The Buried Asset Management Institute-International (BAMI-I) recently introduced Certification of Training in Asset Management (CTAM) for the first time in Latin America. The presentation took place March 31 during the Colombian Institute for Subterranean Infrastructure Technologies and Techniques (CISTT) 2015 Annual Membership Meeting in Bogota, Colombia.
Dr. Tom Iseley, chairman of the Board of Directors of BAMI-I, was the guest speaker and spoke about the importance of asset management, trenchless technology, and the CTAM program for Colombia. He was accompanied by Olga Lucia Vargas-Lamanna, who was appointed last October by the BAMI-I BOD as director of Latin American operations. Since 2008, when Olga Lucia was a masters student employed as Iseley’s assistant, the idea of going to her native country of Colombia to explore opportunities in the water industry was always present, awaiting the right opportunity. After seven years, this dream has come to fruition as BAMI-I has finally established a presence in Bogota.
Entering the Latin American market is an exciting prospect and an open door for future business opportunities. During their visit, Iseley and Lucia realized that Colombia’s adoption of trenchless technology projects is increasing, and its desire to learn more about this technology is growing even faster. This situation creates great potential for BAMI-I with its CTAM program to reach water industry stakeholders in the Colombian community and to serve as an example to follow in all of Latin America. Iseley and Lucia met with representatives of the Water, Sewer and Trash Collection Company of Bogota to begin forging a relationship, as well as with professors of two of the most important universities in Colombia, who are interested in TT courses and seminars for their students.
CISTT was created in 2009 as a result of the interest and effort of a group of TT professionals. Colombia is currently one of the pioneers in trenchless technology in Latin America. CISTT is only the second association to be created in Latin America after Brazil, where ISTT (ABRATT) was formed in 1998. It is also the second association in the Spanish-speaking world (and the first in Spanish-speaking Latin America), after Spain, whose group was created in 1998.
Despite its relatively brief existence, CISTT already has nearly 50 associates from all parts of the country, including water companies from some of the biggest cities in Colombia such as Bogota and Medellin. In addition, CISTT has already organized No-Dig national conferences and exhibitions (including one this coming October), three Latin American conferences and seminars and trainings resulting in 40 NASSCO certifications. It will also be the host for the International No-Dig 2017 Conference and Exhibition in Medellin.
CISTT is interested in serving as the exclusive representative of CTAM in Colombia and is willing to work jointly with BAMI-I in education, research and promotion of Trenchless Technology in all of Colombia as well as in neighboring countries.
With this excellent experience in Bogota as a starting point BAMI-I will continue its work in Latin America, with the goal of having a presence in more Spanish-speaking countries and spreading the knowledge of Trenchless Technology and Asset Management by offering industry stakeholders the CTAM program in their native language.