Newsletter #3 - June 2010

Newsletter #3 - June 2010

Piergiorgio Grasso,  Presdient of Geodata Engineering S.p.A

Following the success of last December in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the recent training course in Vancouver, Canada, preceding the WTC 2010 was again a great success with 195 registered attendees. This last success proves that the vocation of the
Foundation concerns the training of future specialists not only in countries not having a long experience in underground works but also in those countries with matured technology for and experience in tunnelling and underground space development
as well mining.

As a matter of fact, a series of more than 5 training courses have been requested and also planned by the Foundation for the coming 12 months (see the relevant section of the website), in various ITA member countries, both new (e.g., Argentina)
and old.

The main reason for placing so many requests to our Foundation is the continuous increase in the global demand for tunnelling and the use of underground space and the consequent increase in the need for skills. Furthermore, such increased
demands are often quite challenging because more and more ambitious projects are being conceived in diverse, difficult and complex geo-environments which were thought unfeasible in the past. Indeed, today it is necessary to always conceive-plan
a project with vision, imagining the possible technological developments in the near future, i.e. the limited time span before the actual start of construction of the project. 

One of the effective and efficient means to make this possible is to do Training and Education with unselfishly sharing of the collective experience and creativity in our profession, to which the Foundation is committed.

As also president of Geodata S.p.A., a design consultancy based in Italy and one of the founders of ITACET, I strongly believe that the continuous effort of the Foundation will benefit greatly all parties concerned with future tunnelling
and underground space development projects, because the training and education by the Foundation will provide a platform for understanding the correct scope, approach, methodology, technology, available experience, etc., needed both for conceiving
and for implementing a project. In other words, it will help potential owners or clients to know what is required for developing their projects and what they can expect and ask for from the market in terms of the best engineering services
and practices, potential contractors (including technology suppliers) and consultants to know the expectations of their future clients and thus know how to respond better to the needs. The constant exchange of knowledge and experience can
also promote a sound competition among the constructors and the consultants which, in turn, should promote a continuous and sustainable development of our profession and industry.

As ITA is the unquestionable leader of the tunnelling industry, ITACET will no doubt play a key role in promoting a new culture at all levels in our profession, such that the more courageous the planners and owners dare to imagine and demand
for “impossible missions” of today, the more stimulated will be the consultants, constructors and manufacturers to innovate and contribute to meeting the society’s needs of tomorrow.

Our Foundation is still in its opening year with a promising future. I am deeply convinced that everyone can make a contribution to the future development of our Foundation.

Piergiorgio Grasso
Vice President




The ITA-CET committee sanctioned six news courses during the last WTC in Vancouver:

  • Immersed Tunnels
  • Planning, Construction and Operation of Common Utility Tunnels
  • Innovations in Tunnelling
  • Monitoring and Control in Tunnelling
  • Principles for Tunnel Design
  • Underground Space Use

We've updated our portfolio which now includes thirteen courses.

Follow this link to read the tentative courses and get more details about these new programmes>>



We are very pleased to announce that Professor In-Mo Lee from South-Korea has been elected President of ITA-AITES during the WTC 2010 in Vancouver.

From now on, Professor In-Mo Lee  will be the new ITA-AITES delegate to the  ITACET Council of Foundation.




During the ITA-AITES General assembly in Vancouver, André Assis, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Foundation,  presented an updated activity report of the Foundation for the period 10.2009 - 06.2010.
target="_blank">The slideshow used for the presentation is available for download (Adobe Pdf File) >>

ITA General Assembly 2010 – Vancouver

Report concerning the Foundation ITACET

1 - Following the report presented during the GA 2009, the Foundation ITACET was officially created on September 25th, 2009.

As you can read on the foundation website: , the creation was made by 13 Founders: 6 main founders form the Council of Foundation (Abdullah Al-Mogbel, CUC, Dar el Handasah,
GEODATA, HERRENKNECHT and ITA), the 7 others being BECKAERT, D2 Consult, Leoben University, Rick LOVAT and the member nations representatives from Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria; some donors are also helping for the financial resources from the
Foundation: 2 companies from Saudi Arabia (Al-Ajmi and SAPAC) and two member nations representatives: France and Italy.

2 - According to its Mission Statement:

ITACET Foundation is to be developed into a centre of Excellence
for Education and training on Tunnelling and Underground Space Use

ITACET Foundation fulfils its mission by notably
finance, organise and sponsor:

  • Specialised Training Sessions
  • Certificate courses in establishments of Higher Education
  • Certified Trainee Programmes for Professional Development
  • Creation of International Recommendations, Guidelines and Standards for quality in
    Education and Training actions

The Foundation maintain close relationship with ITA WG 18 Training and with the Committee ITA-CET which allows it to guarantee a very high standard of his teaching programmes and of the choice of the lecturers.

