Dr. Ray Sterling has been awarded the International Society for Trenchless Technology's (ISTT) Gold Medal and the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) Chairman's Award for Outstanding Lifetime Service.
Sterling, professor emeritus of civil engineering and former director of Louisiana Tech's Trenchless Technology Center, received these prestigious honors for his career-long service and contributions to the field of trenchless technology.
The announcement was made at the 2009 International No-Dig Show held in Toronto.
"This is a most prestigious award that recognizes Ray's leadership in shaping the profession internationally," says Dr. Les Guice, vice president for research and development at Louisiana Tech.
"Ray is a great scholar, visionary and diplomat. It is those characteristics that helped him to elevate the field of trenchless technology around the world."
Trenchless Technology involves the development and use of specialized methods for installing and rehabilitating underground utility systems with minimal surface disruption and destruction resulting from excavation.
The ISTT's Gold Medal is awarded to individuals who are deemed to have made an outstanding and exceptional individual contribution to Trenchless Technology. The award is rare, having only been given four times previously in the ISTT's 23-year history.
Sterling's service to the trenchless technology industry includes past chairmanships of the ISTT and NASTT, and the authoring of hundreds of books and papers. He joined the faculty at Louisiana Tech in 1995 as the CETF Professor of Civil Engineering and later, the director of its Trenchless Technology Center (TTC).
"Ray has been a tireless champion of Trenchless Technology," said NASTT Chairman Chris Brahler. "He has been a pillar of the industry and has been involved, in one way or another over the years, in so many trenchless events and has really been instrumental in shaping the trenchless industry as we know it today."
The TTC at Louisiana Tech was initiated as the Trenchless Excavation Center in 1989 and formally established as the Trenchless Technology Center in November 1991. It was created to promote research, development and technology transfer in the trenchless technology industry. In addition to its research activities, a strong effort has been focused towards the education of engineers, contractors, government agencies and others about the availability and capability of trenchless methods for the solution of difficult underground infrastructure problems.