According to numerous federal surveys, road users listed smooth pavement as a top road and highway characteristic. Rough or uneven pavement adversely affects driver safety, fuel efficiency, ride quality, vehicle wear and tear, and pavement durability. As part of SME’s pavement evaluation services, our engineers have found that those pavements built with better ride quality take longer to reach unacceptable levels of ride quality and, subsequently, longer times before rehabilitation is required. Our clients include federal, state, county and local entities and test tracks for major automotive companies.

Data Collection

SME engineers work with our clients to evaluate ride quality data collection. We define the methods, standards, and protocols to be used in collecting pavement ride quality data. SME owns and operates a Mark IV road profiler to collect pavement profile data to assess ride quality and compute International Roughness Index (IRI).

Quality Control

Our engineers and technicians measure and assess the profile characteristics of pavements throughout appropriate stages of construction to determine whether they meet the ride quality requirements set forth by the project specifications. By proactively monitoring pavement ride characteristics during construction, contractors can correct problems rapidly and avoid costly remedial actions and/or construction penalties.


SME is nationally recognized as a leading researcher on ride quality issues. We have participated in numerous ride quality research studies with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and other organizations. We have assisted several state highway departments in implementing new AASHTO Protocols to improve ride quality on roads and bridges.

Related Services

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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