Menno Henneveld’s early career was closely involved with the water industry, infrastructure, and, after some experience with horizontal thrust boring in the 1970s, he soon became seriously interested in Trenchless Technology as a result of his position as Manager of Major Projects with the then Water Authority of Western Australia.
Mr Henneveld said it was those early projects that applied Trenchless Technology that ignited the spark for his future career path.
Entrenched in the 80s
The state of the early trenchless industry was unique and far removed from the diverse and sheer size it is today as Mr Hennevled explained.
“There was no “÷industry’ in Australia as such in 1987, although various forms of the technology and other varying applications were being developed in isolation across a number of areas in Australasia,” said Mr Henneveld.
As the benefits of the new technologies became more widely known, their use increased across Australasia, and in October 1989, a technical sub-committee of the Water Resources Council conducted a two-day seminar on Trenchless Technology in Perth, Western Australia.
Despite a national air strike at the time, the seminar attracted more than 160 delegates from across Australia.
At a panel discussion with delegates at the conclusion of the seminar, it was agreed that an Australasian trenchless Society should be born.
It was in the late 1980s when a challenging deep sewer project in Perth, Western Australia, led to a meeting of international minds.
Mr Henneveld remembers that “It was during this period that I met Dr Kurose of Iseki and Dr Toyama, Chairman of the Japan Society for Trenchless Technology (JSTT), who came to Perth to advise us on the best way forward in selecting the appropriate methodology.
The final application of the Super-Mini Microtunnelling machine by Okumura proved very successful.
“As a consequence I attended the International No-Dig in Osaka, Japan in 1990 to present a paper on “÷Super-Mini-Tunnelling in Perth’.”
Mr Henneveld became involved with the ISTT after meeting Ted Flaxman, founder and Chairman of ISTT, in Osaka at his first No-Dig International Conference and Exhibition on Trenchless Technology in 1990, where he also chaired a conference session for ISTT.
Mr Flaxman provided great encouragement to form an Australian Society for Trenchless Technology.
As Chairman of ASTT, Mr Henneveld served on the International Board and in 1993 chaired a Working Group to produce ISTT’s first Strategic Plan in 1994.
In 1998, he was appointed one of two Vice Presidents of ISTT and joined the Executive Sub-committee in October 1999.
Mr Henneveld was elected ISTT Vice Chairman in May 2002 in Copenhagen and took over from Ray Sterling as Chairman in September 2005 in Rotterdam.
He served as ISTT Chairman until September 2007, and remained as Immediate Past President of ISTT and Chairman of ASTT until he left the trenchless industry in 2009.
The times they were a-changin’
For Mr Henneveld, the most significant changes within the field of Trenchless Technology in Australia was the growth and acceptance of the technology as a mainstream civil construction methodology.
This transition was driven by the changes in materials technology and the application of ITC systems and processes.
Early on, the most pressing issues from an industry point of view were identified by the ASTT, Mr Henneveld explains.
“These included the need for uniform standards and guidelines for the use of Trenchless Technology in Australasia; the continued promotion of the technology and education and training, particularly the need for nationally accredited training in the various fields of trenchless technology.
“It would be fair to say that the ASTT achieved significant progress in these areas during the formative years of the Society,” Mr Henneveld said.
Getting it down on paper
Mr Henneveld vividly recalls the early days of conception for Trenchless Australasia magazine.
“The early discussions on whether it was beneficial for the ASTT to enter into an agreement with Great Southern Press for a journal dedicated to Trenchless Technology in Australia and New Zealand are strong memories for me.
“Having Trenchless Australasia magazine was a huge step forward for the industry and the ASTT,” Mr Henneveld said.
“Ten years ago, social media and internet communications were in their infancy and Trenchless Australasia enabled the Society to take a greater advantage of the digital ageÉsomething that is now taken for granted.”
“A wonderful synergy was created for ASTT and Trenchless Australasia when the International Society for Trenchless Technology engaged Great Southern Press to produce the magazine,” he said.