To welcome newly enrolled students in the Construction Engineering and Management program at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), the UTA NASTT Student Chapter hosted its first meeting of 2022.

The UTA Student Chapter was founded in 2006 by Mohammad Najafi, Ph.D., P.E., F. ASCE, associate professor and coordinator of the Master of Construction Management program at UTA and his graduate students with the intention of improving the science and use of trenchless technology for the benefit of the public.4

In attendance were members and potential members, along with Najafi, faculty advisor of the UTA Student Chapter; Zahra Borhani, chapter president; and Madhuri Arjun, chapter secretary.

Najafi welcomed everyone present and provided opening remarks. Arjun spoke about the history of the NASTT student chapter since its inception and the main goals and purposes of the chapter. She spoke about chapter field trips in 2022 to a North Texas Municipal Water District tunneling project, and a visit to the Thompson Pipe Group’s manufacturing facility. On-going student research was also discussed.

Some of the recent trenchless technology and pipeline conferences attended by students, technical papers presented, and scholarships awarded to members of the chapter was also discussed. Najafi and Arjun encouraged continued student participation and the many benefits that can be derived from the experience. 

Invited guest speaker to the event was Shah Rahman, the North Texas Water Practice Leader for KCI Technologies Inc. Rahman spoke about the national and global growth of trenchless technology as a discipline of civil engineering and construction and discussed careers with design engineering firms, construction companies, and manufacturers that cater to the trenchless technology industry.  

Under the guidance of Najafi – also the director of the Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education (CUIRE) at UTA – members of the student chapter have benefited significantly from chapter activities over the years.

Attending the annual NASTT No-Dig Show is, without a doubt, one of the biggest benefits of belonging to the chapter. The support of NASTT, which pays the conference registration fees and lodging for all student members, makes participation in the chapter possible.

Student chapter members have certainly benefited from attending the No-Dig Show by having participated in the sponsored seminars, making connections with professionals in the field and exploring the exhibit hall. Students can display their creations in a poster competition held by the No-Dig show.

At the 2022 NASTT No-Dig Show in Minneapolis, more than 14 (the largest number of student chapter representation at No-Dig) student chapter members were sponsored with scholarships recognizing their achievements in academics and their participation in NASTT student chapter. Aside from participating in NASTT’s No-Dig Show, the student chapter is active at the school and in the community.

SOURCE – UTA NASTT Chapter