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The Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI) created an advisory board comprising experts in the municipal water and wastewater industry to advise the non-profit institute, municipalities, and the industry on issues related to high-density polyethylene (HDPE) piping systems.

"We’re always looking to improve our knowledge base to support our members and assist the industry," said Tony Radoszewski, executive director of PPI. "This authoritative panel will help hone our sights to identify issues which are of concern for municipalities and develop additional materials and training programs for our members that address those areas. We also want to improve the standards, design, and installation of the HDPE pipe system to benefit the community at large. It is our goal to have the HDPE Municipal Advisory Board act as a liaison between PPI, our members, and the end-users of HDPE piping systems."

The board comprises 15 members from utilities, academia, design consultants, and contractors. The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) hosted the first meeting of the board on May 1-2, 2008. Mo Najafi, Ph.D., P.E., director of the Center of Underground Infrastructure Research and Education (CUIRE) at UTA, spearheaded organization of the meeting and said, "The value of this partnership is to bring together an independent panel of experts and resources to perform joint research, educate professionals, and improve current pipeline practices."

The next meeting will be held Sept. 4-5, 2008, at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. It will be hosted by Mark Knight, Ph.D., P.Eng., executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Trenchless Technology (CATT) at the University.

The board is led jointly by Camille George Rubeiz, P.E., director of engineering for PPI, and by Luis Aguiar, chief of the Water Distribution Division, Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department in Florida, the fifth largest water municipality in the United States. Other board members are John Fishburne, senior engineer, Field Operations Div., Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities, N.C.; Milton L. Keys, network asset manager, Engineering Services, Veolia Water, Indianapolis; Samuel T. Ariaratnam, Ph.D., P.E., professor, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.; Alan Atalah, Ph.D., P.E., associate professor and MIT graduate coordinator, Bowling Green State University, Ohio; Tom Iseley, Ph.D., P.E., professor and director, Construction Engineering Management Technology, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis; Mark A. Knight, Ph.D., P.Eng., associate professor and executive director, CATT, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Mo Najafi, Ph.D., P.E., director, CUIRE, The University of Texas at Arlington, Texas; Michael Heitmann, vice president, Garney Construction, Kansas City, Mo.; George McGuire, research project manager, Ditch Witch, Perry, Okla.; Kevin Miller, president, Miller Pipeline Co., Indianapolis; Steven R. Kramer, P.E., senior vice president, Parsons Corporation, Washington, D.C.; Lawrence M. Slavin, Ph.D., president, OPCS, Rockaway, N.J.; Joseph P. Castronovo, P.E., senior project manager-Pipelines, HDR, Dallas; and Fred J. Ostler, P.E., senior engineer, Project Engineering Consultants, Nampa, Idaho.