ISTT Executive Director Excited to Join Organization

ISTT Executive Director Smeallie


In April, Peter Smeallie was appointed the new executive director of the International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT) replacing John Hemphill who led the organization since 2008.

“In this short period of time, I have been impressed with the enthusiasm and forward-looking views of those involved in the leadership of the society,” Smeallie said in a letter to Trenchless Technology. “I feel very honored to join this group of experts in forging ahead with new plans and activities for ISTT, and I hope members of NASTT and the other affiliated societies can benefit from our endeavors.”

Smeallie is president of Research Opportunities Management, a consulting firm offering strategic advice on developing research and development programs for universities, professional firms and other organizations. Prior to this, he worked at the National Academy of Sciences where his responsibilities included directing advisory research studies in areas such as geotechnology, rock mechanics, tunneling methods and safety, energy engineering, infrastructure, and urban systems.

Smeallie’s last position at the Academy was director of the Geotechnical Board including the U.S. National Committee on Tunneling Technology. Smeallie has a degree in urban studies from St. Lawrence University. He resides in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.A.

“ISTT is a strong and valuable organization of 27 affiliated societies. It does face some interesting challenges as it moves from primarily societies from developed countries to more and more applications from developing countries where trenchless is seen as a better means to develop new or rehab existing infrastructures and related applications,” Smeallie said. “These countries exhibit great enthusiasm for ISTT but do present some challenges also. Some countries are just forming professional societies relevant to trenchless, and communicating with these groups is often at a different level than the easy back and forth ISTT and NASTT, for example, have developed.”

He continues, “This is a challenge recognized by ISTT leadership. Strengthening communication practices means being more proactive and inclusive. ISTT is committed to improving our communication practices to in order to improve benefits member societies receive. Improved communications will be part of a larger strategic effort to develop a forward-looking strategic plan for ISTT that will be presented to the Board of Directors at the No-Dig meeting in 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. This plan will guide the organization in a focused and structured manner to be of greater value to the member societies.”

Smeallie can be reached at
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