From the magazine

Andy Krumins: Queensland Councillor 1994-2014 and Vice Chairman

Mr Krumins was initiated into the wide world of trenchless in Brisbane in the 1960s, working as a “÷gopher’ for two senior engineers.

His talent for innovative thinking quickly became apparent to those he was working with and he began managing large bleeding edge sewer renovations.

He worked for Brisbane City Council since 1965, moving to Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) when the utility was established to manage the water of South East Queensland.

He has worked in all facets of the water industry, from design, construction and operations to management and planning.

Back in 1994, when the ASTT was established, Mr Krumins notes the industry was still finding its feet and was being led by a few key regions and people.

“The trenchless industry in Australia when I joined the ASTT was mainly water authorities lead by innovations from Western Australia, Sydney, Brisbane, and, Melbourne.

Elsewhere the industry basically sat on its hands and waited for contractors capable of the whole project.

“In Brisbane we worked hand-in-hand with people like Monier and Danby to carry out sewer relinings not done elsewhere, and developed contractors.

A noticeable change Mr Krumins saw during his time as councillor was international technologies hitting Australian shores.

Mr Krumins said “It was good to see Australian companies visit overseas industrial fairs, such as IFAT, and bring processes to Australia that eventually changed the focus from water industries to contract operators, such as those of Kembla and Interflow.

“Today water authorities are losing their engineering capabilities and rely solely on good Australian firms to provide their no-dig solutions.

This is the current state of the industry, where nearly any relining process, drilling or other installation project are often available with overseas inputs.

“This is how it needs to be in Australia; a country that is large with a small population, suffering from an infrastructure deterioration, compliments of British designs adopted in the past, that were not suitable for our country’s landscape.”

Mr Krumins said in the last year he has seen an overwhelming acceptance of trenchless technologies as the means of delivery for infrastructure projects in Queensland, and is thrilled the ASTT Project of the Year went to his home State in 2013 for an installation project in Gladstone where latest developments in technology from overseas and West Australia delivered a truly stunning pipeline project.

“Now we have world class technologies and contractors available in Australia to deliver leading edge capability in trenchless,” says Mr Krummins.

“However, we need one more aspect to complete the scene – the engineers.

These are the people who design and specify the projects and certify the methodologies proposed, yet in Queensland, universities do not teach trenchless.

“With this in mind, I have met with a university professor and provided material that will be included in a revised curriculum for their engineering students.

I think this is a start, to upskill our future specifiers and provide whole of project capability in Australia.”

It’s Mr Krumins’ belief that the Australian industry of providing cost-effective and acceptable infrastructure project delivery cannot be sent offshore.

Investment in training, technology and awareness is one area that needs the total profile lifted in Australia.

Stepping down as Councillor in 2014

Speaking on retiring from his roles as Queensland Councillor in April 2014, Mr Krumins said “After all these years I was happy to step down as Queensland Councillor and welcome, after a hotly contested election, Ben Crosby as the new Councillor.

“Ben has shared with me his strong strategic thinking on how he can progress the growth and acceptance of the ASTT in Queensland and I feel that my endeavours in fields of RPEQ in Queensland and engineering course inclusions are in good hands.

I will remain a keen ASTT member and watch with interest this progress.

To all those great people here and overseas that I had the pleasure to work with over 47 years I want to say THANK YOU! We achieved great outcomes and the personal satisfaction that has left me with many cherished memories.

I wish the ASTT well for the future in meeting our members, clients and national needs.”

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