Tempe, Ariz., was the place to be Feb. 22-23 if you love horizontal directional drilling and wanted top-notch information. The 2018 HDD Academy, hosted by the Arizona State University Del E. Webb School of Construction and Benjamin Media Inc., concluded its fourth annual conference with more than 100 attendees taking it all in.


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Benjamin Media Inc. and Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction teamed for the fourth year to bring the HDD industry this informative and educational event that focuses on the HDD method. The 2018 program was again held at the Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel Tempe.

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Attendees also enjoyed an Evening Networking Reception on Feb. 22, allowing them to kick back after a day in the classroom.

HDD is rapidly emerging as the primary choice for owners when confronted with river, road and railway crossings or situations requiring minimal disruption to surface activities. The technique provides a less-disruptive method and, oftentimes, a lower-cost opportunity for utility pipeline installations. The goal of the HDD Academy is to establish an annual learning platform for owners, regulators, contractors and engineers focusing on the options and opportunities for future utility pipeline projects.

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Arizona State University awards 1.8 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon successful completion of the course. Registration is limited in order to provide quality networking with HDD industry leaders and maintain a low student-instructor ratio.

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“The interest in this annual program continues to grow. Attendees are presented with great, non-commercial information to expand their knowledge of HDD. What makes the HDD Academy stand out from other educational opportunities is that it is not a sales pitch, which is a testament to those participating in the program,” says BMI president Robert Krzys. “The vitality and growth of the HDD market makes this program a necessary event for contractors, owners, regulators and engineers.”

HDD Academy program instructors are all industry leaders who will cover numerous topics including HDD contracts and specifications; estimating; designing projects for specific pipe materials; drilling fluids; locating; damage prevention; and case studies covering HDD installations for several pipe materials, Direct Pipe installations and installations for specific utilities.

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Industry leader, Dr. David Bennett, is shown here speaking to the attendees.

Supporting associations included: Distribution Contractors Association (DCA), Pipeline Contractors Association (PLCA), AEM, AZUCA, International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Association (IPLOCA), American Society of Civil Engineers/UESI (ASCE), Pipeline Contractors Association of Canada (PLCAC), National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) and Power Communication Contractors Association (PCCA). Event sponsors included: Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems, Digital Control Inc., Halliburton, American Augers,

Ditch Witch, Derrick Equipment Co., Vermeer Corp., Underground Solutions, LaValley Industries, and IDS GeoRadar NA.

hdd academy

Attendees enjoyed a networking session after the day’s presentations.

Plans are under way for the 2019 HDD Academy. For more information and updates, visit hddacademy.com. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Brittany Cline at bcline@benjaminmedia.com