John Monro entered the trenchless industry after working for several years working in marketing in the pipeline industry, before commencing with Rib Loc in 1994.
It was an exciting time for Mr Monro, working to gain acceptance for a new type of pipe liner installed by trenchless methods in an industry that was in itself still new.
Initially working with Rib Loc, promoting their liners in Australia and various places overseas, Mr Monro then moved to Interflow, working to gain acceptance initially of Rib Loc liners, then later an expanding range of products and services.
Describing his time as an Australian Society of Trenchless Technology (ASTT) Councillor, Mr Monro said the fact that Trenchless Technology was something comparatively new and exotic in the pipeline industry meant people would be curious to find out what it was about.
“The ASTT and the ISTT needed to promote the fact that there was an industry developing that addressed the installation, maintenance and rehabilitation of underground pipelines without the need for excavation,” said Mr Monro.
The slogan was “÷Why dig? There may be a better way’.
“Back in the early days the ASTT was basically only a forum where industry practitioners could get together to discuss matters of mutual interest,” said Mr Monro.
While Mr Monro believes the industry is still developing, with innovations constantly becoming available, it is an industry with a culture of innovation with these tending to be accepted more readily than in other areas of civil engineering.
Meanwhile, Australia has been at the forefront of many of these developments, with the co-operation between local technology developers and clients resulting in world-leading innovations.
Commenting on Trenchless Australasia’s impact on the industry, Mr Monro said the publication has been a vehicle to allow the Australian trenchless technology industry to extend its influence around Australia and throughout the world.
“As well as being a forum, the ASTT could provide independent services to members and lobbying to the wider engineering community,” said Mr Monro.
Meanwhile, as the Trenchless Technology industry has matured and become more accepted over the last ten years, major advances have resulted in it also becoming more cost effective.
Additionally, Rib Loc being awarded two ISTT No-Dig awards for new lining systems, and more recently Interflow winning another two No-Dig Awards for particularly impressive pipeline renewal projects, have been stand-outs in Mr Monro’s trenchless career.
Mr Monro continues to work full time with Interflow, providing support to the business development, marketing and operations departments, where there’s never a dull moment.
As for the future, he sees plenty more exciting developments, while as long as clients continue to provide the same level of willingness to evaluate and accept innovations, Australian technology developers will continue to come up with world-leading solutions.