Nondestructive testing (NDT) is useful for evaluating variability in pavement. It can locate areas of weakness and determine the adequate load-bearing capacity of the pavement. While some structural properties may require laboratory testing, NDT can be used in the field during pavement evaluation without tearing up the pavement. SME is one of the only firms in the Midwest that owns and operates its own heavy falling weight deflectometer (FWD), which simulates moving vehicle loads on the pavement.

We use the FWD to:

  • Evaluate variability of overall pavement and subgrade strength
  • Select “strategic” core and boring locations
  • Estimate subgrade soil strength
  • Evaluate the pavement’s structural adequacy and remaining life
  • Provide parameters for overlay design
  • Evaluate potential void locations (concrete pavements)
  • Estimate joint load transfer (concrete pavements)


Other pavement evaluation techniques used by SME include Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to evaluate the pavement layer thickness, areas of entrapped moisture and deteriorated pavement layers.

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Service Experts

Jason A. Schwartzenberger, PE

Vice President
Pavement-Design Services

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Chuck A. Gemayel, PE

Chief Operating Officer
Senior Vice President

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