Denver proved to be the perfect host city for NASTT’s 2015 No-Dig Show, attracting a record-setting number of attendees and exhibitors to the Mile High City, March 15-19. The trenchless community was treated to unseasonably warm weather outside and a great atmosphere inside at the Colorado Convention Center, blending business, education and networking during the course of the conference.

This marks the first time NASTT has brought its annual trenchless conference and exhibition to Colorado, an integral hub for the engineering community and home to a lot of trenchless technology work. Attendance topped more than 2,300 attendees and the exhibit hall was sold out prior to the event, holding 173 trenchless companies.

The No-Dig Show brings together the industry’s past, present and future, honoring the indelible work that trenchless professionals have created. The 2015 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year was formally presented to Midwest Mole CEO Dan Liotti and all of the winners of the 2014 Trenchless Technology Projects of the Year were recognized.

NASTT inducted its fourth Hall of Fame Class: the late David Magill Jr., Avanti International; Ron Halderman, Mears Group; and Kaleel Rahaim, Interplastics Corp. Stantec Consulting’s Dave Krywiak received the NASTT Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Lifetime Service; and Alison St. Clair, of Gibson Thomas Engineering, and Dr. Aliraza Bayat, director of the Consortium for Engineered Trenchless Technologies at the University of Alberta, received the Trent Ralston Award for Young Trenchless Achievement.

The No-Dig Show has two main attractions that are huge draws. One is its highly acclaimed Technical Program, with more than 160 peer-reviewed papers through six tracks presented in 2015. The papers represented a broad range of industry topics, covering the gamut of trenchless methods and issues. The sessions also included a Pipe Bursting Forum, as well as a dedicated Gas Industry Track. The other is the exhibit hall, in which attendees can see first-hand the latest products that are keeping the trenchless industry moving forward in its quest to address the utility construction and repair industry.

In 2016, the 25th annual No-Dig Show — its silver anniversary — will be held in Dallas, March 20-24 at the Gaylord Texan. Deadline to submit an abstract for the technical program is June 30, 2015.

Sharon M. Bueno is managing editor of Trenchless Technology.

NASTT Inducts 2015 Hall of Fame Class

One of the featured events at the No-Dig Gala Dinner, held March 17, was the induction of NASTT’s fourth Hall of Fame class, recognizing the contributions of three trenchless industry leaders. The induction class honored before its peers were: the late David Magill Jr., Avanti International; Ron Halderman, Mears Group; and Kaleel Rahaim, Interplastics Corp.

In 2010, the NASTT Board of Directors voted to create a Hall of Fame in order to ensure that the Society’s most outstanding and praiseworthy members received due recognition. The intent of the NASTT Hall of Fame is to preserve the outstanding accomplishments of exceptional individuals and to honor their contributions to the advancement of both the trenchless industry and the Society.

David Magill Jr. — who passed away in January 2014 — was a pioneer in the chemical grout industry and was the first president of Avanti International, a company that he championed for more than 30 years. In 1990, Magill was one of the seven Charter Members of NASTT providing the initial funding to start our Society. He was an icon in the chemical grout industry, led Avanti International since 1978 until his son Daniel took over leadership in 2008. David’s passion and vision not only caused the infrastructure rehabilitation industry to flourish but helped commission NASTT as the premier source of trenchless engineering.

Ron Halderman graduated from the Colorado School of Mines and for the past 35 years has been working in the drilling industry. For 27 of those years, Halderman has been a leading figure in the horizontal directional drilling industry. Today, Ron is director of horizontal directional drilling for Mears Group. He has helped innovate many of the procedures currently being used by HDD contractors and consultants throughout the world. He holds a patent titled “Apparatus and Method for Recirculating Mud When Drilling Under an Obstacle,” and has applied for a patent on the Mud Recovery System to be discussed at this year’s Power Delivery Design Conference.

Kaleel Rahaim is a graduate chemical engineer from Mississippi State University. He has experience in many different aspects of engineering such as project and process engineering and has been involved in the thermoset polymer industry for over 30 years. His current position is business manager of pipeline remediation polymers for the Thermoset Resins Division of Interplastic Corp. Kaleel served on the NASTT Board of Directors from 2006 to 2011 and is involved with many other trade organizations for the trenchless remediation industry.

1980s Ski-Themed Auction Raises Money for NASTT Educational Fund

The 14th annual Educational Fund Auction and Reception was held on March 16 — a popular networking event for attendees after a full and busy day of technical sessions and walking the exhibit hall. This year’s event raised more than $70,000, which goes toward financial support for NASTT’s 11 student chapters; since 2002, the auction has raised more than $800,000 for those efforts.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers once again served as the official auctioneers for the popular No-Dig event; a silent auction was also held. During the auctions, a wide range of items were donated and bid on from jewelry and electronics to sporting event tickets and trenchless tools and equipment.

Once again, the popular Mortimer the Sewer Rat was up for bid. The winning bidder for Mortimer was Akkerman and he’ll spend the next year traveling with the Akkerman team.

