TTC Quietly Celebrates 20th Anniversary

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | October 2011, Vol. 66 No. 10

“Every year,” said McKim, “the TTC organizes and sponsors a one-day seminar in up to 15 North American cities where industry leaders present the latest technology directly to municipalities. Forums are organized in cooperation with a local municipal host who helps identify regional ‘hot’ topics and local needs. The TTC, along with the host city, invite the appropriate industry leaders to give presentations on these topics in the morning session. In the afternoon session, an open discussion addresses specific local issues and generates a networking opportunity for municipal engineers. The 2010-11 forum series was attended by over 1,000 municipal workers from more than 50 cities.”

McKim said a key to the center’s growth and continuing success has been its Industry Advisory Board (IAB).

“The TTC has strong ties to industry through its Industry Advisory Board which consists of a mixture of utilities, contractors, suppliers, media and consultants,” McKim explained. “The industrial members of the IAB provide the TTC with a core operating budget that allows it to maintain administrative offices and support staff. In return for this support, the IAB has direct input into the focus of the research undertaken at the TTC and access to the latest technology developments worldwide.”

The TTC evolved from the Trenchless Excavation Center at Louisiana Tech established in 1989 by Dr. Tom Iseley with a primary focus on microtunneling and horizontal directional drilling. Expanding its reach to other trenchless technologies, the structure and name was changed to the Trenchless Technology Center in 1991.

Dr. Ray Sterling became director of the center in 1995, retiring in 2009 with Dr. McKim becoming administrative director and Dr. Allouche research director.

“The structure of the TTC is such that we can react quickly to changes in the technology and market and adjust our research and outreach programs accordingly,” concluded McKim. “Recently, the industry has seen a market shift toward large diameter and pressure pipe assessment and rehabilitation technologies. Many of our IAB members are starting to utilize pressure pipe inspection and rehabilitation technologies, and the TTC is supporting their efforts with research and development into these new technologies. Identifying new market directions and technologies to meet the changing market needs provide a clear advantage.”

Trenchless Technology Center, (800) 626-8659,

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