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An engineer and graduate of the French National School of Public Works and the French National School of Bridges and Roads, Michel Deffayet is currently the manager of the Centre for Tunnel Studies (CETU). This Centre, created in 1971, is the French government's technical centre for road tunnels.

Michel Deffayet started his career in the field of underground works with an involvement in many French road tunnel projets .

In 1995, he became the Head of the Environment and Infrastructure Engineering Department of the Centre for Technical Infrastructure Studies in Metz (France), and supervised several motorway project studies.

In 1999, he joined the Greater Lyon council, where he was in charge of urban planning and transport, contributing to major projects in the city.

Since 2004, he has been the Director of CETU with a personal involvement in all CETU's activities, covering civil engineering, equipment and operation-related aspects of tunnels. He has notably been involved in the production of regulatory texts and guidelines, research and development in the field of underground works, consultancy and assistance for tunnel owners and training actions.

He is also the Government representative in the National Commission for the Evaluation of Infrastructure Safety and President of the French Association of Tunnels and Underground Space.

On an international level, he is currently Vice Chairman of the ITA Committee on Education and Training (ITA-CET Committee).