1998 Trenchless Technology Person-of-the-Year: John Jurgens and Dave Gellings

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Trenchless Resources International Inc. is a young organization founded in a partnership of Dave Gellings and John Jurgens. Though only in their third year, the company represents the combined experience of more than 35 years in the wastewater industry, with nearly a decade of that experience gained as colleagues at a premier Northwestern sewer contracting company.

TRI’s stated mission is to “promote the trenchless pipeline rehabilitation industry through the means of education, training and support of the trenchless underground construction methodologies…. [and]to promote the highest construction standards for all forms of trenchless rehabilitation methodologies, old and new in the industry.”

The combined efforts of Gellings and Jurgens to promote these goals caught the attention of many nominators for the 1998 Trenchless Technology Person-of-the-Year. Since it is a company effort, they are being recognized jointly as the Trenchless Technology “Persons-of-the-Year.”

Both Jurgens and Gellings have common roots at the former Gelco Grouting Service of Salem, Ore., now a regional operation of Insituform Technologies Inc. Both of them have been active members of the National Association of Sewer Service Companies, the North American Society for Trenchless Technology, and local chapters of the Water Environment Federation.

In the early 1980s, Jurgens served as a safety trainer for the Western states on a federally funded effort to create safety programs within the sewer industry. Jurgens also participated in the EPA-funded Missouri Basin project to study the elimination of inflow and infiltration with pipeline rehabilitation methods.

Dave Gellings, a graduate of Western Oregon University, entered the wastewater industry in 1984 with employment at Gelco. Gellings developed expertise in grouting which led him to join Pacific International Grout Co. in 1992 as vice president of marketing and sales. The company had developed products and processes of grouting underground utilities and tunnels.

In a few short years, Gellings’ and Jurgens’ training efforts have positively impacted the broader wastewater industry. Their contribution to the advancement of trenchless technology is accomplished as key people gain new understandings of the basics of system maintenance and rehabilitation.

After all, its the fundamentals that count.

It’s as basic as breathing in and out, as Jurgens would say.

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