The annual AASHTO re:source Technical Exchange or “TechEx” conference begins on March 27 in Fort Worth, TX, and the three-day gathering features a wide variety of educational sessions, covering everything from root cause analysis techniques to how the asphalt paving industry is moving toward a “net zero” future in terms of reducing greenhouse gases or GHGs.
[Above image by AASHTO re:source]
AASHTO re:source is a technical service program offered by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials that provides services and tools through three major programs: the Laboratory Assessment Program, the Proficiency Sample Program, and the AASHTO Accreditation Program.
The 2023 TechEx conference is an ideal professional development event for laboratory managers, quality managers, supervisors, technicians, and engineers, with more than 30 information sessions on tap covering a wide array of topics – including everything from asphalt mixtures to employee engagement – within the construction material testing industry.
It also allows them to exchange information, expand their professional network, while engaging with peers in workshops and open-forum settings, AASHTO re:source noted. These interactive sessions will feature real-world examples and actionable takeaways that can be implemented right away.
Key sessions at the 2023 TechEx include:
- Trends in the Asphalt Industry. Led by Brett Williams with the National Asphalt Pavement Association, this session provides insight into the asphalt pavement industry’s initiatives and goals moving toward a net zero future as a part of the larger national movement to embark on halting climate change. Attendees will understand the progress being made in implementing laboratory performance testing of asphalt mixtures as well as a recap of over a decade worth of tracking recycling and warm mix production trends.
- Sampling Aggregates. Led by Eric Walston and Scott Woodard of Martin Marietta, this session tackles the sampling of aggregate – arguably the single most important aspect of aggregate testing – for compliance to specifications. Unfortunately, such sampling is often the most overlooked and least emphasized part of the compliance and acceptance process. This session examines various aggregate sampling locations and discusses the proper techniques.
- Lab Manager 101. Led by Thomas Taylor of Specialized Engineering this session is intended for those new to the role of laboratory manager within their organization. The focus is on the attributes of a productive and knowledgeable laboratory manager; management and development of staff; and understanding the importance of material sampling and sample preparation.
- What’s in Your Quality Toolbox? Led by Michele Wolf from the United States Geological Survey, this session focuses on tools commonly used by quality managers, such as those described in Kaoru Ishikawa’s 1976 publication “Guide to Quality Control.” This session will: provide a basic understanding of some common quality management tools; include a brief description of each tool including how to use each tool; and provide references to explore other tools not discussed in this presentation.
Attendees may also earn Professional Development Hours, subject to their state’s licensing board approval, to maintain certifications.
A full TechEx participant could earn up to 15.5 PDHs by participating in the conference sessions from March 27 through March 30.
To register for the 2023 TechEx conference, click here. Also, listen to the AASHTO re:source Q & A podcast episode “S3 E37: 2023 Technical Exchange Preview” to hear more details about this upcoming event.