Trenchless Technology

Fall Canada 2018

Trenchless Technology is the premier communications vehicle for the trenchless industry. Through our multiple platforms, readers receive insights into the trenchless industry, as well as keep connected to the latest news, products and projects.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 39

W W W.T R E N C H L E S S T EC H N O LO GY.C O M/C A N A DA 15 A HISTORY IN TRENCHLESS Underground infrastructure has been a staple of Associated Engineer- ing 's portfolio since 1945 when the firm formed as Davis, Ripley and As- sociates with offices in Edmonton and Calgary. Some of the first proj- ects for the fledgling firm — with three engineers and three technical support staff — were water and sewer systems in Barrhead, Taber, Fairview, Canmore and Leduc, Alberta. In 1948, the firm renamed itself to the more inclusive Associated Engineering Services Ltd. A company history makes light of the fact that, "As an added ben- efit, the word 'Associated' would get pri- ority listing in the phone book." One of the early trenchless experts at Associated Engineering is Herb Kue- hne, retired senior vice president of infrastructure, who, although semi-re- tired, still makes his way to the Edmon- ton office to work on projects. Lueke chalks this up to the culture at Asso- ciated Engineering that is welcoming , engaging and values the expertise of its senior engineers and their role as men- tors to the younger engineers. "Associated Engineering always did 'trenchless,' long before trenchless was a thing , hand mining or using an auger bore or push bore or relining ," says Kue- hne who joined the firm in 1977. "On some of those projects, we completed some of the longest bores in Canada at that time. We did a lot of that work." Because Kuehne and his associates were on the forefront of designing projects that took advantage of these minimally invasive technologies, As- sociated Engineering can rightfully be credited with helping introduce these innovative new methodologies to Western Canada. "On a number of our early projects, we actually implemented some of the newest trenchless technologies that existed," Kuehne says. " We did early pipe bursting — possibly the first in Edmonton. We also did some relin- ing projects that were firsts in the Ed- monton area. We experimented with this to look at new technologies and how we could use them here in the Edmonton region." The focus on designing projects that used new technologies wasn't part of a company mandate, rather it was part of the engineers' desire to provide their clients with better ser- vice and value that would ultimately lead to the achieving the client 's de- sired objectives and minimizing im- pact on the public. Associated Engineering 's successes in the trenchless realm could not be achieved without a proper partner. In this case it was the City of Edmonton – long heralded as a trenchless leader in its own right – that stepped up to the plate and worked with the firm on these early projects. "Associated Engineering is an inno - vative company, but credit also has to be given to our clients," Kuehne says. " If the client is willing and we com- plete the research and find the tech- nology that effectively solves a prob - lem, we would move forward." As the company tackled those early projects, it was still small , with about 250 employees, so if there was a proj- ect that could benefit from trench- less, the engineers knew who to turn to. It wasn't until the early part of this decade that growth dictated ad- ditional trenchless expertise and the formation of a trenchless practice group. It was at this time in 2012 that Lueke rejoined Associated Engineer- ing to take the lead. A CONSISTENT APPROACH "Some of my time is spent manag- ing and doing project work and then the rest is spent in coordinating our trenchless efforts across the company," Lueke says. "My role is to travel and work with staff in our offices across Canada. Thus, as the opportunities arise, not only can I suggest the people with appropriate expertise to go after the work, but also get the right people on the job when we get the work to de- liver a successful project." Coordinating this expertise across a 23-office company is paramount to the firm's success — not only to bring the right expertise and experience to projects, but also to share the knowl - edge. Thus, clients can be assured that their project delivery team includes a specialist who knows the technology, and has in-depth knowledge of the technical aspects of a project. Lueke works to make sure all of the trenchless projects that Associated Engineering designs have a consis- tent approach. The projects all follow similar specifications and consistent design procedures so that a contrac- tor bidding on, for example, an Al - berta project would have familiarity with the approach to the job if they worked on an Associated Engineer- ing-designed job in another province. "Associated Engineering is consis- tent with our trenchless design ap- proach across the company, regardless of our geographical location," says Cian McDermott, P.Eng , in Ontario. " What changes is the geotechnical, hy- drogeological and topographical con- ditions that will form the fundamen- tal basis of our designs. Each project requires unique designs tailored spe- cifically for the subsurface conditions identified through extensive investi- gations and mitigating impacts on the public as much as possible." Employees at the local offices know the owners, the contractors and the construction methodologies they have at their disposal , so when a proj- ect does come up the local employees translate that information to Lueke and the trenchless practice team. By relaying the local conditions and knowledge as to what is used, what is acceptable and what the client is accepting , Associated Engineering 's trenchless team can develop the most appropriate design that will generate the client 's desired outcome. SHARING KNOWLEDGE In addition to their day- to -day work, Associated Engineering also le- verages in-person capacity building sessions, which are best described as an internal technical conference to provide knowledge transfer and convey lessons learned to the trench- less team. " It is critical for all of the engineers in our group to interact . It is through these learning opportu- nities that we gain knowledge," says

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Trenchless Technology - Fall Canada 2018