3 – The Foundation organized its first actions:

  • Workshop and Training Session in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) from 6 to 9 December 2009 on the main topic “Tunnelling in hot climate conditions”
  • Training Session in Vancouver (Canada) on 14-15 May 2010 on “General Tunnelling”

4 – The programme of the Foundation for the next year will be finalized by the Council of Foundation in June 2010; the programme should comprise the following actions:

  • Training Session on “Holistic approach for use of wet sprayed concrete for rock support”  in Helsinki (Finland) at the occasion of the WTC 2011 on 20-21 May 2011
  • Training session on “Immersed Tunnels” in Abu Dhabi in October 2010
  • Training Session on “Design for Tunnelling” in Kuala Lumpur on 26-27 February 2011
  • Training session on ”Tunnel design, instrumentation and risk management” in Bangkok during the first week of July 2010
  • Some other training sessions (Bahrain, India) and Workshops (Singapore, Russia and Colombia/Peru) are under preparation


   Training Session WTC10 - Vancouver

With 195 participants from 32 countries including 85 from Canada and 45 from USA, the seminar held during the WTC10 in Vancouver (14-15  May 2010) was a great success.

The 2-day course, organized by the Foundation ITACET and the Tunnelling Association of Canada  (TAC), allowed  21 speakers of the academic an industrial world to provide 17 hours of  courses on General Tunneling.

Next seminar "Training Session on Immersed Tunnels" will be held in Abu Dhabi – October 2010.





Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)  – October 2010: Training Session on “Immersed Tunnels”

Buenos Aires (Argentina) – October 2010: Training Session on "Construction Methods”

Bangkok (Thailand)  – November 2010: Training Session on “Tunnel design, instrumentation and risk management”

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) – 27-28 February 2011: Training Session on “Design for Tunnelling”

Helsinki (Finland) – 20-21 May 2011: Training session on “Holistic Approach for use of wet sprayed concrete for rock support” during WTC 2011


   4th Council of the Foundation

Main decisions taken or discussed during the 4th Council of the Foundation in Lausanne:

On proposal of the President, the Foundation study the technical and administrative possibility to build on the premises of the EPFL a small house for the head office of the Foundation.

The members of the Council discussed the futur strategy of the actions of
the Foundation.

A new secretary, Mrs Stéphanie Bürri will start to work for the Foundation.

The website of the Foundation is going to be updated to propose more services.

More details about this Council Meeting in our next newsletter (September 2010) and in future news to be published on our website.


ITACET Foundation eng. Abdullah Al-Mogbel meet Mr. Patrick Aebischer, President of the Epfl


Mr. eng. Abdullah AL-MOGBEL President of the Foundation meet Mr. Patrick Aebischer, President of the Epfl, to discuss plan of the Foundation to setup its headquarter on the premise of the Epfl.
Also present during this meeting is Mr.
In-Mo Lee,  President of the ITA-AITES and member of the Council of Foundation.




   TUCSS Training Course

TUCSS openening speech by the President

The Foundation followed with interest the Training course "Planning and Design of Tunnels” organized by  the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Society (Singapore) TUCSS on June 9th, 2010, in Singapore.

This event was a great success and the Foundation is looking forward for further collaboration with TUCSS.

TUCSS Training Course “Planning and Design of Tunnels” - 9 June 2010 in Singapore

Training and continued education is critically important to engineers and allied professionals working in the construction industry. This is particularly so in the field of tunnelling, which is fast-changing and operating in a high-risk environment.
With this in mind, the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Society (Singapore) (TUCSS) is organising a series of training courses, workshops and seminars to meet the professional development needs of its members and the industry.

TUCSS conducted its annual one-day training course on Planning
and Design of Tunnels at the Suntec Convention Centre on 9 June 2010. The purpose of the course is to provide a comprehensive background to the planning and design aspects of bored tunnels and associated works. It is aimed at those who
are involved in, as well as provide support services to, the tunnelling and construction industry, including government agencies, clients, consultants, contractors and insurance sector.

The subjects covered in the course were: planning of transit tunnels, ground parameters for design, design of both segmentally lined bored tunnels and shotcrete lined tunnels, damage assessment, instrumentation & monitoring and ground
treatment. All these topics are highly relevant to the detailed designs and construction planning that are underway for the Downtown Line underground mass transit railway which is a 40 kilometre line with 33 stations costing €8 billion.
The course presenters both from Singapore and overseas were well experienced and eminent practitioners in the industry.

The course was attended by 187 participants mainly
from Singapore. There were attendees from the regional countries including Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. TUCSS had sent out invitations to nations such as Laos and Vietnam where tunnelling activities are starting up and there was no
representation at this course but we hope delegates from these nations will be able to join us in future with encouragement from ITA-CET.
Lively discussions followed after each session of the course which helped to clarify doubts
and upgrade knowledge and understanding in some difficult areas. All participants were treated to a sumptuous lunch at the Pearl River Palace Cantonese Restaurant at the Suntec City which is an ideal venue for a memorable gastronomic experience.
They were also given certificates of attendance confirming that they have gained 6 Professional Development Units (PDUs) by participating at this training.