International Students

Welcome to the International Student homepage of the Asphalt Paving Research and innovation (Aspari) unit of the University of Twente. Please feel free to explore this site and learn more about the Aspari unit and our projects in this exciting research area. The Aspari team focuses on innovation and performance in the asphalt paving process. The research is aimed at improving quality and consistent reduction of quality variability in the asphalt construction process (from logistics to paving to compaction). Two key research questions are addressed. The first tackles the main causes of variability in the asphalt paving process whilst the second focuses on the effect of revised operational strategies on quality in the paving process. Aspari actively promotes and supports efforts to improve the asphalt paving process throughout the project:

Professionalising the asphalt paving process – Developing new tools, technologies and models.

Background

Since the Dutch parliamentary enquiry into the construction sector, the business environment within the road construction sector has changed dramatically. The collusion structure that regulated competition has fallen apart. Public clients have introduced new contracting schemes containing incentives for better quality of work and therefore play a critical role in the construction innovation process. This prominent role allows them to stimulate and support the implementation of innovative solutions such as process performance. New types of contracts, tougher competition and the urge to make a distinction in the market, spur the companies to advance in product and process improvement. These changes have significantly altered the playing field for competition. The companies see themselves confronted with different “rules of the game” than what they were used to. Performance contracting and longer guarantee periods create a new set of risks and business incentives. In general, the companies experience the pressure of new types of competition and other rules and trends, but at the same time, they acknowledge the opportunity to distinguish themselves. Road construction companies, in turn, seek better control over the construction process, over the planning and scheduling of resources and work, and over performance. Improved control would also reduce the risks of failure during the guarantee period. To be able to achieve these goals, the relevant on-site operational parameters need to be known and the relationships between these parameters need to be thoroughly understood. For asphalt paving companies to be able to improve product and process performance, they now more than ever acknowledge they need to develop intricate understanding of the asphalt paving process and the interdependencies within the process.

Goals

In The Netherlands: the asphalt paving process used to depend heavily on craftsmanship. Work was carried out without instruments to monitor key process parameters. Tradition and proven practice guided the selection of work method and the use of equipment. In response to rather traditional approaches, the goals of this project are to develop tools for the analysis of the asphalt paving process; to build process models of the asphalt paving process; and to bring these models together in an event scheduling simulation system. The aim is two-fold: firstly, to support workmanship with technology and explicit process knowledge and, secondly, to develop a deeper understanding of the asphalt paving process in order to affect improvements in quality, productivity and efficiency.

Our specific aims are to:

  • Support and promote research, education and training initiatives in improving the asphalt paving process;
  • Develop new tools, technologies and models specifically geared towards improving the asphalt paving process; and
  • Develop and implement innovative operational strategies using new tools and technologies.

Results

The research will result in practical, innovative tools for the analysis and improvement of the asphalt paving process and, software-based models using simulation and animation to develop new process models for asphalt paving.

MSc, PDEng and PhD projects for international students

Please refer to the Student Project TAB on this website for a list of research areas and topics currently being studied in the research unit. You are also welcome to suggest topics that you may want to undertake given your home country's own context. Please check the Vacancies TAB for a list of current PDEng or PhD vacancies in the unit, some of which are given in the graphic below.

Current projects

 See contact for contact details of ASPARi researchers.


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