NASTT Selects 2022 Ralston Young Trenchless Achievement Award Recipient

The Ralston Young Trenchless Achievement Award applauds savvy members under 36 who demonstrate excellence early in their careers by making valuable contributions to the trenchless technology industry and NASTT.

Please join NASTT in celebrating the 2022 recipient: Matthew Olson, P.E., Partner at Lithos Engineering in Denver, Colorado.

Young Trenchless Achievement Award Selection Committee Chair, Chris Sivesind, Territory Manager at Akkerman and NASTT staff made a surprise call to Matt to share the news. “His accomplishments were very impressive among a pool of excellent candidates.” Chris said.

Matt Olson lives and breathes NASTT’s mission to be the premier resource for knowledge and education in Trenchless Technology, according to Lance Heyer, Associate at Lithos Engineering, who was thrilled to nominate Matt. “Trenchless is truly in his blood,” he said, referring to Matt’s father who was a trenchless new installation contractor with Bore Masters in Pewaukee, WI. Matt’s academic career included a thesis on pilot tube jacking forces.

“Matt truly embodies the spirit in which this prestigious award was meant to represent with an astounding track record of service and dedication to the trenchless industry,” says Matthew’s former Master’s Program co-supervisor, Samuel T. Ariaratnam, Ph.D., P.E., Professor at the Ira A Fulton School of Engineering, Arizona State University.

Matt’s interest and drive for research and development leads him in educating other industry professionals about trenchless technologies. Matt is a “fantastic resource for sound engineering advice” notes Robert Meadows President, Global Underground Corporation. “His ongoing drive to understand and further advance the trenchless engineering and construction industry truly is special and will benefit the trenchless industry at large for many years to come.”

As a NASTT volunteer, Matt has served on the Rocky Mountain Chapter Board, No-Dig Show Technical Program Committee, participated as No-Dig Show track leader and has chaired the NASTT Young Professionals committee and judged the Student Poster Competition at the No-Dig Show.  He has six technical papers in the NASTT technical paper library, including “Pipe Ramming Through Challenging Subsurface Conditions in the Pacific Northwest” and  “Into the Void: Case Study of an Emergency Pipe Burst Beneath the West Seattle Bridge” which won the NASTT Outstanding Paper of the Year in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Matthew Izzard, NASTT Executive Director, thanked Matt for his NASTT involvement and his enthusiasm and for being among the cream of the crop of young trenchless professionals. Special recognition of Matt and all the 2022 NASTT award recipients will take place at the NASTT No-Dig Show in Minneapolis where Matt will present “Impacts of HDD Design Modifications After Municipal Bid Award” with Lance Heyer.

Join Matt and other trenchless professionals in their 20s and 30s at the complimentary Young Professionals Networking Night on Sunday, April 10 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM in Room 208B.

Sunbelt Rentals Named One of Nation’s Top Military Friendly® Employers

Designation based on the company’s active Veterans Program

FORT MILL, S.C.  – Sunbelt Rentals, North America’s premier equipment rental company, has been named a top 2022 Military Friendly® Employer in the nation. This is the second time in recent years they have received the distinction. Sunbelt Rentals received a Silver Designation, indicating the company meets the requirements and scored within 20% of the 10th ranking employer in this category — an achievement attained by only select companies.

Methodology, criteria and weightings were determined by VIQTORY with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining an organization’s survey score with an assessment of the organization’s ability to meet thresholds for Applicant, New Hire Retention, Employee Turnover and Promotion and Advancement of veterans and military employees.

“Sunbelt Rentals is very proud to receive this recognition,” says Brad Lull, Executive VP of Central Operations, Sunbelt Rentals. “We value the work ethic and dedication of our military employees and are committed to growing our Veterans Program to support them. We operate our program on four foundational pillars: resources, recruitment, recognition and retention.”

Sunbelt Rentals has built a robust program aimed at recruiting and retaining veteran employees. The company focuses on aligning the skills that veterans gain during military service with a suitable position where they can thrive. Sunbelt Rentals values safety, action, teamwork and innovation — ideals shared by veterans. They help enrich the company’s culture and contribute to the “Power of Sunbelt” — the promise to offer a rental experience that’s defined by availability, reliability and ease.

Veteran ambassadors support military employees from onboarding and throughout their career at Sunbelt Rentals, serving as liaisons to the Veterans Program and its offerings. The program includes resources such as a hotline, administrative support, accommodation support and interagency coordination. Along with these resources, Sunbelt Rentals launched a uniform program, allowing military employees to show their service branch with a patch on company apparel.

“We are very intentional in our approach to recruiting and retaining those transitioning to life after service, at Sunbelt Rentals,” says Shane McKenzie, director, Veterans Program. “Every aspect of our program focuses on ways we can coach, mentor and develop veterans so they can have a thriving career in the civilian sector. We are proud of the successes we see our military employees achieve.”

