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History – UKSTT was formed in 1993 and incorporated the existing UK based members of ISTT.

The International Society, ISTT, was formed in 1986 but since that time has promoted the formation of National Societies in many different countries. The formation of these National Societies helped to give the local members a sense of identity and autonomy to pursue their own ideas.

UKSTT is structured as a company limited by guarantee where its elected Council members act as directors and guarantors.

UKSTT set out its aims and objectives in much the same way as the International Society but with more emphasis on the exchange and networking of information and ideas throughout the UK utility industry.

UKSTT operates as a company and a Society where Council members are elected on a yearly basis. Financial accounts are kept and presented to the membership at an AGM each year.

The Council meet in person 4 times a year to discuss the issues raised through the secretariat and hold regular conference calls to ensure all actions are completed in a timely fashion.

To see how a UKSTT membership could benefit you, click here

30 Year History of UKSTT

UKSTT is Celebrating 30 years of promoting Trenchless Technology!

2023 marks 30 years since the United Kingdom Society of Trenchless Technology (UKSTT) was founded. A huge milestone, I’m sure you will agree.

I’ve served the company for a third of its history and it’s a great honour and privilege, both personally and professionally, to be a part of its future.

As we look forward to a fourth decade and consider the challenges and opportunities the UK faces in the 2020’s, it’s good to look back, taking time to reflect and celebrate the UKSTT’s journey so far.

  • Lynn Maclachlan, Associate Director


The UKSTT journey began with the announcement of its formation during the International NODIG Live show that was held in Birmingham in 1993. However, it was 7 years earlier in 1986 that Ted Flaxman formulated the International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT) and the introduction of the affiliated societies followed a few years later. The UK-formed committee continued to oversee the inclusion of the affiliated societies until the UKSTT was founded.

During the early years, the secretariat service was delivered by UMIST from 1993 – 2001, before briefly passing to The Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) from 2001 to 2004. It was in 2004 that the Society of British Water & Wastewater (SBWWi) took over the running of the Society and continues to do so to this day, under the Future Water Association management. UKSTT will become independent in May this year and we look forward to the challenge ahead.

The UKSTT Council consists of between 5 – 20 charity trustees, who all dedicate their time and expertise to oversee the running of the organisation. It can be demanding, especially as all Board Members, including the Chair, are unpaid volunteers. Without their selfless commitment the society simply could not operate.

Society Chairs

The duration for each appointed Chair is two years. The only exception to this rule was during the COVID pandemic, when Dawn Greig extended her term by another year.  On occasion, we have been honoured with the same Chair taking on another term:

  • 1993 to 1995             Bill Dickens
  • 1995 to 1997             Richard Fraser
  • 1997 to 1999             Martin Kane
  • 1999 to 2001             Dec Downey
  • 2001 to 2003             Norman Howell
  • 2003 to 2005             Jon Boon
  • 2005 to 2007             Russell Fairhurst
  • 2007 to 2009             Steve Kent
  • 2009 to 2011 Colin Tickle
  • 2011 to 2013                    Russell Fairhurst
  • 2013 to 2015               Ian Ramsay
  • 2015 to 2017               Ian Vickridge
  • 2017 to 2019             Matthew Izzard
  • 2019 to 2022             Dawn Greig
  • 2022 Current Chair Ian Ramsay


We have achieved this milestone through the hard work and dedication of all of the Trustees, past and present, who have contributed significantly towards the organisation we have today. The continuation of the Society is also largely thanks to its 150 members, who have supported the UKSTT since its inauguration and who continue to support on a daily basis.


Today, our mission remains the same, to advance the science and practice of trenchless technology for the public benefit and to promote education, training, study and research in the practice and to publish the results. Our tagline is “Think Trenchless First” which is what we would like all companies to do before deciding to dig.

Over the years, we have continued to support our members by providing technical advice through our team of experts and by helping to keep the supply chain connected. Our efforts supporting the Young Professionals in the industry, through our annual awards ceremony and subsequent £2000 bursary that we award to the winner, is something we are incredibly proud of. The bursary is used to fund travel and accommodation to any part of the world, to allow the winner to undertake further research into their chosen area of Trenchless Technology.

Ian Ramsay, current Chair of the UKSTT reflected, “Education has been an integral part of the Society, the development of Masterclasses, giving a detailed understanding of a trenchless technique or procedure by experts, has really supported this educational programme. Roadshows, taking education, local case studies and latest innovations around the country, are often held at the Water Authority or asset owner, which has opened the discussion up further. These are continuing to be well supported by members and are a vital part of our calendar of events.”

Like everyone, we have had high highs and lows over the years, but we would like to think that we have learned from every experience we have had and have grown into a mature business that has much to look forward to as we step into our fourth decade.

There is no doubt that we managed to grow primarily because of our hard-working Council and dedicated members. There have been many challenges along the way, but we could not have made it this far without the support and trust of our staff, Council, Members and Associates who have shared our passion to take on big challenges and achieve lasting results.

Dawn Greig, Immediate Past Chair of UKSTT said, “Lynn Maclachlan, Associate Director, oversees all aspects of the day to day running of the Society, along with Linda Lamb, who is our Membership Engagement Manager. With Lynn at the helm, the UKSTT has gone from strength to strength and we are incredibly lucky to have her. Having a constant, despite the ever-changing nature of the Council, has really helped us achieve more.”

Last, but by no means least, as an organisation that has run for 30 years, we understand the importance of establishing a collaborative partnership that adds significant value to the UKSTT. Thank you to Westrade Group for their dedication, professional expertise and skills in helping us achieve our objectives around the world.

Looking Forward

The urgency of addressing climate change and biodiversity loss is very real and is being further undermined by challenges of energy security and inflation.

UKSTT will remain at the centre of the action, remaining focused on promoting the benefits of trenchless technologies, not only for the environment or local eco systems but for everyone involved, from the workforce to the general public. We will accomplish this through sustainable impact, effective collaboration,  lasting partnerships and knowledge transference. Our main focus has always been to support and engage our membership. Please contact us with any ideas or thoughts you may have about the Society, we look forward to hearing from you. Here’s to the next 30 years!


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