The 2023 AASHTO re:source Technical Exchange or “TechEx” conference – held in-person at the end of March in Fort Worth, TX – offered 33 sessions covering technical and testing topics, as well as quality-focused and business-minded sessions.
[Above photo by AASHTO re:source]
AASHTO re:source is a technical service program offered by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials that provides services and tools through three major programs: the Laboratory Assessment Program, the Proficiency Sample Program or PSP, and the AASHTO Accreditation Program.
Over 250 people from within the construction materials testing industry attended the sixth annual TechEx conference, immersing themselves in a dynamic mix of workshops, panels, and roundtable discussions. That included representatives from over 20 state departments of transportation as well, AASHTO re:source noted.
Those sessions covered everything from equipment calibration, Lab Manager 101/201, and PSP report protocols to brand new topics such as auditing skills, and what testing managers need to have in their “Quality Toolbox.”
Bob Lutz, manager of AASHTO re:source, told the AASHTO Journal that TechEx originally started out as a “small idea” to bring together a group of people to discuss and solve a variety of technical issues within the construction materials testing and inspection industry.
“We had a sense that if we could just get people together in a room then they would talk and learn from each other, as we’re fortunate to work in an industry that has embraced this event and our mantra of ‘continual improvement,’” Lutz explained.
“With engagement from attendees, guest speakers, sponsors, vendors, and staff, we have been able to create a community of technically-savvy and quality-minded individuals,” Lutz said.
“Our hope is that everyone in the construction materials testing and inspection industry will be able to attend TechEx at least once,” he added.
Many attendees also earned Professional Development Hours or PDHs, subject to their state’s licensing board approval, to maintain certifications.
A full three-day TechEx participant could potentially have earned up to 15.5 PDHs by participating in the conference sessions, AASHTO re:source noted.
In 2024, the AASHTO re:source TechEx will be held in “AASHTO Region 1,” which is the northeastern region of the U.S.