Josiah Dehnke of Kent State, Student Scholarship Winner Essay

May 6, 2020 by NASTT Staff


We are pleased to bring you the first installment in the latest NASTT blog series featuring the 2020 Argent Memorial Scholarship winner essays.

One of the requirements to apply for a student scholarship from NASTT is to write an essay on the state of the trenchless industry and what the student sees for them self in the future within the industry.

Josiah Dehnke of Kent State University was awarded a $5,000 scholarship. 

The rapid growth of the trenchless industry comes at a pivotal time for the underground infrastructure in the United States. The 2017 ASCE report card graded drinking water, wastewater, and energy all a D+ or lower. A large portion of our underground utilities are in desperate need of repairs, rehabilitation and replacement. Although this underground infrastructure is the primary carrier of drinking water, wastewater, gas, oil, and power, it is also widely overlooked. This is the epitome of “Out of sight, out of mind”.

Luckily, as trenchless technology continues to grow, so does the opportunity to begin a career in the field of trenchless and help ensure the bright future of our civilization and its prosperity. From rehabilitation to new installation, the opportunities in this rapidly growing industry are endless. Not only is trenchless technology the most cost and time effective option, but it is also far superior in terms of intrusion and environmental concerns. As the emphasis on minimal environmental impact continues to grow, so do the benefits of trenchless.

The trenchless industry is a great opportunity for students such as myself looking to get into a unique and ever changing career upon graduation. Because our underground infrastructure is the carrier of every type of commodity, this creates a wide variety of opportunities in the electric, wastewater, drinking water, and oil and gas industries. Within those industries, a project manager or engineer could be involved in rehabilitation, new install or repairs.

Becoming a part of this industry would also provide opportunities to travel all over North America and possibly the world. These possibilities are some of the many reasons why I am looking forward to attending my first NASTT No-Dig Show in Denver. Upon deciding to pursue a concentration in Civil Construction, my first class was Civil Utilities and my professor largely covered trenchless technology. Upon beginning the coursework, I instantly became interested in the industry and wanted to learn more. A few months into the semester, our NASTT student chapter was lucky enough to have Bernie Krzys on campus for a speaking event. Hearing Mr. Krzys speak as well as having a conversation with him about the ever-expanding industry and the developing technology in the trenchless community made me eager to learn more.

I’m hoping to have some networking opportunities at the No-Dig show that may lead to employment opportunities with some of the most respected contractors in the country. This industry’s diverse and unique opportunities truly intrigue me. I chose to be a part of the civil construction industry because of the opportunity to directly improve our infrastructure and wellbeing; being able to be a part of a unique and environmentally sound community such as trenchless technologies would make my career choice even more fulfilling.

Congratulations Josiah and best of luck on your future endeavors in the trenchless industry!