Many Programs, Many Visions

As the countdown to the 2011 Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition continues, the scope of the overall program is worth exploring. While the primary educational program runs Tuesday, Jan. 25 through Thursday, Jan. 27, a strategic inclusion of special programs rounds out almost a full week of educational opportunities.

Leading industry associations and organizations such NASSCO, Distribution Contractors Association, Staking University and NASTT, in a cooperative arrangement with UCT, are offering a variety of special courses. Additionally, the Center for Underground Infrastructure Research & Education is offering four specialty schools. And, back by popular demand, is a substantially updated Sewer Strategies Workshop.

In addition, industry confabs will be taking place frequently in-and-around the UCT programs and exhibition. Already scheduled are committee and task force meetings for ASCE, ASTM, UCTA, Trenchless Technology Center, International Pipe Bursting Association and more, plus dozens of private company meetings — a full week of highly important and beneficial industry activities.

This is also by far the most aggressive UCT regular educational program we’ve ever developed. With counsel from many industry sources such as contractors, municipal personnel, consulting engineers and vendors, the UCT Educational Program is designed specifically to meet the informational needs of all aspects of the underground utilities construction and rehabilitation market. Program tracks will include standard topics such as sewer, horizontal directional drilling, gas distribution, general underground utilities construction and telecom/electric.

UCT’s always popular and unique sewer/water trenchless tutorial program is back again. Designed for people new to the industry as well as those wanting to broaden their knowledge or who just want a refresher course, the tutorial provides a comprehensive overview of modern trenchless methods and their applicability for today’s demanding project needs.

New to the program this year are special program tracks on pipe bursting, advances in cured-in-place pipe, storm water, damage prevention/safety and alternative energy construction. Further, UCT’s unique HDD Rigonomics© classes provide basic and advanced information on how to best utilize equipment, supplies, time and planning to streamline and become more effective in your operations. In short, how can contractors improve their bottom line in today’s marketplace of tight margins and extreme competition?

Precious water
Also, there is a special detailed program track on a topic of critical interest and need for both the U.S. and the world: water. The theme of UCT’s WaterWorks 2011 is “facing reality.” The current and near-term economic environments are forcing utilities, contractors and engineering firms across the country to accept the reality of finite resources, both financial and otherwise. Water is indeed the “blue oil” of the 21st century. It could well be stated that in this century, the availability of water will be of greater importance than the cost of water.

This year, WaterWorks will be addressing the following key areas: the reality of finite water resources; the reality of proposed legislation and its impact on the water industry; the reality of new technologies; and the reality of case studies.

Overall, the UCT Educational Program is a comprehensive, complex program schedule suited to meet the needs of anyone who is serious about the underground market place.

That equals almost 70 hours of regular educational programming and more than 152 hours of special programs. Combine that with over 500 exhibits and you can see why everyone looks forward to the UCT experience. The entire event is structured to be a networking and learning exercise, replete with business networking opportunities.

But as UCT returns to Houston, its home base, for the first time in four years, many questions still surround the nation’s economy and how that will impact the underground utilities market. What will be the reaction and overall health of the industry be in the coming year?

UCT annually is viewed as the industry benchmark; as UCT goes, so does the industry. We’ll find out in late January – that’s why UCT is so often called the “business of underground.”
Have a great holiday and we’ll see you at UCT.

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