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Interdisciplinary Professional Programs

Improving Public Works Construction Inspection Skills See upcoming dates

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

Contracts, Plans, and Specifications: Framework for a Quality Project

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

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

Inspecting Sewer and Water Construction

  • Pipe characteristics: stress, strength, failure
  • Trenching, bedding, installation, backfill
  • Manholes, connections, laterals
  • Hydrants, valves, services
  • Acceptance testing
  • Documentation

Storm Sewer, Grading, and Storm Water BMP Inspection

Concrete Pavement Key Inspection Points for Quality Concrete Pavements and Simple Public Works Structures

  • 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 

Erosion Control Inspection: Installation, Inspection, and Maintenance

  • Soil erosion basics
  • Erosion and sediment control methods and materials
  • Inspection and maintenance procedures and checklists

Work Zone Traffic Control Inspection



"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


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.

Benjamin Jordan

Ben Jordan is a program director with Interdisciplinary Professional Programs in the transportation sector. He 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 Urbana–Champaign and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.

Upcoming dates (1)