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Jean Lefebvre (UK) educate pupils about road construction

Andy Simms

Andy Simms gives talks and demonstrations on asphalt materials to Year 9 students

ANDY Simms, materials team manager of Jean Lefebvre (UK) Technical Consultancy, recently gave a talk and demonstration on asphalt materials and road construction to Year 9 students at the John Colet School in Wendover, Buckinghamshire.

The seven half-hour interactive sessions included demonstrations on all the different types of road construction and some of the chemistry behind the materials used to make asphalt.

Core samples of road surfaces were also shown to students who were intrigued, in particular by the elastic properties of the sample of bitumen modified with an elastomeric polymer.

Mr Simms (pictured) was asked many questions by the students on topics including development and treatment of potholes, different types of aggregate and bitumen, and dealing with tar-bound materials.

He said: ‘Although more used to delivering PowerPoint presentations rather than school teaching, being able to inform kids about the type of work we do and seeing their level of interest during the sessions was very rewarding. I was very impressed with the student’s attitude and really enjoyed the day.’

Mr Simms’s demonstration was part of a ‘Chemistry at Work’ event where experts visit schools to give talks and provide different scientific demonstrations to school students. Established by The Royal Society of Chemistry in 1991, the aim of these events is to raise school students’ awareness of the importance of chemistry in many different workplaces.

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Submitted by Michael Nolan (not verified) on

Surly by now we should be refering to asphalt materials as bituminous products and tar products, we have been using bitumens for enough years now to have lost the habit of using the word tar.

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