NASTT Builds On Success Of 2011

By Traci Read, Managing Editor | February 2012, Vol. 67 No. 2
NASTT's George Ragula.

Other items on the agenda include:
• Publish a new CIPP Positive Pressure Applications Manual that is specific to water, gas and pressure sewer applications;
• Provide trenchless technology training at the 2012 APWA conference;
• Build on the pilot program begun in 2011 to establish student certification (major, masters or certificate) in trenchless technology;
• Continue partnerships with Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology to develop Student Chapters using the student chapter document for forming a new chapter (created in 2011) that outlines by-laws, benefits and student involvement; and
• Focus on more owner involvement and participation through partnerships with industry associations.

When asked how he perceives the industry is evolving, near- and long-term, Ragula says:
“I believe the trenchless construction industry is going to be better, faster and more efficient. From an equipment and trenchless technology perspective, I think we’ll see even more improvements. In the 80s, horizontal directional drilling was the new kid on the block, now it is commonplace. Now our industry is being introduced to intersect drilling, better tooling, new tool heads, better drill stems and new designs to address problems that occur during construction. Of course, there will always be something new on the horizon, but for the present, the major game changer will be improved processes and equipment; refining what we already have.”

And NASTT is growing right along with the industry, according to Ragula.

“In my opinion, NASTT is growing at a faster pace than the industry. There is a big demand for the products our members have to offer,” he said. “The economy is tough, money is tight and there’s a focus on green technology. I think these things are stimulating an interest for trenchless technology, which helps our society grow even more where other associations have suffered.”

This view was perhaps most evident for Ragula when he attended the International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT) Conference in Berlin, Germany last May in his role as the international representative for NASTT. After attending meetings and getting the international perspective, he described how NASTT fills its role within this structure as a positive one.