Challenges in Design and Development of Functionally Sustainable Pavements

Tien Fwa

Chang’an University / National University of Singapore


Dr. Fwa is currently Distinguished Professor, and Dean of School of Future Transportation at the Chang’an University, China and Emeritus Professor, National University of Singapore. He received his BEng from the National University of Singapore, MSc from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and PhD from Purdue University, USA.
Professor Fwa is also active academically in R&D of highway and airfield engineering, and transportation infrastructure management. He has published more than 200 technical papers in leading international journals, and approximately equal number of conference papers. He has been invited to lecture in more than 20 countries. His research has led to more than 12 best papers awards in journals and conferences. He currently serves on the editorial boards of six leading international journals in the areas of transportation infrastructure, pavement engineering and pavement materials.
Professor Fwa is also active professionally. He is the Founding President and current President of the Pavement Engineering Society (Singapore), and the founding and current President of the Asia Pavement Engineering Society (APES). He was a Past President of the International Society for Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Transport Infrastructure (iSMARTi), currently serving as a Board Member. He founded two international conference series, namely the International Conference on Road and Airfield Pavement Technology (ICPT), and the Asia Pacific Symposium on Transportation and the Environment (APTE), both of which are now in their 12th edition. In 2019, he co-founded the conference series International Symposium on Pavement Service Functional Design and Management (PFDM).


Road pavements are an important urban infrastructure component to provide the required efficient mobility and accessibility in a smart city. They typically cover slightly more than 10 percent of the land area in most major cities. The presence of pavements and the associated road and traffic operations have created the following undesirable environmental and social impacts so far: traffic noise, air pollution, road accidents, extensive drainage system, and inadequate replenishment of groundwater. This presentation highlights the challenges of designing and developing a sustainable pavement network system that will effectively reduce the adverse environmental impacts, and in the meantime support the efficient operation of a smart city. The current pavement design and development practices are examined and their shortcomings with respect to environmental and digital sustainability are identified. Selected promising emerging technologies and measures that have been implemented or are being developed are highlighted.