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Ever wondered how bitumen is made, how advances in the field might affect our road systems, or how it’s impacting on the environment? If so, it might be time to take the world’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about bitumen.

Put together by TotalEnergies, in collaboration with Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech and Coursera, the course is entitled Mastering Bitumen for Better Roads and Innovative Applications. Its aim is to give anyone interested in bitumen a better understanding of the scientific, technical and economic fundamentals of the substance across an array of applications.

It consists of short video lectures and offers certificates to those who complete it. Best of all… it’s FREE.

Learn from 19 bitumen experts

You’ll be taught by some of the world’s leading luminaries on bitumen. They include leading members of the Total Bitumen team, academics and researchers from the prestigious engineering school Ecole des Ponts, policymakers, and bitumen experts from a variety of other institutions.

You’ll get an in-depth and rounded understanding of bitumen, with course teachers coming from backgrounds in engineering, manufacturing and transportation, but also housing, urban planning, energy, the environment and sustainable development. The MOOC is available online and on demand for anyone to take.


Course content

You can start Mastering Bitumen whenever you want, it takes about four weeks, and requires about four hours of study per week. It’s a comprehensive curriculum, with modules including:

  • Week 1: Bitumen market, generalities, the manufacture of bitumen, transport, uses of bitumen, main developments and alternatives. (9 videos)
  • Week 2: Constitution, structure and characterisation of bitumen – rheological properties, performance tests and standards. (11 videos)
  • Week 3: Modified bitumen, bitumen emulsions and their applications such as roads, roofing, etc. (9 videos)
  • Week 4: Prevention of bitumen-related sanitary and environmental risks, innovations to improve safety, recycling, new products, and more. (6 videos)

Over four weeks, leading experts in bitumen will bring you their knowledge and experience to build a strong understanding of today’s realities and new perspectives on the future of bitumen.

Jean-François Corté Ecole des Ponts and French Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Sea

Certificates, and more

Participants will receive a certificate for the course if they answer a series of questions at its conclusion. Anyone who gets over 80% of the answers right will receive a ‘knowledge acquisition certificate’.

The course is also supported by an online community via forums hosting discussions between attendees and course teachers on all aspects of bitumen.