Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Halil Ceylan


The Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) was developed under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 1-37A as a novel mechanical-empirical procedure for analysis and design of pavements. The MEPDG was subsequently renamed the DarWin-ME in April 2011 and, most recently, marketed as the AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design as of February 2013. Although the core design process and computational engine have remained the same over the years, some enhancements to the pavement performance prediction models were implemented along with other documented changes as the MEPDG transitioned to the AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design.

Preliminary studies were carried out to determine possible differences between AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design, MEPDG (version 1.1) and DARWin-ME (version 1.1) performance predictions for new Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement (JPCP), new Hot-Mix Asphalt (HMA), and HMA over JPCP pavement systems. Differences were indeed observed between the pavement performance predictions produced by these software versions. Further investigation was needed to verify these differences and to evaluate whether identified local calibration factors from the latest MEPDG (version 1.1) were acceptable for use with the latest version (version 2.1.24) of AASTHOWare Pavement ME Design at the time this research was conducted. The primary objective of this research was to examine AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design performance predictions using previously-identified MEPDG calibration factors (through Iowa DOT Project TR 401) and, if needed, refine local calibration coefficients of AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design pavement performance predictions for Iowa pavement systems using linear and nonlinear optimization procedures. A total of 130 representative sections across Iowa consisting of JPCP, new HMA and HMA over JPCP sections are used. The local calibration results of Pavement ME Design are presented and compared with national and MEPDG locally calibrated models.


Copyright Owner

Orhan Kaya



File Format


File Size

224 pages