2023 HDD Academy - ninth annual

Energy Transition Applications Highlight the 2023 HDD Academy

The ninth annual HDD Academy was held Feb. 16-17, in Scottsdale, Arizona and the focus of much of the conversation was about the use of HDD for energy transition applications.

The HDD Academy is produced by Benjamin Media, Inc. — publisher of Trenchless Technology — in partnership with the Del E. Webb School of Construction, Arizona State University.

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The first day of the event focused on the HDD process with topics ranging from proper locating techniques and design elements to solids control and mud recycling. After the day’s classroom sessions, attendees gathered at a social reception at The Riot House. Day 2 of the HDD Academy zeroed in on the energy transition market and the critical role that HDD plays in achieving success. Topics focused on thermal grouting applications for underground electric cables to “HDD: The Key to Green Energy Transition.” The second day wrapped up with a presentation on estimating and a panel covering workforce development, supply chain issues, and future markets.

The 2023 event drew more than 80 in attendance, representing contractors, engineers, owners, manufacturers and suppliers. Organizers say the HDD Academy brought together the industry as move toward new HDD applications. “The HDD Academy has established itself as the leading-edge HDD event in the market. With Dr. Sam Ariaratnam ’s extensive background, combined with Trenchless Technology’s history in the horizontal directional drilling market, we are always looking for new applications in HDD,” says Benjamin Media president Rob Krzys.

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The HDD Academy is the first event to focus exclusively on the role that HDD will have in the energy transition marketplace. In discussing this market, Ariaratnam says, “I believe that HDD will continue to have a prominent role in the energy sector. Our industry is evolving to address broader challenges that lie ahead in deliver energy.”

Sponsors and supporting organizations play a huge role in the HDD Academy, providing attendees a great experience. Much thanks and appreciation goes to founding sponsors: Bentonite Performance Materials, Digital Control, Inc., Ditch Witch, Drilling Mud Direct LLC, Herrenknecht, Underground Solutions, and Vermeer. Additional sponsors were Underground Magnetics (Lunch), Derrick Corp. and Vector Magnetics (Reception), and Legend Directional Drilling (Name Tags). Supporting Organizations: Association of Equipment Manufacturers, American Pipeline Contractors Association, Distribution Contractors Association, International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Association, National Utility Contractors Association, Power & Communication Contractors Association and the Pipeline Contractors Association.

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Moving into its 10th year in 2024, the next HDD Academy is set for Feb. 22-23 in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, visit hddacademy.com.