Louisiana Tech students attend UCT Conference

Twenty-seven students, faculty and staff from the Louisiana Tech University Trenchless Technology Center and the University chapter of the North American Society of Trenchless Technology/Associated General Contractors (NASTT/AGC) recently attended the Underground Construction Technology Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Undergraduate students, Matthew Allen, Shelby Bishop, Kathleen Cavanaugh, Edward Gray, Jeb Kraft, Joseph Hart, Landon Landry, Miles Maheu, Luke Mathis, Blake Randall, Sarah Ray, Andrew Reames, Garet Titus, Monty Travis, Chloe Wallace and Will Wehrle, worked at the conference, getting valuable experience networking with industrial professionals in underground construction. Graduate students, Alhossin Alsadi, Saleh Behbahani, Gazi Hossain, John Kraft, Shijun Lu and Huayuan Zhong, faculty and staff attended technical sessions, explored the exhibit hall and participated in multiple industry meetings including those for the Louisiana Tech Trenchless Technology Center Industry Advisory Board and the Buried Asset Management Institute – International Board of Directors.

Attendees were also able to watch TTC advisory board member, Lynn Osborne receive an MVP award and observe two presentations by Louisiana Tech Construction Engineering Technology alumnus and Vice President of BRH-Garver Construction L.P., David Ellett (’93).

Garet Titus, senior in the construction engineering technology program and president of the Louisiana Tech NASTT/AGC chapter says that conferences like these are a good opportunity for students to get to travel and learn lessons that aren’t available in the classroom. “We get more out of being exposed to networking with industry professionals. That gives our students the opportunity to rub elbows with professionals in the industry instead of just learning what they do,” Titus said. “As opposed to programs at other universities, this Construction Engineering Technology program offers us a unique insight, because we do take Civil Engineering courses. Not every student is lucky enough to be able to do the things we get to do. It’s a blessing.”

“The Underground Construction Technology Conference (UCT) uses Tech students exclusively to assist speakers and moderators and to scan attendee badges each session to ensure they earn Professional Development Hours credits at these conferences,” Mr. Reginald Jeter, professional in residence for the civil engineering and construction engineering technology programs at Louisiana Tech, said. “Conference organizers have found they can depend on our students to professionally handle the responsibilities. That level of trust indicates the caliber of our Louisiana Tech Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Technology students.”

Dr. Shaurav Alam, assistant professor of civil engineering and construction engineering technology and NASTT/AGC faculty advisor, added, “I am very proud of our students and the fact that the UCT program committee only picked Louisiana Tech students to help with the conference.”

Other Louisiana Tech representatives at the conference were: Dr. John Matthews, director of the TTC and associate professor of civil engineering and construction engineering technology, Dr. Tom Iseley, associate director of TTC international operations and professor of civil engineering and construction engineering technology,Dr. Omar Abudulkareem, TTC research associate, and Dr. Xiao Wang, TTC visiting scholar.