July 2019 Vol.74 No. 7


TTC Wraps Up Another Active Year of Growth

The Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) at Louisiana Tech University has once again had a very active year, continuing to meet its mission to advance trenchless technology by serving as an independent source of knowledge, research and education in the field.

Field Sampling at a CIPP Steam Cure Project Site in Colorado.

Several staff changes were required this year to meet the needs of the Center. Maintaining its role as a leader in trenchless education and research, TTC is also looking to grow its impact in the areas of industry workforce development and training. This past year was highlighted by more growth in the number of research and researchers being active in the center, plus growth in the TTC Industry Advisory Board (IAB), which is now at a record size.

Research & development

This year saw continued growth in both the number and overall value of research contracts at TTC, as well as internally funded explorations into new areas, bringing new researchers into the center from multiple disciplines across campus. Much of TTC research continues to be funded by industry and is, therefore, subject to various types of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), which limit the amount of research the center can publish.

Still, TTC researchers again outperformed its previous banner year of 2017–2018 in terms of the number of peer-reviewed publications produced, an important metric for research centers and faculty members. Two substantial research efforts are cited in this article.

The first project is the NASSCO CIPP Emissions study, which is a critical effort for the trenchless industry. This project is nearly completed and is on schedule for final reporting in August 2019.

To-date, all the field data collection at six CIPP steam-cured installation sites has been completed, as well as most of the laboratory analysis. Additional data may yet still be collected within the current project schedule.

The key remaining task is the dispersion modeling task, which will be conducted to estimate compound concentrations at a large number of locations for a wide variety of meteorological conditions. This work is being led by the project investigator Dr. Elizabeth Matthews, assistant professor of civil engineering, with support from co-investigators, TTC Associate Director for Research Dr. Shaurav Alam, and TTC Director Dr. John Matthews, with support from several other TTC researchers and students, and research chemists from ERDC.

The second project is a highly competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Collaborative Research Center (I/UCRC) Planning grant that was recently awarded to researchers at TTC and its partners at LSU. The I/UCRC program is a unique offering from NSF that focuses on pre-competitive research, while also engaging directly with industry to ensure that research will have practical impacts down the road.

The LA Tech/LSU center will be known as the Center for Innovations in Structural Integrity Assurance (CISIA) and will focus on a variety of structural, integrity-related issues including sensing, inspection, testing, analysis and prediction, which are strengths of both center sites for different industries.

TTC is looking for potential industry partners to join this new NSF center and would like to welcome all that are interested to join us on August 14–15, in Baton Rouge, La, for the first CISIA planning workshop. Please contact grant PI, Dr. John Matthews, at matthews@latech.edu for more information about the center and planning workshop.

TTC and its Industry Advisory Board (IAB) have been pleased with the direction of the research. For more information on current research or if you would like to initiate research with the TTC, please contact TTC Associate Director of Research Dr. Shaurav Alam at shaurav@latech.edu or TTC Director Dr. John Matthews at matthews@latech.edu.

Industry Advisory Board

One of the key strengths of the TTC is its very active Industry Advisory Board (IAB). This is a unique feature for an academic research center that both helps to keep the staff focused on industry issues, while also providing workforce opportunities for the many undergraduate and graduate students associated with the center. Several TTC students have found career opportunities with IAB member companies, following graduation this past year as the needs of the trenchless industry have continued to grow.

TTC also relies heavily on guidance and support from the IAB, which are key to the successful operation of its mission. This year the TTC increased its overall IAB membership to a record number of 51 representatives. Member organizations are listed below, by category. For more information on each IAB member, please visit ttc.latech.edu.

Manufacturers & Contractors

Aegion, AOC Aliancys, BASF, BRH-Garver, Interplastic, IPEX, Milliken, Reline America, Sanexen, SIPP Tech, Trinity Products and Waterline Renewal Technologies (WRT).

Municipal & Utility

Albany, Aurora, Bloomington, Boston, Caddo Levee (Shreveport), Citizens Energy (Indianapolis), Columbus, Denver, Hull, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Monroe, New York, Portland, Ruston, San Antonio, Shreveport, Tianjin (China), UTRWD (TX) and Vancouver (WA).


