Students To Gain Hands-on Experience Through Highway Department Grant

The Peoria County Highway Department (PCHD) has awarded Kerrie Schattler and Fahmidah Ashraf of the Department of Civil and Engineering and Construction a $26,000 grant for the maintenance of PCHD’s Pavement Management System (PMS) over the next year. As a part of this grant, undergraduate students will survey county roads and conduct detailed inspections for both concrete and asphalt roads. The county will then use the data to evaluate various pavement rehabilitation, maintenance, and preservation strategies and estimate the impact of those strategies on the future condition of the pavement network at various budget levels.

In 2008, Schattler and several Bradley students developed the initial pavement management system; since 2011 they have updated PCHD’s PMS through annually renewed grants totaling over $400,000. More than 40 students have been supported through these grants, giving them the opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom.

"Through this project, students gain real-world experience in collecting pavement distress data in the field," said Schattler. They learn how this engineering-based data-driven process results in decisions that lead to better and safer travel conditions for motorists on Peoria County roads. It also provides opportunities for students to interact with professionals at Peoria County, become certified inspectors and gives them a competitive edge in the job market after graduation."