In 2009, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) approached ICT with the idea of developing an Erosion Control Research and Training Center Center (ECRTC) on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since that time, principal investigator Prasanta Kalita and his team have worked to build a center that demonstrates and evaluates stormwater management practices and erosion and sediment structures within laboratory and field settings. Kalita explains, “IDOT and other agencies need to know which products are the most durable, which are most effective, and what best management practices are.”
In addition to research, ECRTC also trains engineers and technicians—primarily IDOT employees—to install effective erosion control practices and develop stormwater management plans. The fundamentals course is a day and a half long and covers regulatory/permit requirements, fundamentals of hydrology and soil erosion, best practices for erosion and sediment control, and inspection of erosion and sediment control measures. More information about this course is available on the ICT website.
In the near future, two advanced courses will be offered. The design course will focus on best design practices, and the construction course will focus on installation, maintenance, and inspection. The funamentals course will be a prerequisite for the second and third courses.
Kalita states, “I’m excited to see how everything has developed. I’ve been working with a talented group of IDOT professionals who provide regular guidance and feedback on the facility as well as the training programs. Technical Review Panel Chair Joe Vespa has been a great help and resource. This project is a great example of professionals from diverse backgrounds working together for a common goal.”
The upcoming course schedule can be viewed on the ICT website.