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University of Missouri starts trenchless Research & Development Center. (Newsline: for the latest industry developments).

The University of Missouri Columbia recently established the Trenchless Research & Development Center (TRDC) with the goal of promoting research, development and training in the trenchless technology industry.

The university is centrally located between Kansas City and St. Louis, where a variety of soil conditions and the diverse climate in the mid Missouri area provides excellent opportunities for research and development in trenchless technology.

The primary goal of the TRDC is to provide national and international leadership in trenchless technology activities which enhances cost effectiveness, construction productivity, environmental improvement and renewal of the aging underground infrastructure. Specific objectives of the center are to:

* Promote trenchless design and construction for public works projects;

* Conduct basic and applied research for industry and government agencies;

* Prepare educational and curriculum materials, and organize courses to assist university faculties to teach trenchless technology courses;

* Conduct Web based distance education courses;

* Conduct conferences and workshops;

* Assist industries in developing and evaluating new methods and products;

* Establish and disseminate standard guidelines and specifications;

* Actively monitor proposed regulations that impact the industry and provide expert guidance and assistance with proposed regulations;

* Develop contractor, designer and inspector certification programs; and

* Work closely with professional and trade organizations such as ASCE, MSTT and others, and university research centers such as TTC at Louisiana Tech University and CATT at University of Waterloo.

Organizational structure

The TRDC is a university/industry cooperative research center. The organizational structure of the TRDC provides two lines of authority: the university portion and the industry portion. The university portion provides an oversight committee who will supervise the everyday operations of the center under university regulations and guidelines and plans developed by the Industry Advisory Board (IAB). The IAB, which is composed of contractors, owners/public agencies, academics, engineers, general interest groups and manufacturers, provides policy direction, reviews budgets, and monitors progress of projects. The IAB is composed of one member from each organization that participates in the Industrial Consortium.

Funding for the TRDC comes principally from industrial contributions, University support, symposia/seminar proceeds, university/industry consortium contributions and funded research. Additional funding sources are grants and funded research projects from federal and state governments.

The Executive Industry Advisory Board (IAB) members contribute a minimum of $30,000 per year for five years in support of the general activities of the Center. The Executive IAB members are accepted until Nov. 30, 2001. Companies that wish to become Executive IAB members may submit a check for $30,000 together with a pledge for an additional $30,000 per year for the next four years to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The pledge is not legally binding on the companies but rather is a gift to the University and may be tax deductible. The initial number of Executive IAB members is limited to five; however, the Center will accept two additional Executive members after two years. Benefits include:

* Executive IAB members will be able to set the goals and objectives of the center for five years in its early stages of development; and

* The Executive Advisory Members will be recognized as such and have the privilege of serving on the IAB Executive Committee for 10 years.

The Industry Advisory Board Members will be from segments of industry as noted above and will contribute $2,000 per year in support of the general activities of the center. These contributions are also considered gifts to the university and may be tax deductible. Benefits include:

* Serve on advisory board to develop guidelines and plans to operate the center;

* Have access to the results of core research programs, technology reviews, market studies and overall activities of the center;

* Receiving the center's newsletter and technical journal; and

* Recognized and promoted as leaders of the industry supporting activities of the center.

For more information contact Dr. Mohammad Najafi, Director, Trenchless Research and Development Center (TRDC), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri Columbia, E2426 Engineering Building East, Columbia, MO 65211 2200, (573) 884 2132, Fax: (573) 882 4784, E mail:
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Publication:Underground Construction
Date:Oct 1, 2001
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