Newsletter #18 - May 2014

Newsletter #18 - May 2014
   President’s address


ITACET foundation has recently organized its 32nd training session; all in all, the sessions gathered more than 3200 participants in 4 years of activity.

This result is remarkable taking into account it was accomplished without any promotion actions, only by the activity of the members of the Council of the Foundation and of the Executive Board.

The Foundation has decided, along with the ITA-CET Committee, to work on a communication plan in order to increase its impact among the ITA Member Nations and the supporting Companies; this plan will be implemented soon, just after the ITA WTC2015 in Iguassu.

Do not hesitate to contact us; we are at your disposal for any training session in the fields of Tunnelling and Underground Space Use!


Eng. A. AL-Mogbel

President of the ITACET Foundation


   Editorial Felix Amberg

 Within ITA there are currently four ITA Committees active: ITA COSUF (ITA Committee on Operational Safety of Underground Facilities), ITA CUS (ITA Committee on Underground Space) und ITA Tech (ITA Committee on Technologies) and last but not least ITA CET (ITA Committee on Education and Training).

ITA CET Foundation has to all of these committees more or less intensive contacts especially in regard to the portfolio of seminars, workshops and lecturer. Institutional wise the links and thus the collaboration with ITA CET Committee are the most intensive. 

Of particular interest for the ITA CET Foundation is ITA Tech, as this committee is constituted of the prime sponsors and supporters of ITA, so to say the representatives of the industry within ITA. The industry is worldwide confronted with an increasing demand for well trained and educated tunnel workers who know how to make best use and applications of machines, materials and equipment, as they become more and more sophisticated and complex.
ITA CET Committee has responded to that interest in creating an Activity Group (number 2) within the committee which explicitly responds to these special needs of the industry. The ITA CET endorsed nozzlemen certification schemes are a good example for these activities but there are far more issues to address. The working programme of the AG 2 shows in which way these different topics will be dealt with.
The industry itself also has started to collaborate more actively with the ITA CET Foundation. Several training course on specific topics have been organized together with the industry, with lecturers and a significant financial contribution from the industry. Both the industry and the participants of the relevant courses consider them as of high quality and the large number of attendees is a strong confirmation that the ITA CET Foundation together with the industry is responding adequately to this demand.
The ITA tech committee also is represented with one delegate within the ITA CET committee. This delegate reports in the two Steering Boards about the activities of the other committee and helps to best coordinate the joint efforts for the sake of training and education. 
All this are promising signals which show that ITA is well on track on its way to become the provider of first class training and education for the underground construction industry.
Felix Amberg


   A word from Robert Galler new Chairman of the ITA-CET Committee


Dear ITA-family and friends,

In the ITA-CET Committee meeting on 19th September 2013 in London I, Robert Galler, representative of ITA-Austria and Full Professor for the field of Subsurface Engineering at Montan Universität Leoben, Austria, was elected to be the new Chairman of the ITA-CET Steering Committee, what is my great honor.

With this change in the chairmanship we at the same time started to set up 4 activity groups within the ITA-CET Committee. My colleagues Michel from France, Volker from Switzerland, Georg from Switzerland and Fulvio from Italy and of course Claude from France, the secretary general as well as Berenice will try to make Communication – Education – Training in the field of Underground Engineering most attractive. The installed activity groups are as follows:

Activity group number 1 is dealing with training and education for the member nations and is led by Michel Deffayet, France, who is also the vice chairman of the ITA-CET steering committee and as such in charge of technical affairs.

Activity group number 2 is dealing with training and education of professionals. Volker Wetzig from VHS Hagerbach, Switzerland took over the responsibility of this activity group.

Activity group number 3 is the University network. Georg Anagnostou, full professor for the fields of geotechnical questions and tunnelling at ETH Zürich tries to setup a worldwide working University network. Fulvio Tonon from US and Italy is in charge of Activity group number 4, which is dealing with the development of didactic material including e-learning.

Very strong support for all the actions is given by the Secretary General Claude Berenguier, without whom I think it would be impossible to get all the actions of ITA-CET well done. Furthermore Jeannette and Alexandre are supporting Claude in the ITACET Foundation office in Lausanne. So we are a quite strong team to make ITA-CET flying!

Within the reporting period ITA-CET Committee and ITACET Foundation organized numerous underground education seminars recently, in Zagreb for underground space use, in Sao Paulo for immersed tunnels, in Kathmandu for investigation, design and construction, in Riyad for utility tunnels, in Shanghai on Modern Technology in Design, Construction & Operation in Metro & Road Tunnels, the latest training session has has been organized in Hanoi on "Tunnelling in Urban Area".

