TTC Leads the Way through Comprehensive Validation of Emerging 3D Imaging - Technology for the Inspection of Manholes and Sewer Pipelines

Apr 03, 2019

The Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) at Louisiana Tech University (LA Tech) is an industry/university/government cooperative research center. TTC has been a leader in advancing all areas of the science and practice related to underground infrastructure pipeline networks for more than 30 years including PCA (Pipeline Condition Assessment) technology.

TTC is supported in part by industry leaders who serve on the Industry Advisory Board (IAB). This IAB is dedicated to not only provide financial support but to provide direction for advancing the industry through research, innovation, validation, and education.

In 1997 & 1998, TTC was selected by ASCE to evaluate the Sewer Scanner and Evaluation Technology (SSET) which was developed by TOA Grout and CORE Corp. base in Japan. The SSET was the first application of side scanning technology which permitted generating an unfolded (flat) image of the inside of a pipeline.

Now, practically all manufacturers of CCTV equipment have developed similar capabilities. The SSET incorporated gyroscopic and inclinometer technology to track position utilizing XYZ coordinates.

After utilizing drone technology for internal PCA in April 2018, the TTC and the City of Ruston Department of Public Works (COR-DPW) Living Lab Program in partnership with Easy-Sight Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of PCA equipment and software based in Wuhan (China), offered a 1-day mini-seminar series focusing on the latest international trends in PCA and demonstrated the EASY-SIGHT New 3D Imaging Technology for the inspection of manholes and sewer pipelines on February 15, 2019.

Dr. Tom Iseley opened up the seminar with a state-of-development address of the TTC Underground Infrastructure Campus (UIC). He explained how unique and fortunate TTC is to have a president of our university, Dr. Les Guice, who is a civil engineer and worked hard beginning in 1988 when he hired Dr. Iseley to establish the TTC. Dr. Guice is pleased to see how the industry leaders have pulled together to provide financial support for the next addition to the TTC UIC.

This addition will be dedicated to enhancing field training with the Barbera Underground Infrastructure Research and Training (BUIRT) facility. Dr. Iseley stated at the First TTC Life-Time Achievement Award Banquet conducted on November 13, 2018 in conjunction with the 3rd Auger Boring School that “the BUIRT facility allows the TT industry to honor the past while committing to meet future industry demands.”

Certainly, workforce development and professional development are critical components of meeting future needs. The industry can have the best technical solutions in the world; but without a trained and skilled workforce building projects designed by trained and knowledgeable professional we will not be able achieve meeting the challenges of tomorrow.

The mini-seminar and Ruston demo was the second component of a validation program being conducting by TTC. The first component was the lab work which was conducted prior to the seminar and field work on Feb 14, 2019.

The TTC team utilized 24.6 feet section of twenty-four-inch (24”) RCP (Reinforced Concrete Pipe) with known defects to conduct the validation in the TTC’s National Trenchless Technology Research Facility (NTTRF). TTC Research Team reviewed EASY-SIGHT’s new 3D capable camera crawler for pipeline inspection and also EASY-SIGHT’s new 3D capable vertical multi lens manhole inspection system.

After the 1-day seminar at TTC, on February 19, TTC Research Team relocated to Indiana to conduct the third component of the validation program which consisted of a workshop and demo with Citizens Energy Group (CEG) in Indianapolis. The fourth component of the validation program consisted of a workshop with Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) in Fishers on February 21.

The 4th TTC Utility Investigation School (UIS)

Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) and ASCE’s Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI) teamed up to offer the 4th 5-day intensive Utility Investigation School UIS on Feb 25- Mar 1, 2019. This short course gave practitioners the knowledge and tools to provide competent utility investigations in accordance with accepted national standards (ASCE 38-02) and to defend against claims through this knowledge and its documentation.

In addition to the classroom lectures, practical sessions were held where participants were provided hands-on experience with the GPR, PCL, APL, etc. This 5-day school was instructed by the foremost experts in the geophysics and subsurface utility engineering field.

The course attracted a diverse range of attendees, including representatives from Atkins, Accumark, Accurate Infrastructure Data, Inc., Cardno, City of Monroe, Fenstermaker, Goodbee Associates, NTB Associates, Inc., Surveying And Mapping, LLC (SAM), SEH Inc., Sigma Consulting Group, SJB Group LLC, SurvWest, Utility Mapping Services, Inc., and some of which travelled from as far away as South Korea. The TTC team would like to express the sincere appreciation to Vivax-Metrotech Corp. for supporting the TTC UIS as the Banquet Sponsor.

TTC Continues to Lead the Way with HK PolyU & ASCE-UESI to Advance the Science and Practice of the Location and Depiction of Underground Utilities.

Over the past 30 years, the TTC has maintained strong international leadership in developing, maintaining and managing our buried assets. This leadership involves many aspects on. In summer of 2016, TTC established a student exchange research internship program with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). During the past 3 summers, two students from Louisiana Tech University (LA Tech) work at PolyU and two students from PolyU worked at TTC.

