Matthews named Trenchless Technology Person of the Year

Jan 11, 2023 | Engineering and Science, Faculty/Staff, General News, Research

Trenchless Technology magazine has named Dr. John Matthews, Director of Louisiana Tech University’s Trenchless Technology Center (TTC), the 2023 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year for his achievements and leadership in trenchless technology.

Matthews has nearly 20 years of experience in innovative trenchless technology research and leadership. An expert in condition assessment, pipe rehabilitation, trenchless technology, and water infrastructure, Matthews has an extensive portfolio of published research and projects supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Transportation Research Board, Water Research Foundation, National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, and North American Society for Trenchless Technology.

After earning his Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology, his Master of Science in Civil Engineering, and his PhD in Civil Engineering from Louisiana Tech, where he researched trenchless solutions to city engineering problems, Matthews worked as the principal research scientist at Battelle and as a program manager at Pure Technologies.

Since returning to Tech in 2017, Matthews has guided both established faculty researchers and emerging trenchless technology experts as a Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the TTC. His hands-on approach to education both in the classroom and in the research lab has earned him and the TTC numerous awards. The latest of these awards are the 2022 International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT) Academic Research award for the TTC’s study on mitigating styrene emissions from steam-cured CIPP (cured-in-place-pipe) projects and the ISTT Student Award, which went to Matthews’ mentee, Civil Engineering doctoral student John Kraft.

“Dr. Matthews had a major impact on my decision to pursue graduate studies here at Louisiana Tech,” Kraft said. “While working under Dr. Matthews, I was pushed to think outside the box and always go bigger. This led to our research group – and me personally – achieving new heights and receiving multiple recognitions in the trenchless and research communities.”

“Under Dr. Matthews’ leadership, the TTC has incorporated innovative techniques to improve existing technologies and encouraged the next generation of researchers to challenge the limits of trenchless technology,” Louisiana Tech College of Engineering and Science Dean Dr. Hisham Hegab said. “I do not doubt that Dr. Matthews, along with the students he mentors, will continue developing exciting new underground construction applications. I’m pleased that Trenchless Technology magazine has recognized the impact of his work.”

In addition to leading research projects on campus, Matthews and the TTC guide training sessions for municipalities around the U.S., providing them with the latest techniques and tools to improve their cities. His work has led to safer work practices at steel and shipbuilding facilities throughout North America.

He has served on the Board of Directors for the North American Society for Trenchless Technology and the International Society for Trenchless Technology, and is a member of the Trenchless Technology Advisory Board, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Water Works Association.

Matthews will be formally recognized as the Trenchless Technology Person of the Year at the North American Society for Trenchless Technology’s 2023 No-Dig Show Kick-Off Breakfast May 1.