The Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) at Louisiana Tech University and the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) teamed up to host the third annual five-day intensive Auger Boring School on Nov. 12-16, 2018.
The school included classroom lectures and practical sessions. It was instructed by the foremost auger boring experts in the country to meet the high demand for engineers and contractors trained in auger boring design, application, and installation.
Perhaps the highlight of this year’s event was the presentation of Lifetime Achievement Awards to Leo Barbera, original founder of American Augers, and James Barbera, founder of Barbco Inc. The awards were presented by Dr. Tom Iseley and his team at TTC to honor the brothers’ contributions to the trenchless industry.
Leo Barbera started American Augers in 1970. During this time, he built his company from the ground up, securing many patents along the way to propel the industry forward in both innovation and safety, including the development of the first rack-and-pinion HDD rig in the United States. Leo served on the original TTC Industry Advisory Board, which established in 1991, and in 1997 was honored as the Trenchless Technology Person of the Year.
After Leo sold American Augers, Jim Barbera then found himself in a unique position with an incredible amount of knowledge from his experiences at American Augers. With this he went off and started Barbco Inc. in 1989. Since its beginning, Barbco has stayed consistent in innovation by providing the industry with equipment such as TriBor, FlexBor, Pathfinder and many more with the ultimate goal of making contractors and their workers both safer and more efficient.
In addition to receiving Lifetime Achievement awards, Leo and Jim were awarded medallions from Dr. Les Guice, Louisiana Tech president and one of the founding staff members at TTC, in honor of their leadership in the industry.
This night was also a public showcasing of the future plans for a new facility named the Barbera Underground Infrastructure Research & Training Facility (BUIRT). Iseley envisions the new facility as being a sophisticated, world-class facility for auger boring research and education.
Sponsors of TTC Auger Boring School were, Barbco, U.S. Shoring & Equipment Co., Baroid Industrial Drilling Products, Brierley Associates, Midwest Mole, Trinity Products, Logan Clay Products, Wicker Construction, IDS GeoRadar and Huxted Tunneling.
The course covered all aspects of auger boring projects from design to construction, with special focus on safety. The school included classroom lectures and hands-on practical sessions. The ABS had attendees from as far away as Colombia.