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Ash Hamer wins ASTT Young Person of the Year Award

Yarra Valley Water’s Major Projects Manager, Ash Hamer, has been recognised for his contributions to the Australasian Society Trenchless Technology (ASTT) industry.

Ash Hamer has been named ASTT Young Person of the Year Award at the No-Dig Down Under Conference and Convention 2022 awards.

The awards were held recently at a gala dinner in Sydney.

Ash was recognised for being an innovator and successfully leading the Major Projects team to deliver over $200M worth of trenchless work over the past few years. During this time, he developed an in-depth knowledge of all spectrums of trenchless technology, including horizontal directional drilling[i] (HDD) and micro-tunnelling[ii].

The judges were impressed by his “meritorious commitment to the development of the trenchless industry in Australia.” adding “He is technically savvy and a passionate advocate of trenchless technology who empowers his team to think big and push beyond the boundaries of the norm.

“Above all, Ash has the rare combination of high professionalism delivered with honesty and compassion, which makes him the perfect candidate for Young Person of the Year.”

The Australasian Society for Trenchless Technology said: “These awards represent the pinnacle of achievement for the trenchless technology industry, and we congratulate all the winners and finalists in the 2022 ASTT awards.”

Ash said he was truly humbled to receive such a prestigious award.

“I’m really humbled and proud to win this accolade, because the trenchless industry is an essential part of delivering infrastructure for our customers that will support health and wellbeing for current and future generations,” Mr Hamer said.

“Our sewer mains have been getting larger and more complex over the last 10 years due to population growth and because we’re often working through sensitive areas, we’ve had to rely heavily on trenchless construction methods,” he said.

One of Ash’s team’s biggest recent achievements has been the $80M Lockerbie Main Sewer Project - one of Yarra Valley Water’s largest capital works projects, which runs over 9km between Donnybrook and Wallan.

His team and delivery partners used innovative techniques, including trenchless drilling technology, to minimise disruption to sensitive cultural heritage and environmental sites along the construction route.

“It’s fundamentally important that we don’t disturb environmentally sensitive areas and Aboriginal cultural heritage during any construction works,” Mr Hamer said.

“With trenchless technology there’s less digging, which significantly reduces the damage to surrounding areas. Although due to complex ground conditions it is important that we collaborate with our delivery partners for successful outcomes.

“The industry continues to develop and grow so there are exciting times ahead for trenchless technology in Australia, as utilities it is important that we continue to engage with the trenchless industry,” he said.

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty said: “This an amazing achievement, and we are all very proud of Ash. His greatest achievement has been to successfully combine his incredible technical knowledge with a deep commitment to protecting the environment and preserving our cultural heritage in everything we do. This sits in line with Yarra Valley Water’s commitment to caring for country, our people and the environment."

“As a leader, he’s an innovative thinker who is dedicated to making improvements for the whole industry. As well as promoting new technologies, Ash has been instrumental in developing and using Glass Reinforced Polymer Maintenance Structures at Yarra Valley Water. He regularly keeps up to date with the latest technology and he’s constantly looking for areas to improve. Ash is the perfect example of what a good leader should be.”

For the full list of ASTT winners, head to the No-Dig Down Under website.

[i] Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is a trenchless construction method used to install pipes underground without disturbing the ground surface.

[ii]  Micro-tunnelling is a trenchless construction method in which a borehole is excavated, and pipes laid simultaneously using remote guidance, pipe jacking, and continuous support.