Any discussion of microtunneling in North America ultimately turns to BRH-Garver and Mike Garver, the pioneer who has done more than anyone else to bring the title of microtunneling capital of North America to Houston.

Mike’s firm is involved in many more areas of construction than remote-controlled tunneling. BRH-Garver operates in many trenchless applications, including sliplining, CIPP pipe rehabilitation, fold-and-formed liners, utility tunnels, and even horizontal directional drilling.

Mike is an active proponent of NASTT, one of the original founders of the Gulf Coast Trenchless Association, and a founding member and corporate supporter of the Trenchless Technology Center. His reputation as an innovator and pioneer carries over into the profession where Mike supports and encourages others in the industry to move into the cutting edges of trenchless technology.

These reasons support the selection of Mike Garver as a fitting candidate for the 1995 Trenchless Technology Person-of-the-Year. We believe you will agree that his vision and leadership mark Mike as an outstanding contributor to trenchless technology.

Microtunneling was not a sure thing for BRH-Garver back in 1986-87 when the firm was awarded the $9.7 million contract for the River Oaks project. Garver had worked closely with manufacturers Iseki and Soltau in planning for the job. Many adaptations were needed to modify the equipment for Houston ground conditions. Success came after their fifth failure on a microtunneling run.

Mike Garver was born, raised and educated in central Kentucky, where he attended the University of Kentucky, graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering. Mike went to work for the Union Carbide Co. as a trainee design/ construction engineer with the goal of moving into its construction division. After three years, Mike was transferred to a Texas construction project.

When the project ended a year later, Union Carbide wanted the Garvers to move to West Virginia. But they weren’t about to give up Texas. So he resigned his job, sold his home and moved to Texas for good. “Texas at that time, especially Houston, was a place that would give somebody an opportunity,” said Mike. “If you were willing to work hard and had a good idea, someone would give you a chance.”

Mike found a job selling construction equipment where he soon learned to know a local construction superintendent who urged him to buy a backhoe and go into business. By 1981, Mike bought out his partners and adopted the company name of BRH-Garver Inc.

Mike attributes the company’s successes to his supportive staff and field personnel. “Along the way, our people have been very enthusiastic about trying new things and solving problems as they occur,” said Mike. He is modest and supportive about his accomplishments and shares credit with those around him. With Mike’s persistence and optimism, one can predict that he will continue to shape the industry beyond his moment as the Person-of-the-Year.

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