2019 Microtunneling Achievement Award Winners Announced

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 Technology magazine/Benjamin Media.

Course organizers have announced the 2019 winners of this prestigious award. They are: Gerhard Lang, Herrenknecht; Steve Leius, SECA Underground; Rich Palmer, Northeast Remsco; and Brenden Tippets, Michels.

These individuals have had impactful careers that have helped make the microtunneling industry what it is today. Leius, Palmer and Tippets have made their impacts on the contracting side, while Lang has helped bring new and improved equipment to the market.

The award winners will be officially recognized at the 26th annual Microtunneling Short Course, which is being held Feb. 4-7, 2019, at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. The awards presentation will take place at the Banquet Dinner, Feb. 7, at the Boulder Marriott. For more information, or to register, visit http://microtunnelingshortcourse.com.

Gerhard Lang, Herrenknecht

Dr. Gerhard Lang’s background is in civil and mechanical engineering. After working for Herrenknecht as project manager on some traffic tunneling jobs in Europe, he finished his Ph.D. in civil engineering and an MBA in international marketing before he went to work for Amiantit. He returned to Herrenknecht in 2008 as business development manager for the Utility Tunneling division with a focus on the North American market operations.

Steve Leius, SECA Underground

Steve Leius is President of SECA Underground Corp. and is one of the first microtunneling contractors in the United States. Steve began his career working with his father Ivar “Stoney” Leius in the 1980s, making him one of the most experienced microtunneling contractors in the United States. Currently based in the Baltimore area, his firm has been involved in a number of pioneering microtunneling projects.

Rich Palmer, Northeast Remsco

Rich Palmer is the Trenchless Division Manager for Northeast Remsco Construction. He has 35 years of construction experience and is a licensed Professional Engineer. He earned a Civil Engineering degree from Lehigh University and an MBA from Rider College. Palmer is an executive board member of NAMA, was a principal author of the ASCE Guided Boring Manual of Practice, and helped author the microtunneling and pilot tube guidelines for AREMA. He is also a member of The Moles.

Brenden Tippets, Michels

Tippets has more than 20 years of experience in wide-ranging aspects of heavy civil construction, including significant experience in microtunneling, tunneling and pipejacking. His specific areas of expertise include design-build trenchless projects, extensive contaminated ground water remediation, and construction in deep and difficult soil conditions in dense urban settings. He has been involved with NAMA, NASTT and AREMA, and worked on ASCE Standard Design and Construction Guidelines for Microtunneling (ASCE/CI 36-15) Committee and the AREMA microtunneling guidelines. He joined Michels in 2016.


Microtunneling Achievement Award Winners

  • 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)
  • Lee Abramson, Kleinfelder (2018)
  • Steve Caneen, Huxted Tunneling (2018)
  • Ingo Justen, Tunnel Service Group (2018)
  • Mike Ellis, TEC (Trenchless Equipment Co.) (2018)
  • Gerhard Lang, Herrenknecht (2019)
  • Steve Leius, SECA Underground (2019)
  • Rich Palmer, Northeast Remsco (2019)
  • Brenden Tippets, Michels (2019)

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