“When I left the U.S. Marine Corps, I was looking for a company that had a work-life balance and would encompass my skill set from the military and my previous career. I immediately felt at home when I interviewed with Sunbelt Rentals,” says Daphne Manning, director, Customer Service Strategy and Planning.

Veterans interested in becoming Sunbelt Rentals team members can text “Sunbelt” to 51893 to see current job postings and receive alerts about opportunities in different markets.

Photo Captions:

Photo 1: Providing veterans with the resources needed to succeed in their careers is a top priority at Sunbelt Rentals and at the heart of the Veterans Program.

Photo 2: By operating on four foundational pillars — resources, recruitment, recognition and retention — Sunbelt Rentals is able to support its military employees in the civilian sector.

About Sunbelt Rentals: We MAKE IT HAPPEN!  With a passionate team of 15,000 rental experts, a growing network of over 1,000 locations and an extensive equipment fleet that exceeds $11 billion, Sunbelt Rentals helps professionals and do-it-yourselfers get things done.  With a highly diversified offering of equipment, solutions, and services available, we assist customers throughout North America extend their capabilities, complete projects on-time and handle times of crisis. No matter if you are in commercial, industrial, residential, or municipal industries, we are constantly advancing the idea of what an equipment company can do for its customers. Visit to find out what we can do for you.
About Military Friendly® Employers: Military Friendly® is the standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for the military community. Over 1,500 organizations compete annually for Military Friendly® designation. Military Friendly® ratings are owned by VIQTORY, Inc., a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business. VIQTORY is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Department of Defense or the federal government. Results are produced via a rules-based algorithm. The data-driven Military Friendly® lists and methodology can be found at
About VIQTORY: Founded in 2001, VIQTORY is a service disabled, veteran owned small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its owned assets such as Military Spouse Magazine®, G.I. Jobs ® and Military Friendly ® brands. VIQTORY and its brands are not a part of or endorsed by the U.S. Dept of Defense or any federal government entity. Learn more about VIQTORY at

Michael Byrne Mfg. Names Dave Kauffman as Manufacturing Engineer

Michael Byrne Mfg. names Dave Kauffman as Manufacturing Engineer. Dave has a B.S. in Business Administration/Management and brings over 25 years of experience in the Trenchless Industry. He received extensive training in fluid power at The Ohio State University’s – ATI. Dave began his career at American Augers; working his way up from saw operator, fabricator, assembler, Lead man, CIP manager, and manufacturing manager. He was then employed at Underground Professionals Inc., specializing in HDD repair, refurbishing, and parts sales. Prior to joining the Michael Byrne Mfg., Dave & a partner started D&L Underground Solutions, which specialized in parts sales, service, HDD repair, modernization & refurbishments.

Dave supplies a wealth of knowledge with hydraulic and can bus systems relating to the Mobile Construction industry. Dave brings a hands-on approach to implementing incremental improvements and problem solving for HDD and Auger boring equipment. Michael Byrne Mfg President Jim Weist adds, “Dave’s addition to the Michael Byrne Team brings another perspective from a respected industry leader with experiences hard to find today”.

For more information on Michael Bryne Manufacturing, visit their website at

Lithos Engineering Proudly Announces Addition of Three New Team Members

The Lithos Team Continues to Grow!

James Halverson joined the Lithos Denver Team in March as a Geological Engineer, having previously served in multiple industries including Seismic Exploration, Geotechnical Engineering, Electrical Construction, and Mining Geology. His diverse experience, attention to detail, project and cost management, analysis and management of complex data systems, teamwork, communication, and subsurface analyses are but a few of the assets that James brings to the Lithos team. In his free time, James enjoys spending time with family; road, mountain, and gravel biking; bike packing; weight training; and volunteer work. You can reach James at


Keely Stevenson  joined the Lithos Fort Collins team in July as a Geological Engineer, having recently received a B.S. Degree in Geological Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. During her time at Mines, she worked as an undergraduate research assistant on a project modeling flat roofed mine excavations and optimizing rock bolt placement for maximum stability and minimum cost, primarily programming in UDEC.  Another project she worked on focused on recycling minerals in mine tailings. In her free time, Keely enjoys hiking, machining, reading, painting, and can be found trying out new things and learning new skills. You can reach Keely at




Adisa Husejnovic joined the Lithos Denver team in August as an Administrative Assistant.  Prior to joining Lithos, Adisa worked at a commercial General Contractor where she managed the bidding process and supported multiple project management teams, in addition to assuring the whole office ran smoothly.  In her free time, Adisa enjoys film photography, biking, thrifting, and hiking with her dog Axel and partner Austin. You can reach Adisa at

In keeping with their core values, the Lithos team has grown substantially over the last few years, and remains committed to developing a diverse team of experts that bring recognizable value to their clients and their projects.

The Lithos team is excited to welcome James, Keely and Adisa!

NASTT Announces 2021 Outstanding Trenchless Paper Awards

November 10, 2021 – The North American Society for Trenchless Technology is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 NASTT Outstanding Trenchless Paper Awards for Rehabilitation and New Installations. These awards recognize excellence by commending authors of the best NASTT No-Dig Show papers each year. The winning papers were presented at the 2021 NASTT No-Dig Show in Orlando, Florida.

