NASTT Announces 2014 Hall of Fame Class

NASTT has officially announced the members of its 2014 Hall of Fame Class: Affholder Inc. founder Robert Affholder; trenchless advocate Joseph Loiacono; and professor emeritus Dr. Raymond Sterling.

NASTT’s 2014 Hall of Fame class will be formally inducted at the Gala Awards Dinner on April 15 at NASTT’s 2014 No-Dig Show in Orlando, Fla.

“The lifelong dedication of these individuals has made innovative engineering practices acceptable and sustainable, not only for today’s infrastructure solutions but for those of the future. Their commitment to trenchless technology has been pivotal to the growth of the entire industry and has influenced the wellbeing of countless communities throughout North America,” says NASTT executive director Mike Willmets. 

NASTT’s Hall of Fame was created in 2010 by the NASTT board of directors to celebrate the Society’s most outstanding and accomplished members who have made a lasting impact on the trenchless industry. NASTT is a preeminent affiliate of the International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT), and many of its members are pioneers of trenchless technology. The Hall of Fame forever honors the leaders and trailblazers of trenchless technology.

The NASTT board of directors met in July and voted the following trenchless icons as members of the 2014 Class:

Robert AffholderRobert Affholder
Robert Affholder is a trenchless industry pioneer who continues to play a leading role 50-plus years later as vice chairman of SAK Construction.  In 1958, Affholder started in the underground industry at Armco Steel Co. quickly working his way up from the field into senior management. Then, in 1968, he founded the national tunneling and boring company, Affholder Inc., which eventually became the first mid-America licensee of the Insituform process. In 1987, the company went public as Insituform Mid-America and later merged to form Insituform Technologies (now Aegion), where Affholder served for 10 years as vice chairman and as a member of the board of directors.  In 2007, he joined SAK Construction, helping to lead one of the fastest growing pipeline rehabilitation companies in the industry.

Joseph LoiaconoJoseph Loiacono
Joe Loiacono has been involved with trenchless technologies since 1989 when he attended his first No-Dig Conference in London. Throughout the early 1990s, acting as a director at CERIU, Loiacono aggressively promoted trenchless technologies in North America (especially in Canada) and spearheaded a group of organizations and individuals who persistently lobbied governments at all levels to invest in the renewal of our deteriorating infrastructures. Now as a leader and/or chair of several standard committees at regional and national levels, he continues to promote trenchless technologies in the industry and to students at various Universities. After more than eight years as director of business development for Aqua-Pipe, Loiacono will retire at the end of 2013.

Dr. Ray Sterling

Dr. Ray Sterling Dr. Ray Sterling is professor emeritus at Louisiana Tech University, where from 1995 to 2009 he served as the director of its Trenchless Technology Center. He is a past chairman of both the ISTT and NASTT and has been the recipient of the Bechtel Pipeline Award from ASCE and the ISTT’s Gold Medal. He has a broad research background in trenchless technology, geomechanics and underground space use and is a senior editor of Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. 

NASTT’s 2014 No-Dig Show takes place April 13-17 at the Gaylord Palms Hotel & Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.  For more information, visit

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