Prominent trenchless technology figure Robert H. Westphal of Michels has passed away.
Known to peers as Bob, he began with Michels in 1965 as a pipeline labourer before rising up the ladder to eventually become the company’s Senior Vice President.
Regarded as one of the leaders in the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) industry across the US and around the world, Bob spearheaded Michels’ entry into HDD and continued to champion the company’s advancement in other trenchless technology methods including direct pipe, tunnelling, microtunnelling, pipeline construction and pipeline rehabilitation.
Michels said Bob was a great leader, a generous mentor and valued friend to those he worked with.
“It is our belief that the strength of his successors defines a leader’s true success,” said the company.
“In that regard, Bob was the best. He was selflessly devoted to improving the abilities and skills of those who worked with him.”
Bob was inducted into the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) Hall of Fame in 2019 and served on the Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA) Board of Directors for 13 years, including a year as President in 2005.
Bob is survived by his wife Jone and his sons Scott, Jeff, Matt and Chad.
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