Aussie and US partner for training

The Australasian Society for Trenchless Technology and North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) have teamed up to bring world-class training to Australia this September, in horizontal directional drilling (HDD), cured-in-pace pipe (CIPP) and new installations .

Trenchless Australasia speaks with the international course leaders on what attendees will learn and take away from the in-depth training courses.

Dr Sam Ariaratnam, co-HDD course leader

Mr Ariaratnam said the training focuses on giving an overview of the good and prudent practices that should be follwed when engaging in an HDD project.

“If these practices are adhered to, the chances of project success will increase significantly,” he explained.

“Each stakeholder is going to get something different from the course. Engineers will get a better understanding of the design aspects of HDD and how to feasibly design a project. Contractors are going to get a better understanding of what should be done on the job site from preliminary investigation to drilling. Project owners, meanwhile, are going to get an understanding of how HDD can be a truly significant construction method whether it is a municipal, communications, or energy project.”

While the course basics will be derived from the North American parent version of the course, some aspects of the Australian market will also be incoporated, said Dr Ariaratnam, who acknowledged the rich history of the technique down under thanks to individuals such as Andy Lukas.

“HDD in Australia has been around for a long time and there have been HDD pioneers such as Andy Lukas, who really helped the industry take off in Australia and further abroad to places like Hong Kong,” continued Dr Ariaratnam.

“Andy really helped clear the path for other contractors and stakeholders in Australia and New Zealand to come and engage in the HDD industry.”

Kim Staheli, co-New Installations course leader

Ms Staheli has been teaching the New Installations Good Practice Methods course for the NASTT for a number of years. Bringing the course to Australia for the first time, she is looking to specially tailor the course’s contents to the Australian audience.

“For the No-Dig Down Under show, I hope to focus on the recent advances in the trenchless industry, particularly in the deployment of “÷hybrid methods’ where two technologies such as pilot tube and horizontal directional drilling (HDD) are being combined on an installation project,” she told Trenchless Australasia.

“When used together, these techniques can accurately and inexpensively install tight-grade gravity sewers for inner city applications.”

Ms Staheli will also focus on construction challenges and how they are overcome in the field, and will aim to maintain a high level of interactivity throughout the course.

“I hope that the course can be very interactive so that I can also learn from the Australian audience and take lessons back to the United States,” she said.

Australia’s reputation for innovation in the trenchless industry was well-known internationally, said Ms Staheli, especially the willingness to try new things.

“I know that Aussie contractors are creative and are able to find a myriad of solutions for field challenges,” she continued.

“This thrills me, as I started my career working for a trenchless contractor – watching and eventually troubleshooting a wide variety of problems – and migrated to the consultant, engineering and design side of the industry

Chris Macey, co-CIPP course leader

Mr Macey said he expects attendees to “get a clear understanding of how to make CIPP a success every time”, including knowledge of CIPP’s strengths, its limitations, and how to develop quality assurance programs.

“It’s also about confirming that what you design actually gets built in the construction phase,” he added.

When asked how the course’s content would differ from its North American version, Mr Macey said the Australian variant would seek to expand the topic of quality assurance to a global level. Despite having a strong focus on North America, Mr Macey said both himself and the NASTT always strive to stay on top of global trends in the CIPP sector.

“We will try and point out the things that are done well in the North American market and how that could benefit markets around the world – as well as things that we see in the global market that we wish we did better in North America. I think it will be an excellent session!” he said.

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