I attended the 23rd International Conference and Exhibition of the ISTT, or the NO-DIG Rotterdam from the 19th to the 21st September, 2005. It was an honour for me to be elected as Chairman of the International Society for Trenchless Technology, and to conduct my first International Board meeting in Holland, the country where I was born.
The direction that the Society will be taking is based on the very firm foundation left by my predecessor, Professor Ray Sterling, who through his relentless travel regime helped bring the International family of Societies closer together. He also helped the Societies focus on the matter of membership value, something which is critical for the future success of the ISTT. This is also an important matter for the ASTT, and I am confident this will be earnestly discussed by our members.
The statistics for the NO-DIG Rotterdam shows there were 58 exhibitors, 1,300 registered exhibition visitors, 178 international delegates from 24 countries and some 50 peer reviewed papers. The papers were of a very high standard.
It was particularly pleasing to preside over the No-Dig Award presentation, where amongst the winners for Best Project, Best Academic Contribution and Best Student Paper was the ISTT International Award for Best Product in 2005, which was won by John Hassen of ShieldLiner Limited, Australia for the ShieldLiner System. There is a more detailed article in this journal on the Shieldliner System, and it clearly shows the level of innovation and practical application that seems so prevalent in Australia.
Preparations for the 24th International NO-DIG, to be held in Brisbane from October 29 to November 2 2006, are now well underway. The “÷Call for Papers’ has now been issued with a deadline of January 30 2006. Submissions can be made online, and I would encourage you to visit http://www.nodig06.im.com.au/ and go to “÷Abstracts Submission’ on the contact website. Registration documents will be issued in November. The site also gives an excellent outline of what you can expect from the conference.
The Event is already attracting a lot of interest, and it was clear to me at the NO-DIG Rotterdam that there was enormous enthusiasm from delegates to travel Down Under to attend the second NO-DIG to be held in Australia. There will be a focus on the Eastern Asia/Pacific Rim regions with their expanding economies and rapidly growing urban populations. A large contingent of Japanese Trenchless Technologists have already committed to the Event, and there has been a growing body of interest from the various Chinese Trenchless Societies and groups. There is no doubt that the NO-DIG Brisbane 2006 will be the place to be for business, technical updates and networking!