Improving Public Works Construction Inspection Skills

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Course Overview

Become one of the more than 6,800 inspectors and construction engineers from the U.S. and Canada who have tuned up their skills at this practical course. You will gain a comprehensive overview of inspection fundamentals, practical methods, and techniques for the most common types of public works construction and increase your confidence in dealing with contractors and the public.

Who Should Attend?

  • Inspectors who have limited formal training in the field 
  • Engineering technicians who are new or newly assigned to inspection 
  • Maintenance supervisors who inspect the work of contractors 
  • Testing lab personnel who provide testing and inspection services 
  • Engineers who are new to inspection or want a comprehensive review 
  • Engineers who design and write specifications for work that requires inspection 
  • Managers of construction who want to improve their inspection operation

Course Outline

Live Session 1 - Contracts, Plans, and Specifications: Framework for a Quality Project

  • The inspector’s role in quality
  • Interpreting contract documents
  • Knowing your authority
  • Keeping good records

Between Session 1 & Session 2 - Plan and Specification Exercise

Live Session 2 - Soil and Aggregate Fundamentals: The Foundation for Every Project

  • Characteristics of soils and aggregates
  • Effects of moisture
  • Compaction standards and methods
  • Test methods and interpreting results

Live Session 3 - Concrete Pavement & Simple Public Works Concrete Structures -Key Inspection Points for Quality Concrete Pavements

  • Desirable characteristics of concrete
  • Pre-construction activities
  • Paving and mixing equipment
  • Test methods and interpretation of results
  • Inspection during placing, finishing, and curing
  • Post-placement inspection activities 

Between Session 3 & Session 4 - Pre-recorded Presentation & Exercise — Work Zone Traffic Control

Live Session 4 - Inspecting Sewer and Water Construction: Your Eyes See It Last

  • Pipe characteristics: stress, strength, failure
  • Trenching, bedding, installation, backfill
  • Manholes, connections, laterals

Live Session 5 - Inspecting Sewer and Water Construction (continued)

  • Hydrants, valves, services
  • Storm drainage projects
  • Acceptance testing

Between Session 5 & Session 6  Pre-recorded session - Erosion Control Inspection: Installation,
Inspection, and Maintenance and Soils and Erosion Control Quiz

Live Session 6 - Asphalt Pavement Construction: Using the Inspection Checklist

  • Characteristics of asphaltic concrete
  • Pre-construction activities
  • Paving equipment and methods
  • Laying and compacting
  • Test methods and results


"Course covered all aspects of public works construction projects. Great for someone new like me to learn new things about construction inspection."
—Ryan Gundstrom, Public Works Engineering Technicians, City of Superior, Wisconsin

"Learned a lot and heard a variety of viewpoints on issues in construction inspection."
—James Buskohl,  Public Works Construction Inspector, City of Johnston, Iowa

"Gret content covered and thoroughly explained. Answered questions very well."
—Michael Lee, City of West Allis, Wisconsin

"All the instructors were very responsive to technical and layman's questions. They were also very good at explaining topics in plain English."  
—Chad Rehahn, Lockheed Martin, Washington

"Definitely worth the price of the course and the time because you obtain knowledge that you will use for the rest of your life."
—Jacob Last, Engineering Technician, City of Appleton, Wisconsin


Douglas Deno

Douglas W. Deno, PE, Senior Consultant, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, routinely serves as primary investigator on projects involving concrete materials technology, concrete production, and concrete construction practices, including concrete pavement construction. He also investigates problems involving concrete distress and deterioration.

Timothy Murphy

Timothy R. Murphy, PE is president of Murphy Pavement Technology, Chicago, Illinois. He is involved in asphalt pavement teaching, training and troubleshooting nationwide. Murphy works on pavement management, mix design, quality control, construction practices, and failure investigation for government agencies, contractors and consultants and facility owners.

Richard Nowack

Richard Nowack, is the Environmental Services Manager for Quigg Engineering Inc. (QEI). Rich has more than 35 years’ experience in the areas of transportation and environmental impact analysis for NEPA compliance, Landscape Architecture, roadside and wetland restoration projects and erosion and sediment control. Prior to joining the QEI team, Mr. Nowack worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation serving in several positions including Chairman of the Illinois DOT Storm Water Committee. He is co-author of the Illinois DOT Erosion and Sediment Control Field Guide for Construction Inspections and serves as a technical advisor to the Illinois Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Illinois Urban Manual Committee for storm water management BMPs. He has taught more than 65 classes on highway construction erosion control to engineering consultants, municipalities, highway contractors, Cherokee Nation, highway departments, local agencies and the Tribal Technical Assistance Program. Mr. Nowack is a registered trainer with the Tribal Technical assistance Program in the areas of erosion control, project management and the National Environmental Policy Act. Rich is a licensed Professional Landscape Architect.


Schroedel has worked primarily on public works engineering and construction projects since 1975, specializing in wastewater facilities. In addition, Rusty has participated in several international projects during his career. He is been frequently involved in issues dealing with construction of public works projects including contract document preparation and contract interpretation. Schroedel received his B.S. in civil engineering from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1974 and a M.S. in Environmental Health Engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in 1976. He has also received quality training from Philip Crosby Associates.

John Sigwart

John Sigwart, PE, recently retired Vice President of Engineering Services, Miller Engineers and Scientists, managed a wide range of civil and environmental engineering projects for developers, private firms, and municipalities. He has served as a waterworks engineer, resident engineer, and city engineer/director of public works.

Benjamin Jordan

Program Director at the University of WisconsinMadison, Department of Engineering Professional Development, Ben develops continuing education courses for civil engineers and public works professionals. He is also director of the Wisconsin Transportation Information Center, providing training and technical assistance to county highway departments, town road departments and city and village public works departments in Wisconsin. Mr. Jordan has over 35 years of experience in civil engineering and public works. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.

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Program Director

Benjamin Jordan

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