The ASTT welcomed the ISTT to the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre for the trenchless event of the year, No-Dig Down Under 2013.
The event officially began with an Oktoberfest-styled Exhibition Opening, sponsored by HOBAS, where delegates enjoyed the chance to network in a “÷beer and bratwurst’ themed evening. Featuring more than 140 booths from 124 exhibitors, the exhibition hall was a constant stream of activity where delegates could view the latest in Trenchless Technology.
The Conference began with an opening performance and “÷welcome to country’ by Indigenous Representative Matthew Doyle, which was followed by a welcome message from Gold Sponsor Pezzimenti Tunnelbore’s Jim Shooter. Mr Shooter gave an inspiring look at how the industry has changed since Pezzimenti Tunnelbore began in the Australasian market, and the passion it inspires to those in the industry, stating trenchless “÷gets into your blood’.
The Keynote presentation was delivered by newly-initiated ISTT Chairman Derek Choi. Mr Choi was initiated into the role at the ISTT’s annual board meeting, held Sunday 1 September 2013 in Sydney.
In his Keynote presentation, Mr Choi looked at how the far the ISTT has come since its inception in 1986, as an organisation with only three board members, to its current position having 28 Affiliated Societies, ten Executive Subcommittee Members, a Vice Chairman, and a Chairman. Mr Choi talked about some of the ISTT’s recent initiatives extending Trenchless Technology in regions where the market is under-developed, which has included masterclasses in Thailand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and India.
As the new ISTT Chairman, Mr Choi outlined what the ISTT’s focus would be under his Chairmanship, which he described as having three key focuses: 1) Continuing the expansion of the trenchless industry in developing markets 2) Bringing trenchless education to younger generations when they are starting their careers, and 3) Engaging the industry in news ways, including embracing social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
The Conference’s technical sessions were comprised of 60 individual sessions held over three days, covering 18 different topics and with speakers representing 15 different countries. These were well attended and provided an opportunity for delegates to hear and learn from trenchless experts from all over the world.
On Monday night, delegates gathered for a boat cruise on the iconic Sydney Harbour, sponsored by Vermeer. Under the stunning backdrop of the world famous Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, delegates took the opportunity to mingle and network.
Tuesday featured a well-attended Trenchless Think Tank, where a panel of trenchless experts discussed and debated pertinent issues for the trenchless community. The Think Tank initiative was started at the ISTT’s 2012 Sao Paulo conference as a means for experts within particular regions of the globe to share knowledge on current issues. The session will act as a catalyst for experts within that region to take back ideas and strategies back to their Society to overcome challenges. Trenchless Australasia December will cover the highlights of the session and the impacts it will have for the Australasian market.
Tuesday evening, delegates gathered for the Gala Dinner, sponsored by HOBAS, Interflow, Kembla and Vermeer, where the ASTT and ISTT Awards were announced. Delegates enjoyed a sumptuous three course meal and were treated to entertainment by world-renowned corporate entertainer and speed painter Brad Blaze.
After a Keynote breakfast session, where ASTT Award winners presented on their winning projects, and technical sessions, the Conference drew to a close on Wednesday with a closing ceremony. Here the winners of the Best Booth Award and ISTT poster competition were announced, and delegates were treated to a “÷taste of Spain’ as the ASTT handed over to the Iberian Society for Trenchless Technology, who will host the 2014 No-Dig event in Madrid.
Generously supported by Event Partners HOBAS, Interflow, Kembla Watertech and Vermeer, the event was a huge success for all involved. With more than 1,000 delegates in attendance, No-Dig Down Under was a spectacular success and confirmed the strength of the trenchless industry, both in Australasia and internationally.