November 30, 2017, by Shirlene Campbell Ritchie

Road to the future

Dr Alvaro Garcia Hernandez of the Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (NTEC) made his debut on BBC One’s The One Show yesterday in a feature about the different ways to fix potholes.

The segment provided a fascinating insight into the groundbreaking research that is carried out at NTEC. The piece featuring the University was set in a larger context with some other companies that demonstrated their techniques for fixing potholes

Microcapsules of sunflower oil are used as a healing agent in asphalt.


The University’s innovative method featuring microcapsules of sunflower oil, was positioned as the future of fixing potholes.






This included coverage of an experiment filmed by a time lapse camera over 24 hours that showed how cracks in asphalt can heal over with the help of the microcapsules.

The experiment to show how the microcapsules are activated in self healing asphalt is filmed.




The technique which was devised by Dr Garcia and his team at NTEC, uses microcapsules of sunflower oil to reverse the effects of ageing in bitumen in asphalt by reducing the viscosity of the binder. The microcapsules also help to reduce the amount of other healing agents used because they can be activated in precise areas when required, thus avoiding the need to be mixed up in bulk.




Dr Garcia being interviewed in the lab at NTEC.


Dr Garcia was interviewed about the microcapsules and how they are activated plus, he talked about how an episode of Masterchef provided the inspiration for him to create and try out this new method for self healing asphalt. He took viewers through the production process by recreating the experiment in the lab.






After a long day of filming the team brought things to a close with a group shot.

If you missed it, you can watch it here on BBC iPlayer. (The segment starts at 18.17).


Posted in EngineeringResearch news