12th Exchange of Experience in Darmstadt

From September 17 to 18, 2019, numerous experts from Germany and abroad came to Darmstadt for the twelfth time for an exchange of experience on all aspects of condition survey and assessment and road maintenance management. Among the 80 participants were representatives from universities, private industry and all levels of administration. Since 2007, HELLER Ingenieurgesellschaft has been organizing the annual exchange of experience for road construction authorities of the federal states, districts and municipalities as well as for experts from abroad. The number of participants at this year's event shows that there is still a great need and a great motivation to share one's own experiences - both successes and failures.

Given the increasing number of digital information available, the question arises as to whether all road-related questions could be answered online. But this is not the case. Maintaining the infrastructure is a responsible task, the solution to which is not easily found on the Internet or in textbooks. Artificial intelligence, which, according to the media, will clarify all questions of the future and replace manual condition surveys with neural networks, cannot compensate for the work of engineers. Digital tools and artificial intelligence can provide useful support. However, only experienced engineers can answer fundamental questions about the positioning, requirements and goals of maintenance management.

One of the core objectives of the exchange of experience is to strengthen the position of the engineer in decision making. For this reason, the topic of organization and asset management has been increasingly addressed for three years. Although asset management has already been successfully introduced in some organizations, awareness of this management discipline must continue to be raised. It is therefore a recurring focus of the event. Other major topics this year were the digitalization of the road sector and municipal maintenance management, in particular the survey of ancillary facilities.

HELLER Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH would like to thank all guests for their participation and inspiring discussions.