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Tunneling industry will gather in Nashville for NAT 2024 conference

The North American Tunneling (NAT) Conference returns on June 23-26 at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN.

The biennial tunneling event brings together the brightest and most resourceful minds in the industry for four days of technical programing, networking and a robust exhibit. Conference chair Dawn Dobson-Markman said this year’s conference is offering a pair of excellent short courses to begin the conference. One short course will focus on critical infrastructure crossings and the other on underground contracting principles.

“The conference committee believes these courses offer interesting topics and learning opportunities for our young members, students and professors who are attending the conference,” said Dobson-Markman.

In addition to the short courses Tony Gonzalez, news director of 90.3 Nashville Public Radio will be the featured luncheon speaker. Gonzalez is the host of a podcast called Curious Nashville and will speak about the city’s impressive network of stormwater tunnels and the rumors about them. 

Conference program chair Louis Falco added, “As a whole, the tunneling industry has always been fascinating to work with. Our methods of excavation are always improving and evolving thanks to innovative and increasing technology applications depending on what “Mother Nature” has laid out for us. This year’s NAT technical program includes a multitude of topics emerging from those experiences our industry has dealt with. Our programming team was impressed with the whole lot of papers delivered for this conference. All four tracks have provided our colleagues with interesting topics ranging from innovations in construction, design, digital technology, project delivery, underground risks & assessments, tunnel lining design, challenges encountered in excavations by TBM, SEM & shafts.”

Networking events include the Owners Reception, Women in Tunneling Breakfast, and UCA Young Members.

“Based on comments from those that complete the surveys each year, networking continues to be the primary reason people attend the conferences and I couldn’t agree more,” said Dobson-Markman. “It’s always great to catch up with colleagues and meet those that may be new to the industry. Of course, technical sessions and the short courses are another significant reason to attend NAT. A lot of work goes into soliciting and evaluating the papers that are included in the conference. The topics are quite varied and there’s valuable information for everyone.”

NAT is held in even years while the industry turns to Rapid Excavation Tunneling Conference (RETC) in alternating years.

“This format has given the industry the ability to utilize experts with diverse experience and a continuous effort to share and provide interesting engineering papers on different subject matters,” said Falco. “These papers are valuable and offer lessons learned to all who read them. Both venues also offer a great way to continue networking, learn about new projects, hear of new technology, and new products brought onto the industry by vendors.”

In addition to the professional development opportunities and social events NAT hosts a robust exhibit hall with more than 200 booths displaying some of the latest technologies for the tunneling and underground construction industry.

Registration for NAT is open. More information can be found here https://natconference.com/nat-overview/.

Photo: NAT 2022 exhibit floor in Philadelphia, PA.

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