2021 Outstanding Paper: Rehabilitation

Columbia Canal Brick Arch Tunnel Geopolymer Lining in South Carolina
Joe Royer, Ph.D., Vice President R&D, GeoTree Solutions, LLC, Spartanburg, SC 
Bill Sharpe, Business Development Manager, Inland Pipe Rehabilitation, LLC, Columbia, SC








Five years prior to the main project, the owner did an early technology evaluation and pilot project. “This gave us the opportunity to show the current larger effort as well as the success of the earlier projects,” explained Joe Royer. “The support of the asset owner on the difficult access issues on the project also helped shape the narrative.”

The paper brings attention to the use of geopolymers and spray-applications as an important part of the trenchless industry. “The work we at GeoTree Solutions and our contracting partner on this project IPR have done to develop the technology showcase viable solutions for large diameter projects.”

Columbia Canal Brick Arch Tunnel Geopolymer Lining in South Carolina is featured in the fall issue of Trenchless North America.

2021 Outstanding Paper: New Installations

HDD Lessons You Can Only Learn in the Field

Kimberlie Staheli, Ph.D., P.E., Staheli Trenchless Consultants, Seattle, WA

Jake Andresen, P.E., Staheli Trenchless Consultants, Seattle, WA







“I have thought about putting this together for years,” says Kimberlie Staheli who was introduced to trenchless technology on her first job after college with a microtunneling contractor. “The industry was so new that it really excited me. The more I learned, the more I realized that I had a shot of making a difference.” Staheli has seen the industry in an ongoing state of rapid transformation for more than 20 years and believes it is an industry where an engineer can continuously learn and grow.

“I see engineers specifying things that are not constructable. Then when we get there to perform Risk Management InspectionTM, we have to work through the issues in the field.  I wanted engineers to be aware of how the designs need to be changed in the field to avoid claims.”

HDD Lessons You Can Only Learn in the Field will be featured in the winter issue of Trenchless North America.

The winning papers (and all the NASTT No-Dig Show papers) are available in the NASTT product store .

Authors of both papers will give encore presentations at the 2022 NASTT No-Dig Show in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit the conference website.

NASTT Welcomes Mexico Regional Chapter

August 3, 2021, was a significant day for North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) as the 12th and latest Regional Chapter was formed, covering the 32 states of Mexico.

Matthew Izzard, NASTT Executive Director and Alan Goodman, Chair of the Board of Directors, met with founding members Sergio Alvarado (Underground Construction Equipment Mexico), Chapter President; Adrian Cordero (Tubepol), Chapter Vice-President; Itzel Mora (Tubemas), Secretary; and Caesar Alvarado (Hammerhead), Executive Officer for the inaugural meeting of the NASTT Mexico Regional Chapter – MEXTT.

The addition of this Chapter offers complete coverage of the North American continent for NASTT with Mexico joining the three Canadian and eight United States Chapters in the Society.

The NASTT Board, under Craig Vandaelle, formed an initiative group to create the Chapter, with Board Members Tiffanie Mendez and Alan Ambler central to its development and working with Itzel Mora to engage volunteers in the creation of the new chapter. This culminated in the inaugural meeting and formation of the Regional Chapter Board to provide local engagement to the members in developing trenchless technology knowledge and education.

MEXTT President, Sergio Alvarado commented: “I am very grateful for the opportunity to be one of the founding members and to be elected president of MEXTT, as well as recognizing my colleagues Itzel Mora, Adrian Cordero, Eduardo Ortegon and Cesar Alvarado who are part of this executive board.

We are very excited about the future growth of our association, and we will be preparing our work plan in the short, medium and long term to publicize the benefits that we can bring to our members through the different existing trenchless technologies for the benefit of the projects of infrastructure generated in Mexico.”

NASTT Chair, Alan Goodman added: “NASTT has been blessed to work with five incredible people that are passionate about bringing trenchless technology to every corner of Mexico.  On the historic day of August 3rd, 2021 the Mexico Chapter was formed and inaugurated into NASTT.  Whether it be new installation or rehabilitation the Mexico Chapter wants to educate all sectors (municipalities, state agencies, utilities, contractors, and engineering firms) in all industries including water, sewer, gas, power, fiber and telecommunications.  Watch this Mexico Chapter grow, and we can’t wait to learn more about the future conferences and Good Practices Courses offered in Spanish.”

An opening webinar to outline the Chapters activities, introduce members and how to be involved is planned for early 2022 followed by in-person events. This includes the delivery of NASTT’s Introduction to Trenchless Technology Good Practices Courses, translated to Spanish with the assistance of grant funding from International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT). Work is also starting on a website and membership magazine and many other initiatives. If you are interested in being involved, please contact us at

In expanding their activities and delivery of trenchless technology education in Spanish to a wider audience, NASTT and MEXTT look forward to another exciting Chapter in NASTT history.