Research is most
rewarding when it brings
practical solutions to
What is CETT, and why is this an
important research initiative?
AB: CETT was initially established in
2012 as a partnership between the
University of Alberta, the City of
Edmonton and The Crossing Company.
CETT has expanded over time, with
TELUS Communications, BGC
Engineering, UniqEnergy Solutions and
INROCK currently among our industry
partners. The relationships that I have
developed as the founder and direc-tor
of CETT have informed ongoing
research and educational initiatives in
trenchless technologies. For instance,
we have been working closely with The
Crossing Company for more than 10
years now, and the research that comes
out of that partnership continues to
expand and improve in quality. On the
basis of our research, we build strong
tools that allow industry to quantify,
assess and improve their practice.
Again, with the educational aspect,
we hold multiple workshops every year,
all of them involving industry partners,
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and each focused on a different emerg-ing
technology or topic of interest. CETT
has become what it is due to our indus-try
partners and the strong relationships
built over time.
Why did you want to bring focus
to trenchless technologies at the
University of Alberta?
AB: Trenchless technologies are rela-tively
new in the construction domain.
The term is used to refer to a group
of construction methods that limit the
amount of open excavation required
for construction projects. Traditionally,
to install underground infrastructure
required digging a long, open trench.
With trenchless methods, there is much
less excavation required and much less
disruption at the surface.
There is an increasing demand
for underground infrastructure
as the population grows – think of
water systems, telecommunications,
pipelines and the increasing demand
for use of underground space for
transportation and other purposes.
All of this increases the importance of
efficient installation and maintenance
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