In an effort to recognize the individuals and companies that have worked toward successfully completing complicated projects and advancing the microtunneling industry, the Microtunneling Achievement Awards were created in 2002. The awards were established by Microtunneling Short Course organizers Tim Coss, Microtunneling Inc., Levent Ozdemir, Ozdemir Engineering, and Trenchless Technoloy magazine/Benjamin Media.
Course organizers have announced the 2017 winners of this prestigious award. They are: Lester Bradshaw, Bradshaw Construction; Paul Nicholas, AECOM; Andreas Thiele, mts Perforator; and Paul Vadnais, Vadnais Trenchless.
All four of these individuals have careers that date back to the neophyte stage of microtunneling, helping build the market from the ground up. Bradshaw and Vadnais have been involved on the contracting side of the business, while Thiele and Nicholas have primarily been involved on the equipment manufacture/supply side.
The award winners will be officially recognized at the 24th annual Microtunneling Short Course, which is being held Feb. 6-9, 2017, at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo. The awards presentation will take place at the Banquet Dinner, Feb. 9, at the historic Boulderado Hotel in downtown Boulder. For more information or to register, visit http://microtunnelingshortcourse.com.
Lester Bradshaw, Bradshaw Construction
Lester M. Bradshaw Jr., a third-generation contractor, is a seasoned professional with 48 years of experience in the underground construction industry. He began his career with the family firm, Eastern Tunneling Corp., while at the same time earning both a bachelor and master degree of civil engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Harvard. In 1982 he co-founded Bradshaw Construction and became its President in 1991. Over the past 35 years, Bradshaw Construction has successfully built over 600 tunnel projects. A few of its most notable achievements include pioneering compressed air ground stabilization for the NATM tunnel method, building the first microtunnel in the mid-Atlantic in 1991, and successfully microtunneling granitic rock in 2004.
Bradshaw is a member of ASCE and The Moles as well as a board member of the North American Microtunneling Association, UCA of SME Executive Committee, and the National Family Resiliency Center. He is a principal author of the 2015 ASCE Standard Design and Construction Guidelines for Microtunneling and a reviewer of the ASCE Standards for the Pilot Tube and Other Guided Boring Methods. Bradshaw has authored and presented numerous papers on microtunneling at the Microtunnel Short Courses and the NASTT and RETC/NAT Tunneling conferences.
Paul Nicholas, AECOM
Paul Nicholas has a background in geotechnical and extensive engineering, and has spent the last 37 years in the oil and heavy infrastructure and the tunneling industries. Nicholas specializes in TBM engineering where he has been entrenched in design, manufacturing, and/or commissioning. He also operates as both a consultant and contractor giving him an understanding of all the elements it takes to effectively construct and operate tunnel boring machines and tunnel projects.
He has extensive experience in various types of ground of tunneling works with EPB, slurry and rock TBMs supplied to road, hydro, utility and metro projects. Nicholas recently was project Manager/Director on several metro tunnels in India. Nicholas is an internationally recognized specialist in microtunneling, pipe jacking and trenchless technology.
Andreas Thiele, mts Perforator
Born in Germany, Thiele studied electrical engineering and got his professional experience working for Götsche & Schwarzelmüller GmbH, a producer of water treatment plants. While working there, Thiele got the opportunity to work in European countries. After working there for seven years, he passed the state test to become a certified electrical engineer and went to work for Horst Schluckwerder OHG, a manufacturer of confectionery, marzipan and sweets, as an technical supervisor maintenance.
In 1997, Thiele was introduced to the microtunneling company Ingenieur-Tiefbaugesellschaft Dr. Ing G. Soltau GmbH. His duties included the service for the systems, training of customers and further development of the systems. This task took Thiele all over the world, including his first trip to the United States. During this time Thiele made many contacts worldwide – many of which are still contacts today. In 2000, Thiele joined LOVAT mts and worked there until 2004. Since 2004, he has been with mts Perforator GmbH. Thiele’s field of work has expanded considerably in recent years. After many international assignments, his focus now is on North America, where he has been able to renew many contacts from his stint at Soltau.
Paul Vadnais, Vadnais Trenchless
Paul J. Vadnais has spent over 40 years in the underground construction industry, most with Vadnais Corp. and its affiliated companies (V2 Trenching LLC in Oman and Vadnais Microtunneling Middle East). From 2014 to the present he has been the President of Vadnais Trenchless Services Inc. (VTS) and manages Pipe Jacking Trenchless Inc. (PJT), both are wholly owned operating units of Primoris Services Corp. (PRIM). He has had seats on numerous boards over the years including the AGC, ECA and NAMA.
Vadnais has managed and supervised projects including water sewer and storm drain pipelines, box culverts, pump stations and hundreds of miles rock trenching for oil and gas pipelines in the Middle East. In 1993, Vadnais entered the microtunneling industry and established the company as a leader in the field, completing some of the most difficult microtunneling installations, including multiple river crossings, caisson shafts and congested urban environments. Today, Vadnais manages VTS and PJT, which are operating on a national geographic footprint with projects in Florida, Colorado, Texas and the West Coast. To date, the company has installed over 230,000 lf of microtunneling and will begin construction this spring on an $88 million microtunneling project for the City of Los Angeles.
Microtunneling Achievement Award Winners
Past winners of the Microtunneling Achievement Award:
- Northwest Boring (2002)
- Franco Coluccio, Frank Coluccio Construction Co. (2004)
- Glenn Boyce, Jacobs Associates (2006)
- James Kwong, Yogi Kwong Engineers (2007, 2013)
- Stefan Trumpi-Althaus, Jack Control Inc. (2008)
- Matt Roberts, Kiewit (2009)
- Dennis Molvik, Northwest Boring (2011)
- Gary Huber, Permalok (2012)
- Rick Turkopp, Hobas (2012)
- James W. Fowler Co. (2014)
- Rene Inosanto, Frank Coluccio Construction Co. (2015)
- Greg Raines, MWH (2015)
- John Grennan, Ward and Burke (2015)
- Julian O’Connell, Herrenknecht (2016)
- Dan Schitea, Vadnais Trenchless Services (2016)
- Troy Stokes, Akkerman Inc. (2016)
- Grahame Turnbull, Consultant (2016)
- Lester Bradshaw, Bradshaw Construction (2017)
- Paul Nicholas, AECOM (2017)
- Andreas Thiele, mts PERFORATOR (2017)
- Paul Vadnais, Vadnais Trenchless (2017)