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UKSTT’s 1st National Trenchless Conference

UKSTT’s 1st National Trenchless ConferenceUKSTT

The inaugural National Trenchless Conference took place in Coventry at the Manufacturing Technology Centre on 11 June 2024 and took into consideration five important themes that have emerged from previous UKSTT events and discussions within the Society. The intention was to explore these themes and look at how to address them in future. Each theme was fully discussed in a concentrated 1-hour session, each session being led by a UKSTT Council member who set the scene and was supported by a couple of speakers on relevant aspects of the topic to stimulate thought.

The first theme was chaired by Dawn Greig, Immediate Past Chair for UKSTT and Senior Director for Picote Solutions. The theme was ‘Trenchless – demonstrating the benefits’ and Dawn was joined by Chris Rogers, Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Birmingham.

The second theme, ‘Standards and regulations – help or hinderance?’ was chaired by Richard Swan, UKSTT Working Group Chair for UKSTT CONFERENCEStandards and Regulations and Director of Technical Services at Picote Solutions. Richard was joined by Jo Parker, Chartered Civil Engineer, Director of Watershed Associates and Philip Clisham, Chartered Civil Engineer and Director of PClisham Consulting Ltd.

Theme three ‘Recruitment to trenchless – meeting demand’ was Chaired by Jo Parker. Jo was joined by David Rambridge, Managing Director DRBi Ltd & Chair of NADC Executive Committee & Dr. Dexter Hunt Associate Professor in Sustainable and Underground Construction at Birmingham University.

The fourth theme ‘Increasing awareness of trenchless options’ was chaired by Tim Sargent, UKSTT Working Group Chair and Business Development Director for Morrison Utility Services. Joining Tim was Brent Eastell, Technical Lead within Severn Trent’s Water Design Excellence Team.

Bringing the conference to an end was session Five ‘Future opportunities’. Chaired by Iain Naismith, UKSTT Technical & Education subcommittee Chair and Senior Research Fellow at IKT – Institute for Underground Infrastructure, Iain was joined by Chris Rogers who presented a shared presentation with Kirill Horoshenkov from Sheffield University.

Conference organiser Iain Naismith commented “Thanks to some great organisation and an excellent rapport between session leads and speakers, we produced an event that satisfied delegates and exhibitors, with both groups learning about and addressing together key issues for the sector, and raised the profile of the Society resulting in several new volunteers stepping up to help with  initiatives”.

UKSTT ConferenceThere were plenty of breaks throughout the day which provided a perfect opportunity for some networking whilst also allowing plenty of opportunity for delegates to visit the exhibition area where 10 exhibitors were showcasing their products and innovations. Exhibiting and supporting UKSTT on the day were: Lateral Repairs / Minicam / Mammoth_MTS / Picote Solutions / Resiline / RSM lining Supplies / RSP / Sanivar / Steve Vick International & UIS Ltd.

Regional Trenchless Manager, Scott Weston said “The presentations were exceptionally well-structured and informative, especially the recruitment session. I was very impressed with both speakers and plan to follow up on their insights.

From my perspective, my goal was to introduce my teams to the trenchless industry and inspire them to adopt a “think trenchless first” approach within our operations.

Everyone gained insights from the event, and I would appreciate it if you could convey my gratitude to Iain Naismith and the other presenters for a superb inaugural conference. I sincerely hope it becomes an annual occurrence. The day proved to be educational and brought significant value to my team”.

With attendance from almost 100 delegates across all sectors of the industry the conference was a resounding success.  We are now looking UKSTT CONFERENCEforward to the next one earlier next year.

Brent Eastell, Severn Trent Water summed up the conference perfectly by saying “Great location, Great facilities, nice big screen, Great food, Great people and a good mix with a lot of interesting information in the presentations”.

Associate Director Lynn Maclachlan said “today was a great success for UKSTT whose mission statement is to promote the environmental, technical, and commercial benefits of Trenchless Technology to the community, through explanation, education, training & research. This was a great effort from the UKSTT Council that showed in the success of the day. I would firstly like to thank all of the speakers for such great presentations, the exhibitors for supporting us in our first ever conference and the delegates for attending and participating so much in the sessions. Lastly, I would like to thank the UKSTT Council, especially conference programme organiser Iain Naismith, as well as Tim Sargent, Dawn Greig, Richard Swan and Jo Parker for their input and delivery of their sessions”.

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