Brian Dorwart: Trenchless Resource

Dec. 3, 2008
After years of experience in geotechnical engineering, instrumentation and trenchless technology, Brian Dorwart’s role in his firm Haley and Aldrich, Inc is “trenchless resource.”

After years of experience in geotechnical engineering, instrumentation and trenchless technology, Brian Dorwart’s role in his firm Haley and Aldrich, Inc. is “trenchless resource.” His position requires him to present to clients and agencies on trenchless technologies and capabilities of various trenchless methods.

Dorwart, vice president of Haley and Aldrich, focuses on the education of contractors and engineers on the proper application and design practices for trenchless projects. He is responsible for technical services and business development for horizontal directional drilling projects. Projects have included underground utilities and transportation tunnels and drills, slope assessment and remediation, storm water system design, shoreline stabilization, and the interaction of subsurface conditions on construction activities.
“As an industry resource, I have frequently served an as expert consultant and witness where the importance of simplification and clarity of a trenchless process is important for all involved parties,” Dorwart said.

He finds it much more interesting and challenging to be invited to teach trenchless technologies to interested people who would like to responsibly apply the technology to their projects.

Dorwart will be teaching “Trenchless Technology: Innovations in Horizontal Directional Drilling,” a short course for Lorman next Monday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. He will also present a seminar on Jan. 12, 2009, at the Northeast Trenchless Association annual meeting where is he on the Board of Directors. The seminar covers the interpretation of geotechnical reports for trenchless construction.

Dorwart will also be at the Underground Construction Technology Conference, Jan. 20 to 22, 2009, leading a panel discussion on "The Roll and Significance of Consulting Engineers in HDD.”

After working on so many projects in his lifetime, Dorwart has learned to focus on what is right for the project, communicate in simple language, and listen to the construction team, which he said is the most important message he can relay to his students.

He also stresses the significance of trenchless construction. “The field of trenchless construction is a critical element in the long line of projects of the future. It is a technique that offers underground construction with a fraction of the carbon footprint of a trenching operation.”

Trenchless construction can be much more “socially sensitive than trenching” and less disruptive to urban environments, according to Dorwart. “Recognizing the importance and place for trenchless construction techniques, and the specialized engineering and contractor skills required to have success projects will be a critical component to the planning and execution of upcoming reconstruction of our aging infrastructure.”

Dorwart has varied experience as a teacher. He has been a ski teacher for many years where he learned to speak freely to a crowd along with “taking the jabs.” He also worked as a research assistant teaching undergraduates about soil mechanics and laboratory testing.

He has been in the construction field since high school. He loves to build things with large toys and lots of horsepower. After graduating with a bachelors degree in geology from the University of Rochester, he worked as a soil technician and driller before going back to school for a Masters degree. Dorwart has worked in underground construction engineering since 1979 in mines, stations and tunnels. Since about 1992, he has concentrated on horizontal directional drilling.

Presently, he oversees the national horizontal directional drilling operations for Haley and Aldrich including feasibility, design, permitting, and construction for telecom, power, gas, water, and combined services. His personal interest is the application of risk managed design methods for HDD projects. Haley & Aldrich has assisted clients in the energy industry for more than 50 years with a range of strategic management, environmental and underground engineering services focused on the development of energy generation and distribution facilities.

Dorwart said he likes to work with a driller in the field to construct projects and “to see if my design is any good. The drillers are not afraid to let you know if there is a problem.”

He spends his spare time writing programs for analyzing directional drill project components or thermal grouting designs, including assessing various pumping and other types of equipment. “I also read about history and like to tour historical sites. In the winter, I ski as often as possible and usually with my kids,” he said.

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