Carollo, Garver, GeoEngineers, Jacobs-CH2M, Kleinfelder, Stantec, and Subtegic.


Benjamin Media, Great Southern Press and Underground Construction.




Joe Barsoom and Dr. Ray Sterling.

TTC Sponsors

Olson Construction Law, PipeMedic, Raven and Thompson Pipe Group

Tom Wynne with the city of New York DEP was elected as IAB Chairman and Ali Mustapha, P.E., executive director for the Caddo Level District in Shreveport, La, continues to serve as vice-chair. The IAB is planning to meet at the upcoming ASCE/UESI Pipelines Conference in Nashville. [NOTE: takes place July 21–24 – right before/after people receive this issue?] If you are interested in learning more about the IAB or joining the board, please contact Dr. John Matthews at matthews@latech.edu.

Educational initiatives

Municipal Forums. The Municipal Forums program consisted of five forums during the 2018–2019 season, with two in the fall of 2018 and three in the spring of 2019. Attendance at the five forums totaled approximately 320 and featured more than 40 presentations from industry leaders. Forum locations included: Albany, NY; Boston, Mass.; Denver, Colo. (Metro WW); Long Beach, Calif., and Vancouver, Wash.

The forums are designed as one-day events, with low participation costs (starting at $70 for municipal participants) and the opportunity to earn continuing education units (CEUs) for attending.

Sponsors and speakers for all the 2018–2019 forums were from the following organizations: Aegion, AOC Aliancys, AP/M Permaform, city of Los Angeles, city of Vancouver, Wash., Garver, GHD, HammerHead Trenchless, Hazen and Sawyer, HOBAS, Interplastic Corporation, IPEX, Jacobs, James W. Fowler, Kleinfelder, LMK Technologies, Metro Wastewater, Milliken Infrastructure, Multi Utilities Ventures, MWRA, Olson Construction Law, Pipe Bursting of New England, QuakeWrap, RedZone Robotics, Reline America, Sanexen Water, Stantec, Subtegic Group, Ted Berry, Vortex and the TTC.

TTC plans to explore new locations, so if you are interested in hosting a forum, having specific topics included, or would like to present at any of the forums, please contact Dr. John Matthews
at matthews@latech.edu.

BAMI-I CTAM Workshop. The Buried Asset Management Institute (BAMI) was established in the Department of Watershed Management (DWM) for the city of Atlanta in 2003 and transitioned to BAMI-International (BAMI-I) in 2004. This nonprofit corporation’s main purpose is to educate and assist those who have an interest in applying best buried asset management practices to extend the life and efficiency of their assets.

BAMI-I launched the Certificate of Training in Asset Management courses (CTAM 100-400) nearly 10 years ago. It consists of four online courses plus a two-level certification program (Associate Water Asset Manager-AWAM and Professional Water Asset Manager-PWAM)). To-date, individuals from 16 countries have enrolled in the CTAM program online.

In August 2015, BAMI-I was requested by the Division of Water Infrastructure (DWI) of North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC-DENR) to conduct a four-day course to teach CTAM 100-400 in Raleigh, N.C. as a workshop. BAMI-I was also requested to conduct a four-day CTAM course by Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) in Columbus, Ohio, in May 2017.

Recently, BAMI-I teamed up with the Underground Construction Technology Association North Texas Chapter to hold the third, four-day CTAM workshop on Nov 5–8, 2018. Covering one course-level per day, the sold-out event was deemed a great success. In total, 47 professionals have passed the more than 20 exams to become AWAM-certified, as Associate Water Asset Managers. The attendees consisted of approximately 50 percent municipal representatives and 50 percent consultants.

For more information about the CTAM courses or to host the four-day workshop, please contact TTC Associate Director for International Operations, Dr. Tom Iseley at dtiseley@latech.edu.

