The Maintenance Challenge*

Australia relies more on road transport than any other nation in the world, on a per capita basis.

More and more the use of limited allocated funds for roads will be spent on the maintenance of the road, as distinct from their construction. The maintenance of heavily loaded road networks will continue to be a major challenge for engineers as more and more traffic is added each year. At the same time the pressure to make the maintenance dollar stretch further will increase.

Limiting the deterioration rate of the road pavement is therefore an essential goal as typically pavement maintenance is the largest single component of a road agency’s recurring costs.

Optimising the design, construction and maintenance strategies is paramount, and understanding the fundamentals of each, and ensuring quality implementation is vital. In this context, perhaps the major issue to be addressed is the current skills shortage and the impact this will have on the ability to achieve these goals and to generate cost effective solutions especially for the increasingly important road maintenance task.

Unfortunately there is a continuing loss of experienced road and pavement engineers. As a result the design, provision, and eventual evaluation of pavements, is being undertaken by less experienced and knowledgeable engineers. Likewise the selection of the most appropriate maintenance and rehabilitation strategies is being determined by less experienced and skilled persons.

Clearly today’s roads and pavement engineers need to be more skilled, more knowledgeable, and have more targeted learning and education.

Dedicated to this task is a unique organisation — the Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE) — who, with the strong backing of Austroads, and each State Road Authority, has, from its beginnings in 1996, become the leading Australian private provider of Higher Education specialising in roads and pavements via its distance learning and short courses.

 In its own right, CPEE provides for post graduate qualifications (Grad Certificate and Master of Technology) in ‘Pavement Technology’. Further through its partnering link with University of Tasmania, it provides Grad Cert. and Grad. Diplomas in ‘Infrastructure Asset Management’, and in ‘Road Engineering and Construction’.

An extensive Australia wide program of short courses is also provided on many topics, in both capital cities and in regional centers, to facilitate face to face learning and skill enhancement.

For more information on CPEE and its post graduate studies programs, and on its practical 2 & 3 Day Short Course offerings, contact CPEE at: or visit the web site:

*Copy supplied by CPEE