specifically with the pavement infrastructure. That does not exist at this time, or rather, had not existed.
Within ASCE we wanted to have a home for this discipline, and I think this journal fulfills that. So that it really focuses on the key issues that are aligned with the paving infrastructure.
ASCE News: Is there anything in particular that readers can expect from the first few issues?
Little: We already have a number of submittals, which is quite good. It’s really quite nice to begin with that level of interest.
I think some of the first journals will be looking at innovative ways to solve the problems that face us with our infrastructure. Of course everyone knows the situation of our infrastructure. The paving component is certainly within that same level of deterioration. We need new ideas.
And I think this journal will focus on some of the smart paving ideas, the multiscaling ideas, where we are able to evaluate the components that go into the paving infrastructure – the asphalt type, the aggregate type, the cement type, and so forth. I think that’s going to be a focus. Life-cycle cost, I think, will also be a focus in some of these early issues, just looking at the papers.
ASCE News: Talk about the current status of pavement research. Where is the funding coming from? And what are some of the key problems these researchers are trying to solve?
Little: I think the funding for paving infrastructure research traditionally comes from the state DOTs, it comes from the Federal Highway Administration, it comes from the Federal Aviation Administration. I’m doing some work now for the FAA in looking at the next generation of aircraft and the type of damage that these aircraft do to the airport paving infrastructure. So I think certainly that’s where the traditional funding has come from.
I think some of the funding in the future, some of the transitional funding, is [and will be] coming more and more from the design-build teams that have to provide a design-build scenario that expands over a number of years into the future.
So it’s in their interest to better understand the way the pavement structures are designed and what their life-cycle cost expectations are going to be. So maybe that’s going to be a trend for the future[,] to have more of the public-private partnership type of funding for the pavement infrastructure. We certainly need to explore that, I think.
ASCE News: As for the Journal, it sounds like you already have some articles, which is great. How do you think you can attract further strong submittals?
Little: I think, just like anything else, one way is going to be word of mouth from key researchers in the area and some of the key practitioners in the area. Once they understand there’s a home for pavement engineering in terms of a journal within ASCE, they’ll come to it. There’s certainly many people who are anxious to publish in an area that will get widespread reviews and widespread reading so I don’t think we’ll have any trouble in attracting good publications.
Already we’ll be competing with several other high-quality journals outside of ASCE, and they’ve done quite well, so I expect us to do quite well and I expect us to be able to attract a breadth of good-quality submittals early on.
We’ve identified some associate editors already […] top-quality people who are going to help us here as we move along this summer. We’ll probably be up to 10 associate editors who will help us move along quite nicely.
Learn more about contributing to the Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part B: Pavements.