In mid-August, more than a thousand attendees supporting the pipeline engineering community gathered in San Antonio for the Pipelines 2023 Conference. Despite the extremely hot weather outside, attendees were excited to participate in five days of workshops, technical sessions, committee meetings, networking opportunities, as well as touring the exhibit hall to preview the latest products and services.
Activities kicked off on Saturday with the first of eight Pre-Conference Workshops. Topics included the popular annual Large Diameter Users Forum, that was complimented by the Large Equipment Owners Forum, a look at the use of PVC and HDPE pipes, Force Main Rehab, Steel Pipe success stories, ASCE-38 Field Investigations, and in-depth classes about our two newest Manuals of Practice on Manhole Rehabilitation and Installation and Direct Steerable Pipe Thrusting.  
Returning this year was our Pipelines Research Symposium. An opportunity for new research to be shared with the larger community.
UESI’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of engineers was evident in the Student Scholarship program and the Pipelines Student Competition. The scholarship has grown to include twenty winners selected from more than forty applicants. Each scholarship winner was matched with a mentor to help them navigate the conference and network. The Student Competition featured six undergraduate students this year. The students were tasked with presenting solutions to a problem, through the collection of information from exhibitors.
Sunday was capped off with our Opening Exhibit Hall Reception where attendees got a taste of the local cuisine and music. Our largest ever exhibit hall was buzzing all week with the latest products and services. This opportunity to explore all of our exhibitors’ offerings was especially enjoyed by our 100 Municipal Scholarship winners, the most we’ve ever awarded.
Monday started us off with an introduction to Texas and San Antonio history courtesy of historian Tom Jackson. We take pride in presenting our inaugural class of seven board certified Pipelines Engineering-Water (BC.PLW) candidates. Monday was also the beginning of the seven-track technical program featuring Planning and Design, Construction and Rehab, Condition Assessment, Multidiscipline, and Utility Engineering and Surveying topics. Highlights included panel sessions on Diversity in Engineering, Ethics, Asset Management, and What Every Civil Engineer Wants to Know About the Evolving Technology of Geomatics and Engineering Surveying.
Tuesday’s highlights included awarding several ASCE and UESI awards to our volunteers. These included two new awards for Best Project and Younger Member of the Year. Keynote speaker Josh Davis, an Olympic swimmer, inspired the crowd with his message of commitment, attitude, integrity, and gratitude. As a bonus, Josh stayed after the lunch to allow a long line of attendees to get photos with his Olympic medals. Tuesday ended on a high note with the Structural Technologies sponsored reception.
Wednesday capped off the technical program with a half day of sessions and a farewell lunch featuring Deedrah Daniels and the Most Interesting Game. Many attendees extended their day by taking part in tours of the San Antonio River, or the SAWS H2Oaks Center and ASR.
The Pipelines 2023 Conference was as big as Texas in many ways and continued UESI’s tradition of providing excellent technical content, the latest products and services, and opportunities to network with the UESI community.  We are excited to look ahead to 2024: Utility Infrastructure: Moving Onward to a Sustainable Future in Calgary, Canada. Consider submitting an abstract for next year’s conference.