Microtunneling Professionals Gather in Colorado

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The 19th annual Microtunneling Short Course attracted more than 120 professionals from eight different countries to the Colorado School of Mines’ campus in Golden Feb. 8-10 to discuss the state-of-the-art in this specialized field. A one-day Pilot Tube Microtunneling session was held in conjunction with the Short Course on Feb. 7.

Since its inception, more than 2,400 professionals have attended the course. The gathering included many of the leading contractors from across the United States, as well as engineers and owners, in an informative and conversational setting. Presentations cover all aspects of microtunneling from planning and ground investigation to shaft construction and slurry handling. Presentations are given by nationally and internationally recognized experts in the field.

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Some of the major themes that emerged were geotechnical baseline reports for microtunneling projects, the use of compressed air interventions for machine maintenance and repair, and contract specifications.

The annual banquet dinner, held Feb. 9 at the Golden Hotel, featured the presentation of the Microtunneling Achievement Awards to Gary Huber, Permalok, and Rick Turkopp, Hobas Pipe. Both individuals, and their respective companies, have played key roles in expanding the use of microtunneling in North America through education and the development of products engineered specifically for microtunneling.

Steve Leuis of Seca Underground, one of the microtunneling pioneers in the United States, delivered the keynote presentation at the banquet. Leuis discussed the issue of a competitive bid environment in which pricing is going down, while the cost of business has continued to increase. Using the example of the HDD industry, he discussed the need to submit bids that reflect the true cost of performing the work.

The Microtunneling Short Course is organized by course directors Tim Coss, Microtunneling Inc., and Levent Ozdemir, Ozdemir Inc. and a professor emeritus at the School of Mines, in conjunction with the School of Mines’ Office of Special Programs and Continuing Education and Trenchless Technology magazine.

The format of the Short Course allows networking and interaction among course participants that is unique in the industry. The course is held annually in Golden in February. Details of the 2013 Microtunneling Short Course will be available at www.microtunneling.com.

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