Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) is almost synonymous with Ron Halderman. He, along with other innovators, paved the way for trenchless technology. Halderman died May 29, in Billings, Montana, at the age 72, after battling cancer.
Born July 24, 1947, Halderman acquired 36 years of design and project management experience in HDD projects, including design-build and EPC delivery methods. He never ceased to find a better way to serve his clients in the industry. A registered professional engineer, he held a degree in Geological Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and graduate studies from the University of Idaho.
“HDD was not created to fill a need,” Halderman said in a 2014 article in Trenchless Technology, a sister publication of North American Oil & Gas Pipelines. “It was created to fill a desire to provide an alternative methodology. New innovations are sporadic and largely a surprise coming from innovative people. They will happen and the industry needs to be ready to use them. HDD was created by innovators. It still needs that attitude more than ever.”
Over the years Halderman published many articles and presented numerous papers. He was involved in many “firsts” in this industry – first mile-long drill, first drill under an airport runway, first mile-long drill in rock, and he managed a number of award-winning projects across the globe. He held two HDD related patents entitled “Apparatus and Method for Recirculating Mud When Drilling under an Obstacle” and “Drilling Fluid Recovery when Drilling under an Obstacle or Water Body.” He was the co-creator of thixotropic thermal grout (No-Set™) for high voltage electrical transmission systems (patent pending).
Halderman was inducted into the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) Hall of Fame in 2015 for his contributions to the advancement of both the trenchless technology industry and NASTT as an organization.
Halderman served as director of special projects for Mears Group. He was a pillar of integrity and accomplishments, that was well earned over his 36-year career in the industry. He was also a beloved father, husband, son and friend to many. His wife, Lynn, always present and supportive of his career, can attest to his quirky humor, but also of his grounded stability and love for his family.
Mears was privileged to have a person of Ron’s stature in its ranks and is thankful for his innovativeness and passion for his work. He will always remain part of the Mears’ family and is an integral part of company’s history as a truly remarkable person.
The family will be making a donation to Colorado School of Mines in memory of Halderman.