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Microtunneling Short Course Celebrates 30 Years

Microtunneling Short Course class of 2022

More than 160 people attended the 2022 course at Scottsdale Stadium in Arizona.

The Microtunneling Short Course celebrates its 30th anniversary when it returns to Scottsdale, Arizona, April 11-13. Since its inception in 1993, the Microtunneling Short Course has attracted more than 4,000 participants from six continents, representing over 40 countries.

The course was founded by Tim Coss of Microtunneling Inc., with Levent Ozdemir of Ozdemir & Associates and former professor at the Colorado School of Mines, and Bernie Krzys, founder and publisher of Trenchless Technology magazine.

Microtunneling Short Course classroom

The Microtunneling Short Course combines classroom education with valuable networking opportunities.

Last year, more than 160 participants, including contractors, engineers, owners, suppliers and others, attended the course, held at Scottsdale Stadium, the Spring Training home of the San Francisco Giants. The course was launched at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden before moving the University of Colorado in Boulder in 2016. Following a year off in 2021 due to the pandemic, the course moved to its location in Scottsdale in 2022.

Since its formation, the Microtunneling Short Course has been the premier educational venue for the microtunneling market. The educational program covers all aspects of microtunneling from basic concepts to advanced techniques and the latest developments, making it ideal for beginners and experts alike. The size of the event allows for networking, interactive discussion and Q&A following the presentations, something that can be lacking at large conferences. Other activities associated with the annual Microtunneling Short Course are a Networking Reception and the annual Banquet Dinner. The Banquet Dinner includes the presentation of the Microtunneling Achievement Awards, honoring individuals who have dedicated their careers in advancing the industry.

course founders

Course founders (l-r) Levent Ozdemir, Tim Coss and Bernie Krzys.

“It’s amazing to see the longevity and continued growth of the Microtunneling Short Course,” said Coss. “When we started the course in 1993, there was no other way of sharing information and learning about what was then an emerging field. Since then, we have seen tremendous advancements in the field of microtunneling that no one would have thought possible 25 years ago.”

One unique aspect about the course is that is beneficial to those brand new to microtunneling to seasoned professionals. This is due to the collaborative and interactive nature in which Q&A is encouraged with discussion spilling over into breaks and meals.

“I owe the success of the course in large part to our sponsors and the seemingly never-ending stream of students,” said Coss. “In recent years, our student pool has even taken on a family feel as the long-time participants have brought their sons to learn the business and grow the next generation.”
In conjunction with the Microtunneling Short Course, the North American Microtunneling Association (NAMA) hosts its annual meeting in which the leading contractors discuss how they can better the industry.

Microtunneling Achievement Award Winners

The annual Microtunneling Achievement Award winners were established to recognized individuals who have made a lasting impact on the microtunneling market in the United States are worldwide. Below are the recipients of the awards.

  • 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)
  • Don Bergman, Frank Coluccio Construction (2020)
  • Ed Chwist, Bradshaw Construction (retired) (2020)
  • Frank Lorenzen, Nada Pacific (2020)
  • Barry Sorteberg, Clean Slurry Technology (2020)
  • Michael Ward, Ward and Burke (2020)
  • Maynard Akkerman, Akkerman (2022)
  • Mike Garver, BRH Garver (2022)
  • Don Gonzalez, Northwest Boring (2022)
  • Gilbert Kimpel, mts (2022)
  • Dawn Lowers Davis, Lowers Welding (2022)

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