Section 3: District Pavement Engineer’s Role

Anchor: #i1008838


The district pavement engineer (DPE) is a licensed professional engineer who serves as the district point of contact for the evaluation, preservation, and structural design of pavements. This position was formalized by the department in 1993 as a district-level staff position.

The DPE serves as the coordinator for district staff. The DPE’s responsibilities include planning activities, such as, forensic studies; participating in design concept conferences; reviewing performance histories of materials; studying processes for pavement construction; maintaining databases for subgrade and pavement material stiffness or structural properties; assessing pavement performance with maintenance staff; and coordinating design strategies for pavement rehabilitation with district staff.

The development of the pavement design and rehabilitation strategies should jointly involve material engineers, maintenance engineers, planning engineers, construction engineers, design engineers and area engineer staff.

The DPE should also coordinate and participate in the development of district pavement preservation plans in conjunction with district maintenance plans.

Anchor: #i1008848


The DPE is responsible for:

The DPE is charged with being the district expert on all matters pertaining to:

The DPE may be asked to direct the activities of the district’s pavement data collection efforts (visual distress, rut/ride, deflection surveys). These data collection efforts are integral to maintaining the network level Pavement Management Information System (PMIS) and in evaluating project level structural properties.

Because of the importance of understanding material properties and evaluation of materials used in pavements, some districts have assigned DPE duties to the district lab engineer.

Anchor: #i1008930

District Pavement Engineer (DPE) Skills

The DPE should attend courses listed in Table 2-1. To develop the final pavement thickness design, courses have been identified to provide the basic skills necessary for engineers to understand the design process and complete viable, cost conscious pavement design.

The DPE or other district staff may develop a design, however, it is suggested that the DPE and other key district staff review pavement design inputs, material requirements, strategies, and thickness prior to the final PS&E submission.

Newly assigned DPEs are encouraged to schedule attendance of the required training sessions for flexible and rigid pavement design as soon as practical.

Anchor: #i1007621Table 2-1: Recommended and Required Training for the District Pavement Engineer





Flexible Structure Evaluation

Designed as a seminar and is combined with FPS-19W training. Combined training is usually arranged at district request to CST-M&P. Hands-on approach used to emphasize evaluation techniques, capabilities, and limitations of the software. A 2 1/2-day period should be scheduled.

Required for flexible pavement design.


Flexible Structural Design

As above.

Required for flexible pavement design.

Visual Distress Rater’s Course



Identification of visual distress:

  • concrete distress
  • flexible distress.

Goals are:

  • understand the Texas Reference Marker System and know how it is used to identify and locate PMIS section in the field
  • read a PMIS section list and automated rating form to identify the sections
  • complete an automated rating form
  • identify the distresses rated for concrete (CON 110) or flexible (CON 111) pavements
  • conduct visual distress ratings for PMIS.

PMIS Concepts for Administrators CON107


The goals are:

  • identify the types of pavement evaluation data available in PMIS
  • describe the differences between network-level and project-level pavement management, and explain how PMIS can be used to support both
  • interpret PMIS data and scores
  • use PMIS to monitor pavement condition, estimate total pavement needs, and assess the overall level of service provided by pavement maintenance.

*Course material required for certification can be found on the Pavement Management Information System webpage.

PMIS Data Interpretation and Analysis CON109


The goals are:

  • use PMIS data to diagnose surface and sub-surface pavement problems
  • define and interpret the five PMIS scores and
  • produce three PMIS analysis reports.

*The course material description can be found on the Pavement Management Information System webpage.

MapZapper Familiarization*


GIS-based software that allows the user to plot various pavement condition indicators on district maps. Formal training is available on request. Self-study instructional material may be found at: http://cst-pmisdata/pmis/PC%20Programs/PC%20Programs%20Frame.htm

Ride Quality Software


Software available at The DPE may receive guidance on how to use the Ride Quality evaluation software by contacting the Pavement & Material Systems branch, CST-M&P.

TSLAB86, DARWin™ 3.1

Rigid Structural Design

Designed as a seminar. Required for rigid pavement design.

2, 5, or 6-week Materials Course

Materials Properties

National Highway Institute (NHI) sponsored courses addressing fundamental properties and testing of highway materials.

Selecting Rehabilitation Strategies for Flexible Pavements

Rehab of existing pavements

There are two options:

  • Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) administered course taught through an interagency contract (IAC). This course is hands-on oriented – uses department software.
  • NHI course. This course is more oriented at the planning level.

*Available through the TxDOT Intranet only.

PMIS and pavement design assistance from CST-M&P will be provided upon request.

CST-M&P will maintain a list of DPEs.

Previous page  Next page   Title page