1993 Trenchless Technology Person-of-the-Year: Dr. Tom Iseley

In the search for the Trenchless Technology Person-of-the-Year, five factors were cited in the selection: innovation, market development, projects completed, leadership, and vision for the industry.

Dr. D. Thomas Iseley reflects these criteria completely. He received the unanimous support of the review panel that honored him with this recognition.

Tom combines the traits of educator, researcher, contractor, and more. He moves easily in all three spheres, knowing the issues and problems confronting each and mastering most of them. Yet he avoids being confined or defined by any one of the roles.

Tom is widely regarded as the leading spokesman for trenchless technology in North America and surely among the top experts in the world. As professor Daniel Halpin of Purdue University noted, “Every article written in the United States about trenchless or no- dig technology cites his work, quotes him, and usually has a picture of him.”

At age 47, Tom has over 20 years experience in civil engineering and construction. He ran his own utility construction company from 1979 until 1987, installing water and sewer lines, pumping stations and treatment facilities. From that experience he knows first hand the problems faced by contractors.

During doctoral studies at Purdue University, Tom undertook research to develop new specifications for installing utility systems under highways. Tom began teaching at Louisiana Tech University in 1988 and brought his concerns for research in trenchless construction technology. The Trenchless Technology Center sprang from his vision for a university-industry partnership in research and development.

The North American Society for Trenchless Technology is another aspect of Tom’s vision for growing the trenchless industry. He was one of the founding members who launched the association to foster cooperation and communication among key players in the industry engineers, project owners, contractors, manufacturers, regulatory agencies, and academia.

As Dr. Leslie Guice, head of the Louisiana Tech department of civil engineering, noted: “Although he has an academic title at a university, Tom is truly an educator of contractors, engineers, and others across the nation. He has acquired the respect of many people throughout the construction industry.”
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