At the moment we are dealing with the preparation of training courses Iguassu and Mexico City; new requests are also coming in Bhutan, Myanmar, Pakistan... These training sessions are always privileged moments for reinforcing the contacts and sharing the knowledge.

In case you have any need in underground construction training and education either on a professional or on a university level please feel free to get in touch with us.

We are open for demand! 


Best regards 


   WTC2014 Iguassu Falls, Brazil


Remember,  the WTC2014 Training session.

The wonderfull setting of Iguassu Falls is the perfect place to learn and talk on "Tunnels for Energy", the main theme of the training session to be held next week 9-10 May.

Registration is still open, both for the training session and the congress.
Do not miss this special opportunity to improved your knowledge and expand your social newtork !

More on the congress on

Detailed information on the training session here >>


   ITA Endorsed Master: Scholarship
With its annual scholarship’s grant, the Foundation encourage young engineers from emerging countries to pursue their education in the field of Tunnelling and underground space use. 
This ITACET Foundation grant is available to students accepted in one of the ITA-AITES Endorsed Master course, either in EPFL Lausanne, INSA & ENTPE Lyon and Politecnico di Torino.
Detailed information on the ITACET Foundation Scholarship are available on the website of the Foundation
A word on M. Murat Balatan who was awarded the 2012’s ITACET Foundation scholarship grant to attend the joint INSA / ENTPE MAS on TUNNELS ET OUVRAGES SOUTERRAINS in Lyon. 
At the occasion of a meeting with Mr. Claude Bérenguier, executive director of the Foundation he gave a feedback on its latest formation and the professional opportunities it opened to him.
Immediately after having successfully finished its MAS, M. Balatan found a 6 months internship at EGIS Tunnel.
The MAS as well as his past professional experiences were decisive in securing this internship. During this 6 months professional experience, Mr. Balatan participated to the elaboration of the request for proposal for the La Porte access gallery along the Lyon-Turin Base tunnel.
Following his internship Mr. Balatan was hired as a specialized civil engineer by EGIS Tunnel, he is currently working on the Paris Mass Transit EOLE project. 
M. Balatan stated that the financial and moral support of the Foundation has been a great help to achieve his professional endeavor and is looking forward to play an active role in the future ITA-AITES activities.



   Next events in preparation
  • "Mechanized Tunnelling" - Mexico City, Mexico - June 26-27 2014.
  • "General Tunnelling" - Thimphu, Buthan - September 12-13 2014.
  • "Principle for Tunnelling Design" - Islamabad, Pakistan - October 22-23 2014



   Training Session in Hanoi


The 1st ITACET training course in Vietnam was held in Hanoi on 9-11 April 2014.

This event was very well prepared by Prof. Dr. NGUYEN Quang Phich, Président of VTA (Vietnam Tunnelling Association), and Dr. LE Quang Hanh, Vice President of VTA and Director of FECON Institute. This Institute was also in charge of all the local organization.

Almost 130 participants representing all the profession – officials of the technical services of the government, consultants, engineers and contractors – were very attentive to the lectures on the theme of Tunnelling in urban areas. This topic is a major issue in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh which both work on the way to handle the traffic growth and the development of the metro system.

The session was opened by Soren ESKESEN, the ITA President, whose special lecture was dedicated to general aspects of urban tunneling with a focus on environmental issues. Then Félix AMBERG, Lars Babendererde and Robert GALLER gave an overview of the various tunnelling methods before detailing first the specific aspect of mechanized tunneling in soft soil and then the principles of conventional tunneling.

Risk analysis, site investigation and monitoring were also among the topics developed by Soren ESKESEN, Robert GALLER and Claudia UNGERS from VMT GmbH.

The last day of the 3 days course was devoted to operation and maintenance issues with lectures by Michel DEFFAYET, before the presentation of several past and ongoing case studies by Karin BAPPLER and Robert GALLER. Dr HOANG Nhan Pham also gave a special focus on ground improvement and jet grouting technique.

The debates were particularly animated and interesting. Thanks to the quality of the organization by FECON, the session ended with the official delivery of the certificate to all the participants. A very friendly and sympathetic ceremony that will leave very good memories.



Messer. Martin Knight and Tim Babendererde contributed to the International Bridges and Tunnels Technical Congress & Exhibition training course (IBTC2014), held in Shanghai, April 23 - 25 2014 . 

M. Martin Knight lectured on "Tunnel Risk Issues" and M. Tim Bebendererde on "TBM Tunnel Construction". 

Around one hundred participants followed with great interest the training session.

Ill. T. L. to R. Messrs. Tim Babendererde and Bai Yun. B. Mr. Martin Knight