The mission of the Trenchless Technology Center is to advance trenchless technology by serving as an independent source of knowledge, research and education for industry, academia and consumers of trenchless technology. Trenchless technology includes a large family of methods for installing and rehabilitating underground utility systems with minimal surface disruption and destruction resulting from excavation.
The Trenchless Technology Center utilizes a three-pronged approach to accomplishing its mission: research, education, and technology transfer.
The Trenchless Technology Center has been involved in a wide range of collaborative efforts with industry partners, other academic institutions, professional organizations and government entities. Interest in cooperative R&D, technology transfer or market surveys is welcome. Arrangements can be made for various kinds of cooperation ranging from proprietary research to broad-based cooperative studies. Where necessary, non-disclosure agreements can be developed to cover the ownership of intellectual property rights.
The Trenchless Technology Center carries out three types of research programs:
- Core research programs,
- Proprietary research and testing programs, and
- Public research and testing programs.
Core research programs are selected in conjunction with the Industry Advisory Board and represent R&D that benefits all or various sectors of the trenchless industry. This may be technologies such as guidance technologies that can apply to many types of equipment or may be field or laboratory testing that helps establish design methods or the impact of trenchless methods on the surrounding ground.
Proprietary research and testing programs are developed with individual companies or groups of companies to carry out R&D or testing programs. The results of this research and testing are provided only to the company/companies involved.
Public research and testing programs are developed to provide unbiased test results to the industry, user groups and the public. These programs differ from the proprietary research programs in that a report on the results will be made public even if the research results are not favorable to the application of the product or process in the circumstances tested.
Undergraduate Education and Research
The Trenchless Technology Center provides formal coursework in trenchless technology that is open to undergraduate engineering and construction technology students as well as graduate students at Louisiana Tech. In addition to a separate course on trenchless technology taught once per year, information on trenchless technology is incorporated in a number of other relevant classes within the related curricula.
Graduate Education and Research
The center advises and supports graduate students at both the master's and doctoral levels. Information on many of the current and past graduate students, their research topics, completed thesis title and research papers resulting from their work are provided below in the related research project descriptions.
The center is active in providing information to inquirers both within and outside the industry. Knowledge and facilities are shared with industries, universities, governments and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a range of users who can then further develop the technologies into new products, processes, materials or services.