Lawrence Tech to host weeklong seminar on limiting underground utility damage

SOUTHFIELD—Inadvertent damage to underground utilities—buried gas, water, sewer, and electric lines—is a $30-billion-a-year problem in the United States.

Soon, a weeklong workshop hosted by Lawrence Technological University will explore how to solve the problem and cut that price tag.

The ninth Underground Investigation School (UIS), sponsored by the Buried Asset Management Institute-International (BAMI-I) and the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute, will be held on LTU’s Southfield campus Aug. 9-13. Up to 25 representatives of academia, utilities, and the construction and design industries are expected to attend. It’s the first time the event has ever been held in Michigan.

Leading the workshop for LTU is Ahmed Al-Bayati, assistant professor of civil and architectural engineering.

“In the U.S., there are more than 500,000 instances of damage to underground utilities due to construction activities every year,” Al-Bayati said. “We’ll be discussing how to prevent damage. Construction designers and engineers need to understand how their design and construction efforts could influence underground utilities.”

The program was developed by Tom Iseley, professor of engineering practice at Purdue University, and Jim Anspach, a civil engineering consultant from Bend, Ore. The five-day, 40-hour course will include both classroom lectures and hands-on experience in the field.

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Lawrence Technological University,, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers nearly 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 100 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.



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