Martin Cherrington 2024 HDD Academy

10th HDD Academy Highlights Evolutions In the Industry

The 10th annual HDD Academy was held Feb. 22-23, in Scottsdale, Arizona, highlighting the key components of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) design and evaluation, steering and mapping, drilling fluids, as well as aspects of undergrounding and the latest innovations in this ever-evolving field.

Since the inaugural event in 2015, the HDD Academy has been produced by Benjamin Media, Inc. — publisher of Trenchless Technology — in partnership with the Del E. Webb School of Construction, Arizona State University. Since its inception, the HDD Academy has provided an annual learning platform for owners, regulators, contractors and engineers.

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Following the 2015 HDD Academy, Rob Krzys, president and CEO of Benjamin Media, said, “The success of the 2015 HDD Academy is a testament to the growing strength of the HDD market and thirst for very specific industry education. Drillers want good information from experts in the field. They don’t want a sales pitch. The HDD Academy is exactly what they are looking for.”

10 years in, that sentiment has not changed, and organizers provided an agenda that covers every facet of a HDD project.

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Rob Martin Sam 2024 HDD Academy
Rob Krzys, CEO of Benjamin Media Inc.; Martin Cherrington, godfather of HDD; and Dr. Sam, Arizona State University, at the 2024 HDD Academy
10th Annual HDD Academy Sponsors
The 10th annual HDD Academy was made possible with the support of these dedicated sponsors.

2024 HDD Academy

The first day of the 2024 event kicked off with a special keynote presentation and discussion with Martin Cherrington, heralded as the father of the HDD industry. Cherrington shared his story, the history of HDD and engaged in a lively Q&A with attendees.

From there, the day shifted to a focus on the HDD process with topics ranging from bore planning and logging, guidance technologies and geotechnical evaluations to solids control and mud recycling. After the day’s classroom sessions, attendees gathered at a social reception at The Riot House. At the reception attendees raised a glass in honor of Frank Canon, a guru in the field of drilling fluids who passed away in early January.

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Day 2 of the HDD Academy zeroed in on the role that HDD plays in achieving success in undergrounding utilities, as well as innovations in the HDD sector. Topics focused on the electrification of directional drilling equipment, the rise of digital mapping and documentation on the jobsite and preventing utility strikes with bore planning to sound barriers and estimating projects. The second day wrapped up with a presentation on estimating and a panel covering workforce development, supply chain issues, and future markets.

The 2024 event drew more than 80 attendees, representing contractors, engineers, owners, manufacturers and suppliers. Organizers say the HDD Academy brought together the industry as it moves toward new HDD applications.

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Rob Krzys 2024 HDD Academy

“Building on 10 years of success the HDD Academy is the go-to event for utility owners and drillers,” says Krzys. “As the technology evolves, HDD is becoming a go to trenchless method.”

Sponsors and supporting organizations play a huge role in the HDD Academy, providing attendees with a great experience. Much thanks and appreciation go to founding sponsors: Bentonite Performance Materials, Digital Control Inc., Ditch Witch, Drilling Mud Direct LLC, Herrenknecht, Underground Solutions and Vermeer. Additional sponsors were Brownline (Sustaining Sponsor), Derrick Corp., Environmental Noise Control and Vector Magnetics (Reception), Transwest (Breakfast), Aprotek USA Inc. and Underground Magnetics (Lunch) and Bit Brokers International (Name Tags). Supporting Organizations: American Pipeline Contractors Association, Distribution Contractors Association, National Utility Contractors Association, Power & Communication Contractors Association and the Pipe Line Contractors Association and the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada.

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Moving into its 11th year, planning for the next HDD Academy is under way. Visit for the latest updates.

SOURCE – Benjamin Media Inc.

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