3rd Auger Boring School. TTC and the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) teamed up to offer the third Auger Boring School (ABS) in November 2018. This course is designed to meet the high demand for engineers and contractors needing training in all aspects of auger boring projects–design, application and installation – with special focus on safety.

The five-day, intensive training included classroom lectures and practical sessions, instructed by the foremost auger boring experts in the country. Sponsors of this third ABS included: Barbco, U.S. Shoring & Equipment Co., Baroid Industrial Drilling Products, Brierley Associates, Midwest Mole, Trinity Products, Logan Clay Products, Wicker Construction, IDS GeoRadar and Huxted Tunneling.

Utility Investigation School. The importance of accurately locating and depicting existing underground utilities becomes more obvious each day to ensure successful construction projects. It has been reported that at least 70 percent of projects experience delays and budget overruns due to utility conflicts. The Common Ground Alliance reported in 2015 that there were 340,000 utility strikes and in 2017 this number grew to almost 380,000. The industry is experiencing too much property damage and loss of lives.

TTC has responded to this crisis by partnering once again with ASCE’s Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI) and the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) to offer a five-day Utility Investigation School (UIS). This specialty school was taught by the foremost experts in the geophysics and subsurface utility engineering (SUE) fields for the third time, on Louisiana Tech’s campus, February 25 to March 1 this year.

The course covered geophysics, utility systems construction and configuration, ASCE 38-02, risk-based presentations and professional liability issues. The instructors for this school were Dr. Tom Iseley, Jim Anspach and Ron Peterson. The program included an industry day, where technology providers were able to show and demonstrate their tools.

The TTC team is committed to increasing awareness and expanding knowledge of SUE on a global basis. For further information on the TTC Specialty Schools please go to the website ttcspecialtyschools.com/uis or contact Dr. Tom Iseley at dtiseley@latech.edu.

TTC Expansion

For more than 30 years, TTC has led the way in advancing the science and practice of trenchless technology. Again, rising to the forefront, TTC is constructing the first state-of-the-art, field training facility. To be known as the Barbera Education, Research and Training (BERT) facility, it represents TTC’s commitment to meeting the ever-increasing challenges for the global underground infrastructure.

Through the creation of BERT, TTC has honored the past while driving the future. The facility recognizes the contributions of the Barbera family – Leo and Jim – to the trenchless industry. Going forward, BERT will be available for research, development and training within the entire trenchless technology industry, including TTC specialty schools.

BERT will also be available for international equipment and material manufacturers, as well as technology providers for research, development and technology validation. The facility will be the industry’s resource to provide dedicated programs for:

  • Workforce development
  • Professional development
  • Undergraduate and graduate students
  • Professor and instructor training
  • Union instructor training

This is a major undertaking that will require industry leaders to come together. If the initiative is not supported, industry will still be asking the same question 30 years from now that it has asked for the past 30 years: How can our colleges and universities produce graduates who understand what trenchless technology is all about and the tremendous opportunities that exist in meeting the challenges of our underground infrastructure?

Currently, the TTC Underground Infrastructure Campus (UIC) consists of the world-class National Trenchless Technology Research Facility (NTTRF), sponsored by industry through the leadership of Dr. Ray Sterling, an LA Tech Professor Emeritus, during his tenure as TTC Director. In addition, TTC also has a facility used for long-term and specialized testing programs, as well as specialized labs across the university’s campus.

BERT will be the next facility, but that is not the end of the story. The vision for UIC after BERT will be to expand NTTRF to at least double the size and construct a world-leading lecture hall with meeting rooms and offices totally dedicated to the trenchless industry.

TTC is issuing a call to action for the industry to join us in accomplishing the vision that will make our industry prepared to meet future challenges. One option is becoming a sponsor, with the following sponsorship levels available:

  • Diamond – $100,000 and above
  • Platinum – $50,000 to $99,999
  • Gold – $25,000 to $49,999
  • Silver – $5,000 to $24,999
  • Sponsor – $500 to $4,999

Please contact Dr. Tom Iseley at dtiseley@latech.edu for more information.




Related Articles

From Archive


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}