NASTT No-Dig Show Attracts Record Crowd

The No-Dig Show, the annual conference and exhibition of the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT), attracted a record crowd at the Gaylord National Resort in Convention Center near Washington, D.C., March 27-31. Attendance totaled more than 1,800 and was a new high for the event and the second-highest ever for a No-Dig event in North America (the combined International No-Dig, jointly produced by the ISTT and NASTT, attracted 1,903 attendees to Toronto in 2009).

The show was a great tribute to the trenchless industry, which has seen growth and consistency during these last few years of the troubled worldwide economy. 2010 outgoing NASTT chairman formally handed off the reins to George Ragula during the opening festivities. Kudos to 2011 Program chairman Jack Burnam and his committee of volunteers for organizing and producing such a fine event. Benjamin Media, which publishes Trenchless Technology, manages the show.

There are two main attractions that draw people to the No-Dig Show. One is the technical paper sessions that provide detailed, peer-reviewed papers covering a broad range of topics relevant to the industry; in 2011, there were 138 papers presented covering a multitude of trenchless topics. The other main component of the No-Dig Show is the exhibition hall, in which attendees can see first-hand the latest products that are keeping the industry at the forefront of the utility construction and repair industry; about 140 exhibiting companies occupied the 73,000-sq ft exhibit hall.

Among the social highlights of No-Dig and the presentation of the annual Trenchless Technology Person of the Year, Trenchless Technology Projects of the Year and Chairman’s Award. Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement was presented to Jim Hoggatt, the Engineering Department Manager for the South Tahoe Public Utility District in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Sharon M. Bueno is managing editor of Trenchless Technology.

No-Dig Wrap Up

NASTT Auction Raises $75,000

The 10th annual Educational Fund Auction was held on March 28 and raised a record-amount: $75,000. The auction raises financial support for NASTT’s student chapters while attendees have a great time bidding on amazing items. Since 2002, the auction has raised more than $439,000.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers once again served as the official auctioneers for the popular No-Dig event; a silent auction was also held. New to the auction in 2011 was use of eBay for people to bid on items worth $5,000. During the auctions, a wide range of items were donated and bid on from jewelry and electronics to sporting event tickets and trenchless tools and equipment.

Once again, the popular Mortimer the Sewer Rat was up for bid and he will spend the next year traveling with the Michels Corp. team.

Trenchless Technology Covers a Huge Hit at No-Dig

When folks stopped by the Trenchless Technology booth, they got more than just a meet-and-greet with the TT team. The TT booth was the place to be to get your personalized Trenchless Technology cover, using Washington, D.C., as the backdrop. A big hit at the 2010 Chicago No-Dig Show, we were happy to bring the personalized covers back to the 2011 show. Between March 28-30, our design gurus Sarah Hayes and Chris Slogar snapped the photos and designed 300 covers featuring attendees and some very humorous headlines involving the White House, sewers and manholes. Props were added to the mix this year and everyone who participated had fun with the process. What will we do for the 2012 Nashville No-Dig?

Vermeer & Zia Systems Receive Joseph L. Abbott Jr. Innovative Product Awards

NASTT annually recognizes two companies with state-of-the-art products in either new installation or rehabilitation for their achievements in advancing the trenchless industry—called the Joseph L. Abbott Jr Innovative Product Awards. At the 2011 No-Dig Show, Vermeer Corp. and Zia Systems are the recipients of this honor.

The award is given in memory of the late Joseph L. Abbott Jr. was an active member of the society since its inception in 1990. Recognized as one of NASTT’s seven charter members, he also served on its Board of Directors from 2003 to 2007. Following his years of service, he continued to be involved at a high level. Joe was an exhibitor and supporter of all the NASTT No-Dig Shows and he will be missed by the entire NASTT family.

Vermeer and Zia Systems were recognized at the Gala Dinner Tuesday night.

Vermeer received the New Installation Award for its D20x22 FX Series II Flex-Angle Drill for geothermal drilling. Released about 18 months ago, the FX is the industry’s first flex-angle drill capable of entry points anywhere between 18 and degrees. This drill opens up new revenue possibilities and efficiencies in the burgeoning residential geothermal market. It’s ideally suited for other applications such as conventional utility installation, soil sampling, environmental remediation, water wells and hill stabilization among others. The FX has an onboard drilling fluid/pump, which delivers efficient flow for conventional HDD bores and an optional high-flow pump for use in vertical applications.

Zia Systems received the Rehabilitation Award for its Cured-in-Place Pipe Intelligence (CiPPi) system. The technology allows CIPP installers to capture and record temperature readings all along the pipeline they are rehabbing, thus ensuring that proper and complete curing of the liner will be done. The temperature readings at the manholes show the how hot it is at the ends. There are times where “cold spots” occur along the pipeline, which can result in problems with the liner down the road because the liner didn’t cure properly during the curing process. The way the curing process is monitored today, installers would never have that information. The CiPPi technology uses small sensors that are strung inside the pipeline every 10 to 20 ft, prior to insertion of the liner. Once the liner is in place and the curing process begins, the CiPPi sensors read and transmit temperature readings to an onsite computer in real-time, giving crewmembers the information they need to determine when the proper time is to begin the cool down period during the CIPP process.

2012 No-Dig Show Coming to Nashville

The 2011 No-Dig show may have just ended, but it’s never too early to start thinking about No-Dig 2012. Next year’s conference will be held in Nashville, Tenn., at the newly renovated Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center from Sunday, March 11 to Friday, March 16.

No-Dig 2012 program chair and current NASTT chairman George Ragula says he is excited for the conference to return to the Volunteer state for the third time.

“Those involved in the No-Dig show for a long time will find it rather nostalgic going back to Tennessee,” Ragula said. “We’ve had two very successful shows there.”

But that doesn’t mean new attendees will be barred from learning, networking and having fun alongside the veterans. Ragula emphasizes the fact that attendees from all walks of conference experience will find invaluable information about the innovations in the trenchless market. With increasing emphasis on sustainability and cost efficiency and the trenchless market’s similar goals, Ragula says the 2012 No-Dig show will “bring in new and independent observers.”

As always, there will be technical sessions presenting the highest quality of professional papers in the industry. Attendees will be able to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Development Hours (PDHs) for their participation in these technical sessions. The official list of presenters will be available
by [September].

The Kick-Off Breakfast, Education Auction, Gala and Closing Luncheon will still be iconic parts of the 2012 No-Dig Show. Always looking to improve upon the past, Ragula says he is interested in attendee feedback to make the No-Dig show and its components an even better conference experience.

All additional information will be available at as it is finalized. The deadline to submit an abstract is June 30, 2011.

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