NASTT 2023 No-Dig Show ribbon cutting

NASTT 2023 No-Dig Show Recap

Rose City Welcomes the Trenchless Community

The trenchless technology community headed to the Pacific Northwest to network with peers and learn about the latest and greatest offerings in this burgeoning industry.

Portland, Oregon served as the epicenter of trenchless thought leadership from April 30 to May 4 for the NASTT 2023 No-Dig Show. Based on crowded technical sessions rooms and a bustling exhibit hall, it’s clear that face-to-face conference events are back after a downturn due to COVID-19 and its associated precautions.

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Matthew Izzard, North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) executive director, notes that final attendee numbers came in just over 1,700, which marked an increase from Minneapolis in 2022. He also notes that local engagement with the event was higher than anticipated.

“A record 186 Municipal & Public Works Scholarships were awarded for Portland. The interest in having a greater understanding of the potential to utilize trenchless technology on the many utility pipeline projects in the area was reflected in packed Technical Programs,” Izzard says. “It was also great to see the Student Program back to full delivery with over 100 students attending. Networking also forms a central part of the No-Dig Show program and the Casino Royale was a huge success.”

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Abbott Award Winner
Winner of the Abbott Innovative Product Award for Rehabilitation was Sunbelt Rentals and its PumpSentri telemetry system.
Abbott Award Winner
Winner of the Abbott Innovative Product Award for New Installation was Ditch Witch for its AT120 All-Terrain Horizontal Directional Drill.

The NASTT No-Dig Show also served as an opportunity for Trenchless Technology to formally honor our 2022 Trenchless Technology Project of the Year winners, as well as Dr. John Matthews, our 2023 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year. All were recognized at the Opening Breakfast on May 1.

Also on May 1, editor Sharon M. Bueno and managing editor Mike Kezdi, moderated a technical session for the 2022 Trenchless Technology Project of the Year winners. Presenting during the session were Justin Taylor, vice president of engineering, CCI & Associates and Tucker Toelke, EIT, alternative delivery manager, Michels Corp. 2022 Trenchless Technology Project of the Year New Installation – North Bakken Expansion-Lake Sakakawea HDD. Presenting the 2022 Trenchless Technology Project of the Year Rehab – Houston 60-in. Sanitary Sewer Spin Cast Lining were Raghavender “Ragu” Nednur, P. E., managing engineer, Houston Water, Wastewater Operations Branch, and Steve Henning, Vortex Companies.

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Trenchless Technology Project of the Year New Install
Trenchless Technology’s Sharon M. Bueno (right) and Mike Kezdi (left) presented the 2022 Trenchless Technology New Installation Project of the Year to Justin Taylor, CCI & Associates and Ted Folz and Matt Smith, Michels Corp.
Trenchless Technology Project of the Year Rehab
Trenchless Technology’s Sharon M. Bueno (right) and Mike Kezdi (left) presented the 2022 Trenchless Technology Rehabilitation Project of the Year with Ragu Nednur with the City of Houston and and Steve Henning with Vortex Companies.
Trenchless Technology 2023 Person of the Year
Trenchless Technology publisher Kelly VanNatten and brand ambassador Dan Sisko presented Dr. John Matthews (middle) with the 2023 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year Award.

Other awards distributed during this year’s NASTT No-Dig Show included the Abbott Innovative Product Awards – Rehabilitation & New Installation which went to Sunbelt Rentals and its PumpSentri monitoring system and Ditch Witch for the AT120 All-Terrain Horizontal Directional Drill.

Eschewing the Gala Dinner for a new and more interactive event, NASTT launched its Casino Royale event night. The ticketed event allowed attendees to mingle while enjoying casino games with funny money and the chance to win great prizes. Most importantly it served as an opportunity to honor the new newest NASTT Hall of Fame class. Inducted in 2023 were Steven R. Kramer, P.E., FASCE, senior vice president-tunnel at COWI and Kevin Miller, senior advisor at Miller Pipeline Corp.

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The conference portion featured more than 130 peer-reviewed technical papers, plus roundtable discussions via six industry track sessions focused on both installation and rehabilitation that spans the three days of the show.

NASTT 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees
NASTT Hall of Fame Inductees (left) Steven R. Kramer, P.E., FASCE, and (right) Kevin Miller, with Matthew Izzard, NASTT executive director.

“The No-Dig Show is the focal meeting point for those involved in the trenchless industry in North America. The quality and information of the technical presentations, networking opportunities and exhibitor engagement are what set No-Dig Show aside,” says Izzard. “I am always amazed at the positive energy that No-Dig Show builds in creating real opportunities for everyone. One of the fundamentals of a good conference is the ability to present. Presentations bring new ideas or research to a new audience in a shared experience. The papers are available for free download to anyone attending and become a vital resource.”

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Looking ahead to 2024, Izzard says that NASTT’s No-Dig Show will include a focus on renewable energy and continue the theme of “Green Above, Green Below,” as the show heads to Providence, Rhode Island, April 14-18.

“As we cross from the Pacific Northwest to the Northeast, we expect a huge draw of attendees for the surrounding area, promising to be one of the best conferences yet before we return to Denver in 2025,” says Izzard. “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who attended Portland and especially our exhibitors and sponsors in once again delivering an exceptional show. We look forward to seeing you again next year.”

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More information about the NASTT No-Dig Show can be found at nodigshow.com.

Mike Kezdi is managing editor of Trenchless Technology.

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