UCT Kicks Off 2012 With A Bang

March 2012, Vol. 67 No. 3
IPBA members Andy Mayer, Brian Metcalf, Mike Woodcock, Matt Timberlake, Mike Rocco, Collins Collins Orton and George Mallakis.

The Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition (UCT) made a return visit to San Antonio in January drawing a crowd of more than 2,450 and hosting ancillary association and private corporate business meetings. Previously, UCT was in San Antonio in 2009.

UCT is the only annual industry event that brings together contractors, utility providers, consulting engineers, manufacturers and service providers in a business and educational environment. UCT is not limited to only one or select technologies, but encompasses all underground construction and rehabilitation disciplines.

As at any major trade show, the exhibit floor is a primary focus of attendees, and in 2012, more than 400 booths allowed exhibitors to display a wide array of products and services. In addition, the RehabZone also was located in the exhibition and, as always, showcased its unique, no-sell format providing information about sewer and water infrastructure rehabilitation.

Attendance was strong at more than 100 primary educational and training sessions covering a wide variety of subjects, many offering Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Development Hours (PDHs) through the University of Texas at Arlington. For the third consecutive year, the Damage Prevention & Safety Program played an essential and growing part of the educational program along with the popular WaterWorks Conference co-located with UCT.

Other industry organizations continue to schedule events in conjunction with UCT. Pre- and post-UCT training in 2012 offered a week-long schedule, including courses conducted by CUIRE (Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education), NASSCO (National Association of Sewer Service Companies), NASTT (North American Society for Trenchless Technology) and Staking University’s utility locator certification training.

Product launches
Many exhibitors continued a trend of introducing new products at UCT.

“We used UCT 2012 to show off our latest equipment and services,” said Jason Zylstra, marketing manager at Vermeer, Pella, IA. “One of our biggest launches is our new Borestore for HDD tools and accessories. We also introduced our latest rock boring technologies, one using magnets of opposing polarity that are rotated rapidly to create a percussive action at the drill head to fracture rock, the other employing a dual rod drilling system.”

TT Technologies introduced a new static pipe bursting model and a keyhole directional drilling system.