Convention Preview

A record-breaking number of exhibitors and attendees are expected for the 2001 Underground Construction Technology (UCT) International Conference and Exhibition Jan 23-25, 2001 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX.

"We are sold out of exhibit space, with almost 600 booths, and we expect approximately 4,500 to 5,000 people to attend this year," said Robert Carpenter, UCT program director. "The number of booths is a new record and last year we had about 4,200 people, so we expect a record attendance too."

Show registration will be open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Jan. 22, and 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Jan. 23, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Jan 24 and 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. Jan. 25. Educational sessions are scheduled from 8:15 a.m. - 4 p.m. Jan. 23 and 8:15 - 11 a.m. Jan. 24 and 25.

The two exhibit halls will be open from 4 - 7 p.m. Jan. 23, 10 am - 4:30 p.m. Jan. 24, and 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Jan. 25. A golf tournament is scheduled Jan. 22 beginning at 11 a.m. Receptions will be held the evenings of Jan. 23 and 24.

UCT, the underground construction and rehabilitation industry's largest and most comprehensive business event, will offer plenty of educational opportunities for anyone involved in the underground construction industries, Carpenter added.

The fastest growing show in the underground construction industry, the 2001 UCT will offer more than 75 special presentations by industry speakers sharing information which will provide immediately useful data related to underground construction projects.

"Our educational program is set up to be more hands-on and provide more real world information about the kinds of work people in the industry do instead of having people give presentations and formal papers. Most of the educational activities are panel discussions, presentations by their peers or experts in areas they deal with every day," Carpenter said.

He noted the presentations are broken into several sections to cover industry sectors such as horizontal directional drilling, pipeline work, gas, telecommunications, and others.

Educational opportunities during the 2001 UCT will include sessions on Horizontal Directional Drilling Operations, Projects, Issues and Solutions, Transmission Pipelines, Construction Outlook, and Project Reports; Sewer/Water Construction and Rehabilitation; an Industrial Seminar; Underground Damage Prevention and Safety Conference, Distribution Contractors Association Annual Safety Congress, Trenchless Technological Symposium and Telecommunications Construction.

For the second year, UCT also is featuring a special tutorial program for newcomers to underground construction industries or those who need to brush up on various aspects of the business, Carpenter said. The tutorials help explain items displayed in the exhibit halls and assist attendees in understanding information presented in educational programs.

With the rapid growth of horizontal directional drilling, two special tutorials will focus on "Selecting The Right Tool For Your Rock Job" and "Mud Motor Economics." A special day-long, hands-on, in-the-field directional drilling seminar will follow UCT on Friday, Jan. 26, in Conroe, TX, north of Houston at the training facilities of Tri-Flo International. For information on the seminar, call Eddy Dow, at 936-856-8551, fax 936-856-5668, or e-mail

A special 80-hour HDD Operator Training and Certification School also will be held Jan. 10-20, just prior to UCT. For information on the course, contact Keith Stutterheim at 816-271-4561 or Mohammad Najafi at 816-271-5821 or fax 816-271-5983.

Now in its seventh year, UCT has sold out its exhibit spaces every year. This year's exhibits focus on latest in products and services for all aspects of the underground construction and rehabilitation industry.

"We feel that we are trying to encompass everybody in the underground construction area and trying to hit the areas of most interest in the industry. We've added several new companies this year and several of our past exhibitors have expanded their exhibit space this year," Carpenter said.

UCT provides unique networking opportunities while bringing together personnel from contracting, governmental, utility, telecommunications, engineering, pipeline, and industrial sectors to discuss common issues, problems, possible solutions, and to learn from each other.

For more information about the 2001 UCT, call ExpoExchange at 301-694-5243, or e-mail