Tapping into the fact that Denver is a popular skiing destination, the auction had a fun 1980s skiing theme. Many in the crowd were decked out in their best day-glow neon, leg warmers and puffy jackets, taking part in the annual costume contest.

There were a lot of “rad” skiers and 1980s pop culture entries (hello, Pat Benatar and Madonna) donning their best winter wear outfits. Taking first place was Jim Rankin of Vermeer for his ski resort hot tub costume and Vicki Miner of Benjamin Media for her version of skiing on Pike’s Peak in Colorado. In NASTT’s Hawaiian Vacation Raffle (announced at the Closing Luncheon), the winner was Wally Armstrong of Liberty Sales and Distribution.

Source One Environmental and TT Technologies Honored for Most Innovative Products

The No-Dig Show is the place to unveil the latest in trenchless technologies and this year was no exception. There were many new products — rehabilitation and new installation — on the exhibit hall floor in 2015, highlighting the fact that the trenchless industry continues to grow to new heights.

Each year, NASTT recognizes these technological advancements through the Joseph L. Abbott Jr. Innovative Product Awards. Annually, two companies with state-of-the-art products are chosen as recipients of this honor.

This year, the Innovative Products Awards were presented to Source One Environmental for its PipePatch Pipe Repair System and to TT Technologies for its Grundopit-K Keyhole mini directional drill.

The PipePlug is a proprietary system designed and engineered by Source One Environmental to be a simple, safe and cost-effective solution to terminate laterals and bulkhead mainlines. This product is a trenchless option to seal off the lateral prior to demolition or when rerouting the sewer is needed. A mainline sewer bulkhead can be installed without entering a confined space because PipePlug is faster, stronger and more chemically resistant than using brick and mortar, Source One says.

TT Technologies’ Grundopit-K Keyhole Mini Directional Drill is designed to operate out of a keyhole excavation for the trenchless installation of gas and water service connections. The unit is fully automated and able to work in a 24-in. diameter excavation. The unit is able to install service installations up to 2 in. and at lengths up to 100 ft.

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Trenchless Technology publisher Bernie Krzys with Baris Kahriman (left), Yasin Torun and Firat Sever.

Trenchless Technology publisher Bernie Krzys with Baris Kahriman (left), Yasin Torun and Firat Sever.

2015 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year Dan Liotti celebrates with his Midwest Mole crew and Trenchless Technology publisher Bernie Krzys.

2015 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year Dan Liotti celebrates with his Midwest Mole crew and Trenchless Technology publisher Bernie Krzys.

NASTT board members Dan Willems and Kevin Nagle (far right) presented the 2014 Outstanding Paper Rehabilitation winner: Paul Pasko, SEH Inc., Jim Wojcehowicz, Wauwatosa, Wis., and John Richmond, P.E.; Marshfield Utilities.

NASTT board members Dan Willems and Kevin Nagle (far right) presented the 2014 Outstanding Paper Rehabilitation winner: Paul Pasko, SEH Inc., Jim Wojcehowicz, Wauwatosa, Wis., and John Richmond, P.E.; Marshfield Utilities.

Tom Hayes of Murphy Pipeline Contractors (right) accepted the 2014 Trenchless Technology Project of the Year award from Trenchless Technology editors Jim Rush and Sharon M. Bueno.

Tom Hayes of Murphy Pipeline Contractors (right) accepted the 2014 Trenchless Technology Project of the Year award from Trenchless Technology editors Jim Rush and Sharon M. Bueno.

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Phillip Michels (left) and Tim McGuire (right) of Michels Corp. accepted the 2014 Trenchless Technology Project of the Year for New Installation award from Trenchless Technology editors Sharon M. Bueno and Jim Rush.

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2015 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year Dan Liotti with his wife Laura with Dr. Tom Iseley (left) and Trenchless Technology publisher Bernie Krzys (right).

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A group shot of the NASTT No-Dig primary sponsors.

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Daniel Magill (right) of Avanti International accepted the NASTT Hall of Fame induction honor for his late father Dave Magill Jr.

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NASTT Hall of Fame inductee Kaleel Rahaim of Interplastics with NASTT chair Kim Staheli.

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Akkerman’s Jason Holden (left) outbid everyone for the right to travel with Moritmer the Sewer Rat for the next year.

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Benjamin Media’s Vicki Miner won the women’s division for best skiing-themed costume.

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Program Committee co-chairs Richard (Bo) Botteicher (left) and Jeff Maier, help to display the auction items.

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Vermeer’s Jim Rankin won the men’s division for best skiing-themed costume.

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Mike Tjader explains how TT Technologies’ Grundopit-K Keyhole mini directional drill works.

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Source One’s Jeff Urbanski (left) and Ron Smith pose with the PipePatch Pipe Repair System.

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NASTT Hall of Fame inductee Ron Halderman, Mears Group (center) with NASTT chair Kim Staheli and NASTT executive director Mike Willmets.