When Richard Thomasson began his engineering career some 25 years ago, he doubtless could not have conceived of his role in the interpretation and promotion of trenchless technology. Even the term was unheard of back in 1969.

Richard has been on the forefront of the trenchless industry nearly his whole career. As a member of the Water Pollution Control Federation, Richard was tapped to lead the first No-Dig conference planned in the United States. He chaired the planning committee for No-Dig 1988, held in Washington, D.C., which was jointly sponsored by the WPCF and the International Society for Trenchless Technology.

Soon thereafter a group of five persons began to brainstorm on the possibility of establishing a new association just for trenchless technology. That organization became know as the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) and Richard was its founding chairman.

The primary arena for Richard’s trenchless role has been his career at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. Early on, he chose the Maintenance Bureau as his niche, working to ensure the dependable operation of the water supply and sanitary sewer services of this large commission. Not surprisingly, this led to his involvement in a variety of trenchless techniques to maintain an efficient operation.

A native of Charlottesville, Va., Richard attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1969. In September of that year Richard began working at the WSSC.

As the first chairman of NASTT, Richard believes the role he played as a representative from a public utility gave a perspective independent from any agency, discipline or product area. In the three years of his leadership, Richard has seen considerable progress, though the organization is still feeling out relationships.

Richard will surely champion the cause of trenchless technology well into the future.

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