So far Australia, USA, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and UK have been involved in the HK PolyU exchange internship program. The PolyU model provides an excellent example of the benefits of giving students an opportunity to engage in international research programs.

The PolyU students have assisted TTC in the Utility Investigation School (UIS). TTC wishes to express the appreciation to Mr. Vic Weston for making the Student Research Exchange Internship Program possible through financial support from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.

During this program the PolyU students attended the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Pipeline Conference, the 1-day ASCE Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI) Risk Management Division Executive Committee meeting, the Mid Atlantic Society for Trenchless Technology (MASTT) Seminar in Pittsburgh and visited the Logan Clan Pipe Products in Logan, Ohio, and Barbco in the East Canton, Ohio.

Dr. Iseley serves on the International Advisory Committee (IAC) of Hong Kong PolyU Department of Land Surveying and Geo-informatics. The IAC members are serving on the development of specifications and certification standards for underground utility (UU) survey based on Non-destructive Testing, Surveying, Imaging and Diagnostic (NDTSID) approaches.

The specifications of six UU survey methods include the Ground Penetrating Radar, Pipe Cable Locator, CCTV Inspection, Infrared Thermography, Leak noise correlation, and Flow survey. These specifications will tie to ISO 17025 and also universal lab accreditation scheme. On Jan 10, 2019, Dr. Iseley was invited by Dr. Wallace Lai (Assoc. Professor in HK PolyU) to participate in 1-day Seminar on the “Underground Utility Survey Based on Nondestructive Testing, Surveying, Imaging and Diagnostic (NDTSID) Approaches” as a keynote speaker.

More than 170 attendees from around the world participated in this seminar. The topic of Dr. Iseley’s lecture was “Underground Utility (UU) Surveying is a Critical Component of Buried Asset Management”. The keynote speakers in this 1 day seminar were from USA, UK, and HK.

Dr. Iseley along with the other HK PolyU International Advisory Committee members visited the Underground Utility Survey (UUS) laboratory. The UUS Lab is the first of its kind in the world and has been replicated by the College of Surveying and Geo-informatics at Tongji University.

The BAMI-I 1-day CTAM workshop in Atlantic City, NJ

The Buried Asset Management Institute (BAMI) was established in the Department of Watershed Management (DWM) for the City of Atlanta in 2003 as a result of the leadership and inspiration of Mayor Shirley Franklin and DWM Commissioner Jack Ravan. In 2004, BAMI transitioned to BAMI-International (BAMI-I). BAMI-I is a non-profit corporation whose main purpose is to educate and assist those who have an interest in applying best buried asset management practices to extend the life and efficiency of their assets.

In 2006, BAMI-I was selected for U.S. EPA Cooperative Agreement (CP 83 282901-1), which was completed in 2008. As a result of it, BAMI-I launched the Certificate of Training in Asset Management courses (CTAM 100-400). This program consists of 4 online courses plus a 2-level certification program (Associate Water Asset Manager (AWAM) & Professional Water Asset Manager (PWAM)). So far, individuals from 16 countries have enrolled in the CTAM program.

BAMI-I has teamed up with the New Jersey Water Environment Association (NJWEA) to hold a 1-day workshop on May 6, 2019. The workshop will be offering the CTAM 100 (Overview of Asset Management) of an exclusive part of series in Asset Management coursework, CTAM, for Water Infrastructure and certification. Upon completion of the course, participants receive a CEU/PDH certificate.

The BAMI-I Board meeting was held in conjunction with UCT Conference on January 28, 2019 in Fort Worth, TX. On behalf of BAMI-I, Dr. Iseley welcomed the new BOD members who are Mr. Adam McKnight (Upper Trinity Regional Water District) and Ms. Cori Criss (ITpipes).

The current members of the BAMI-I BOD are:

Dr. Tom Iseley (Louisiana Tech University, TTC & BAMI-I), Jim Anspach (CARDNO TBE), Dan Buonadonna (CH2M), Sriram Ganesan (Perma-Liner), Karol Giokas (RJN Group), Tod Phinney (Souder, Miller & Associates), Jim Raulston (Buried Asset Technologies Group, LLC), Camille Rubeiz (Plastics Pipe Institute), Bill Shook (A/PM Permaform), Ron Thompson (Strada Professional Services, LLC), Jim Harris (Jacobs), Leonard Ingram (MASTT, MSTT & SESTT), Graham Knowles (CH2M Jacobs), Marcellous Pitts (Pitts Fowler Enterprises Inc.), Mohammad Najafi (University of Texas, Arlington), Richard Thomasson (Acadis U.S., Inc.), Jerry Trevino (Protective Liner Systems), Kurt Wright (SDG Engineering, Inc.)


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Louisiana Tech University - TTC

Ph.D., P.E., Dist. M. ASCE, PWAM Tom Iseley

305 Wisteria St,

LA 71272 Ruston

United States



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