CONFERENCES: 2013 No-Dig Show Strikes Gold in Sacramento

NASTT No-Dig Show 2013The NASTT No-Dig Show, the annual conference and exhibition of the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT), traveled to Sacramento and brought with it more than 1,600 attendees who successfully mixed business, education and the warmth of the West Coast.

For the first time since 2007, the No-Dig Show returned to California, with trenchless professionals converging in Sacramento March 3-7 for the 22nd annual conference. The all-trenchless event took place at the Sacramento Convention Center and its end-result was true to the show’s theme of “The Great Trenchless Gold Rush.”

The show was a great tribute to the trenchless industry’s past and future as icons of its history and torchbearers for its future were honored. NASTT inducted its second Hall of Fame class: the late Eric Wood, founder of Insituform and the CIPP process; Ed Malzahn, founder of the Ditch Witch brand; and trenchless engineer Dr. David Bennett, founder of Bennett Trenchless. Founding NASTT member and chairman Richard Thomasson received NASTT?s Chairman?s Award for Outstanding Lifetime Service; and John Matthews, a principal research scientist at Battelle Memorial Institute, and Ashley Rammeloo, a City of London, Ontario, Canada, sewer operations engineer, received the NASTT Trent Ralston Award for Young Trenchless Achievement. The 2013 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year was presented to LMK Technologies president Larry Kiest Jr. and all the winners for the 2012 Trenchless Technology Projects of the Year were recognized.

The technical paper sessions are one of two main attractions at the No-Dig Show, where detailed, peer-reviewed papers covering a broad range of topics relevant to the industry are presented. This year, there were 155 papers presented covering the gamut of trenchless methods and issues. The other main component of the show is the exhibition hall, in which attendees can see first-hand the latest products that are at the forefront of the utility construction and repair industry. About 150 exhibiting companies occupied the 84,000-sq ft exhibit hall.

The 12th annual Educational Fund Auction and Reception was held on March 4 – a popular networking event for attendees after a day of technical sessions and walking the exhibit floor. The auction raises financial support for NASTT’s 11 student chapters while attendees bid on amazing items. Since 2002, the auction has raised more than $600,000.

As horizontal directional drilling (HDD) continues to grow in popularity and acceptance, a one-of-a-kind opportunity was given to attendees to hear from the HDD pioneers and icons on the early days of a fledgling industry that struggled for acceptance. The “Legends of HDD: From an Idea to an Industry” drew a strong audience on March 5 to the nearly two-hour session. The panel was comprised of: Martin Cherrington, Cherrington Corp. and considered “the Father of HDD,” who kicked off the program with an informative presentation that highlighted the early days of HDD’s evolution. The panel also included Lon Brisco, Direct Horizontal; Ron Halderman, Mears Group; Richard Melsheimer, Melfred Borzall; Bill Riel, Barbco Inc.; and Tom Tibor, Baroid Industrial Drilling Products who then participated in a Q&A discussion about their reflections of the early days and perspective about the industry’s evolution.

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. This year, HammerHead Trenchless Equipment and Electro Scan were the recipients of this honor and were presented the awards at the annual Gala Awards Dinner on March 5. ?
The 2014 No-Dig Show will be held at the Gaylord Palms, April 13-17 in Orlando, Fla. The deadline to submit an abstract for the technical program is June 30, 2013. For more details, visit

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