May 2019 Vol. 74 No. 5


UCT Grows Bigger in Texas as 25-Year Milestone Nears

The Texas sun had barely set on a successful 2019 Underground Technology International Conference & Exhibition (UCT) when preparations began to for next year’s silver anniversary show.

As the first major industry event each year, UCT marks the unofficial start of the spring construction season and provides a gauge on the year’s outlook. Growing attendance, strong vendor support and an upbeat tone at the conference and exhibition signaled positive expectations for the months ahead.

UCT, which is sponsored by Underground Construction and Pipeline & Gas Journal magazines in collaboration with the Underground Construction Technology Association (UCTA) and the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) plus 23 industry associations and nine academic institutions, drew more than 2,000 registrants as the event returned to the Fort Worth Convention Center venue. The area has proven so popular among exhibitors and attendees that UCT has elected to return to Fort Worth for its 25th anniversary year in January 2020.

“We are grateful to everyone who helped make UCT such a success this year, and we are especially excited by the positive response we have already received during early preparations for next year’s event,” said Karen Francis, convention director of UCT. “Our mission is to contribute to the success and safety of our industry, and the feedback we have received from participants this year shows that we are making strides toward this goal.”

A survey conducted during the show drew high marks from exhibitors and attendees, including one who wrote: “Good mix of educational topics, exhibit hall provided opportunities for hands on info. The I&I seminar was great, hopefully it can be included next year.”

UCT ranked especially high on its selection of keynote speakers, with a 100 percent positive response rate. In the opening keynote, Tom Kula of (NTMWD) addressed the “Future of Water & Wastewater in North Texas. In the next, Fiona Allen of TRA shared her outlook for the industry in “Challenges & Trends (as I See Them!).”

Educational programs

Industry professionals attended more than 80 educational sessions covering every aspect of constructing, rehabilitating and maintaining underground infrastructure during the three-day conference. Divided into 11 focused topic tracks ranging from HDD operations and productivity to laterals rehabilitation, the sessions offered attendees a broad selection of tutorials, interactive presentations, panel discussions, roundtables and in-depth case histories. The educational format is unique among industry conferences and is designed to be truly interactive, information sharing presentations.

Conference attendees gave the educational program consistently high marks in a participant survey.

“I thought the educational sessions were a fantastic learning experience and allowed me to broaden my knowledge on a wide range of topics,” wrote one participant. Another noted their scheduling around other UCT activities: “I liked that the technical sessions were limited in time so that you had an opportunity to visit the exhibit hall, without the risk of missing a technical session you wanted to see.”

In addition to lecture and panel sessions, one of the most popular educational forums at UCT is the RehabZone, a hands-on, interactive exhibit that covers 10,000 square feet of space adjacent to the exhibition. This unique educational format alongside the large exhibition provides a combination of subjective and specific product information that attendees can bring home and immediately apply to their work environment.


Among the highlights of every UCT is viewing the industry’s latest products and services and learning about their benefits directly from the companies. Likewise, it offers exhibitors an opportunity to hear directly from customers about their needs.

“The exhibit hall was very well set out,” said Jessica Moore of Utility Innovations Services. “I came all the way from the UK to introduce our product to the American utility market, and the UCT show has been a great start.”

Corporate sponsors for UCT 2019 included TT Technologies, Akkerman, Miller Pipeline, Herrenknecht, JT Miller, Alan Plummer Associates, National Liner, Interplastic Corporation and AP/M Permaform. .

UCT will return to the Fort Worth Convention Center Jan. 28–30, 2020. For more information, visit or contact Karen Francis (713) 520-4450,

From Archive


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}