North American Tunneling Conference Attracts Record Crowd

The North American Tunneling (NAT) ConferenceThe North American Tunneling (NAT) Conference, held June 22-25 at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles, drew a record crowd, highlighting the strength of the tunneling market in the United States and Canada. Show sponsor UCA of SME said that the pre-registered attendees were the highest ever, and that the final attendance was expected to exceed 1,100. Additionally, there was a sold-out exhibition hall and nearly 130 technical paper presentations.

One of the highlights of the event is the awards ceremony, which was held June 24. Individual awards were given to Ronald E. Heuer, Lifetime Achievement Award; Herbert H. Einstein, Outstanding Educator; and Lok Home, Outstanding Individual Award. The Project of the Year Award was given to the Devil’s Slide Tunnel project.

Additionally, the conference attracted undergraduate and graduate students through scholarship programs run by the UCA of SME Executive Committee and the NAT Conference Committee. Recipients of the UCA of SME Executive Committee Scholarship were Kevin Hart, Colorado School of Mines; Erin Keogh, Colorado School of Mines; Lisa Mori, Colorado School of Mines; Corey Schaal, University of Mississippi; and Hamed Zamenian, Purdue University. Recipients of the NAT Conference Scholarships were Jessica Buckley, Colorado School of Mines; William Kuyt, Colorado School of Mines; Abhishekh Ashok Parmar, Colorado School of Mines; Jack Petersen, University of Utah; Laura Porras, Colorado School of Mines; Kevin Schaeffer, Colorado School of Mines; Michael Tinney, Colorado School of Mines; and James Urquart, Murray State University

NAT is held every two years. The 2016 event is being held in conjunction with the International Tunneling Association as the World Tunnel Congress, April 22-28 in San Francisco. For more information, visit

Next year’s largest North American tunneling event is the biennial Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference (RETC), which is also sponsored by UCA, is scheduled for June 7-10 in New Orleans. For information on that show, visit
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