UKSTT awards go from strength to strength

May 3, 2007
On Friday 27 April, 2007, the United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology (UKSTT) once again celebrated the best in No-Dig activity from across the UK, with its Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner. With over 270 guests, almost 25% more than the previous year, the ceremony attracted some 40 entries across all the Awards categories, again a significant increase of some 33% over 2006. The Awards categories included...

LONDON, May 3, 2007 -- On Friday 27 April, 2007, the United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology (UKSTT) once again celebrated the best in No-Dig activity from across the UK, with its Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner.

With over 270 guests, almost 25% more than the previous year, the ceremony attracted some 40 entries across all the Awards categories, again a significant increase of some 33% over 2006. The Awards categories included Innovation, New Installation (Large Project over £250k), New Installation (Small Project less than £250k), Renovation (Large Project over £250k), Renovation (Small Project less than £250k), Small Project (less than £50k) and Young Engineer (unfortunately there were no entries for the latter category this year).

TV Presenter and Naturalist, Chris Packham once again presented the Awards section of the evening, introducing first the short-listed finalists in each category and, after the Dinner itself, announcing the category Winners. Chris took the opportunity to introduce diners to Triton, a Milky Eagle Owl, who was on loan from Hawk Conservancy Trust, of Weyhill, Hampshire.

As part of the evening's 'entertainment', Russell Fairhurst, Chairman of UKSTT, gave his usual interesting, yet thankfully short, address to the assembled trenchless technologists and their guests, much to the relief of all! He did however have some very interesting points to make about the current state of Trenchless Technology across the UK and initiatives from the UKSTT.

First, however, Russell thanked the event sponsors for their generosity and continued support. Sponsors this year included: Bodycote, Active Tunnelling, ASP, Jacobs, Severn Trent Water, Ferro Monk Systems, U Mole Ltd, DCT, Clancy Docwra, Pipe Equipment Specialists, May Gurney and TT UK Ltd. He went on to make special mention of South West Water and Develop as main sponsors for the evening. He also thanked all of the Awards entrants, without whom the Dinner would not take place, and all those members and guests attending on the night.

Russell then turned to the issue of Trenchless Technology across the UK stating that UKSTT represents the interests of its members, who are generally looking at Trenchless solutions as the best way of carrying out Utility and construction work. Over the past twelve months, the Society has promoted and developed the use of trenchless techniques through involvement in both national and international events, including one of the most successful No-Dig Live shows for a number of years, which showcased and demonstrated 'live' the latest techniques to the industry, with excellent numbers attending.

UKSTT also hosted a visit by members of Parliament on a tour of the Victorian Mains replacement program with Thames Water and Russell thanked Clancy Docwra for helping to organize the tour.

The organization has also presented technical papers, and promoted trenchless technology within HAUC, and the All Party Group for Underground Space, amongst others.

Russell went on to say that despite this work, UKSTT was not complacent and that whilst the organization believes that trenchless technology offers an excellent environmental option and, along with additional skills, can assist in a competitive construction world, it is very important to continue to find ways to meet the UKSTT's objectives and seek the best way of engaging with Utility Companies that are the principle owners of the networks.

UKSTT is aware that Utility Companies have choices as to the types of technology they employ. For this reason the organization has always believed that it is important that the relationship between the Utility Companies and their specialist suppliers and contractors is both mutually beneficial and constructive. Russell then went on to suggest a new way of demonstrating UKSTT's commitment to this with a proposal to formulate a new relationship with the Utility Companies.

In future, it is proposed that the Utility Companies become Patrons of the Society, rather than members. It is a belief that this new role will recognize that it is the requirements of the utility companies that are the driving force behind UKSTT's activities and that this revised role will encourage the Utility Companies to work closely with the organization in identifying the strategies that the Society would follow. These strategies could include issues relating to technology, quality, safety and training. The role of Patron would create both an opportunity to direct the future strategy of the UKSTT and a responsibility to support its attempts to achieve that strategy. Making such a change of strategy also shows the Society's ability to adapt and change to an ever demanding industry.

In terms of membership, over the past year, UKSTT increased its corporate membership by over 10% and has answered over 110 direct enquires from industry covering everything from minor repairs to major sewer relining projects and directional drilling works. Finally he reflected on the UKSTT joint training initiative, in association with Develop, which is also moving forward, with extra courses being reviewed.

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Also see:
-- List of UKSTT award winners

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