The Louisiana Tech University Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) honored Leo Barbera and James Barbera with lifetime achievement awards for their contributions to the trenchless industry.

TTC presented the awards to the Barbera brothers at a ceremony on Nov. 13 in Ruston, Louisiana, where the center also unveiled the Barbera Underground Infrastructure Research and Training (BUIRT) Facility. Named in honor of the Barbera family, this state-of-the-art facility will offer research, training and development for the trenchless technology industry.

“We’re so grateful to Louisiana Tech and the TTC for honoring us with this award. It’s humbling to have our work recognized in this way,” said James Barbera. “This was an opportunity for us to pay homage to the past, while looking toward the future. We’re excited to be involved with the BUIRT Facility, as it trains the next generation of workers in the trenchless industry.”

Leo Barbera founded American Augers in 1971. He built the company from the ground up, while securing patents along the way to advance the industry in terms of technology and safety. After selling the company in 1989, he has remained an icon in the industry.

After the sale of American Auger, James Barbera founded Barbco Inc. in 1989. Today, the company leads the auger-boring industry with equipment that promotes safety and efficiency, such as the TriBor, Flexbor and Pathfinder.

Associate Director of TTC International Operations Tom Iseley, Ph.D., presented the lifetime achievement awards. Louisiana Tech University President, Leslie Guice, Ph.D., awarded each Barbera brother with medallions for their leadership.

“[The Tenants of Tech] are the values and traditions and principles we all hold dear here at Louisiana Tech,” said Guice. “Students learn those from the time they’re on campus. I created this special medallion for some of those tenants. One of those tenants is leadership, and I can’t think of a better pair to give this medallion to.”

For more information on trenchless technology training and the BUIRT Facility, visit the Louisiana Tech University TTC website.