Newsletter #5 - December 2010

Newsletter #5 - December 2010
   A word from the President

The Foundation has just celebrated its first anniversary, and I am pleased to note that its first results are promising: four Training sessions have been carried out in Saudi Arabia, in Canada, in Abu Dhabi, and in Argentina; some others are in
preparation notably in Thailand, Malaysia, China and Abu Dhabi again.

The Foundation has also contributed to its goal in inviting to its actions several participants from developing countries (Myanmar, Laos, Nepal, etc.), and some studies are in progress to organize sessions directly in several developing countries.

At the same time the studies are going on to endow the Foundation with specific offices within the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.

The Foundation was created in order to promote the Professional Training and Development of experts with different levels of competence and different sectors of expertise in the field of Tunnelling and Underground space; it is at the service,
in close relation with ITA, of all those who wish to contribute to this goal; feel free to ask for its contribution, and to contribute to its development for the benefit of all our profession.

The President Eng Abdullah AI-Mogbel


   Editorial of Prof. Jian Zhao

Prof. Jian Zhao holds the Chair of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling and is the Director of Laboratoire de Mécanique des Roches (LMR) in EPFL

ITA CET Foundation is naturally, together with ITA, hosted by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Laboratoire de Mécanique des Roches (LMR).  As an educational institution, EPFL supports close collaboration with ITA CET Foundation to provide education and training to the tunnelling industry.

With the enormous demand of tunnelling projects worldwide, the tunnelling industry is facing the shortage of engineers and workforce trained and equipped with the technology and the skill.  This may lead to undesirable consequences to the tunnelling industry, in terms of quantity, quality and safety. 

While universities are responsible to educate and train engineers from school students, they provide the general long-term needs with at least a five-year delayed response from the industry. 

The quickest solution is from the industry itself, through the training programs organised by industrial and professional associations.  It is therefore indeed a positive move to establish ITA CET Foundation offering the training need of the tunnelling industry.

It should also be noted, under the steering of the ITA CET Committee, several master programs have been set-up in universities, in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Spain, Greece, USA, etc, and there will be more to start.  For example, the Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Tunnelling offer by EPFL LMR ( is a training course endorsed by ITA CET and it is in its 4th run, and is to be extended to China next year in collaboration with Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu. 

They are part of the ITA CET education and training strategies, to provide high quality and comprehensive training to tunnel engineers worldwide.

A close collaboration between ITA CET Foundation and the universities would benefit ultimately to the tunnelling industry.  It could provide the best professional trainings combining the university educational strength and industry practical experiences, offering various types of education and training, at various levels and for various durations.

Education and training, technology and development are the keys to the success and sustainability of the tunnelling industry.  We will build more tunnels, and we will need to build tunnels faster, better, and safer.  We will need good engineers - many of them, and we need good education and training programs to prepare them.  ITA CET Foundation is just doing that, for and as part of, the international tunnelling community.

Prof. Jian Zhao holds the Chair of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling

 and is the Director of Laboratoire de Mécanique des Roches (LMR) in EPFL



   Conversation with Prof. Andre Assis

André Assis is a professor at the university of Brasilia, consultant in tunnelling and chairman of the executive board of the Foundation vspace="3" width="300" />

A seven minutes abstract of an open conversation about the purpose and aims of the Foundation, and what the chairman of the executive board is expecting from its actions.

Watch it on epfl TV >>





   Seminar in Buenos Aires

At the request of the Association of Tunnels and Underground Space (AATES), the Foundation organized a one day seminar on "Construction Methods for Tunnelling".

Six lecturers, André Assis - Chairman of the Executive Council of ITACET Foundation, Amanda Ellioff - ITA Executive Council member,  Soren Eskesen - ITA Vice-President gave a total of eigth lectures. Piergiorgio Grasso - Vice-President of the Council of the ITACET Foundation,  In-Mo Lee – ITA President and  Daniele Peila  - ITACET Foundation Technical Director


  • Why going underground
  • General choice of Constructive Method
  • Principles of Conventional Tunnelling
  • Ground Reinforcement for Conventional Tunnelling
  • Excavation Methods and Conventional Tunnelling Support
  • TBM: types and choice in Soft Ground / Hard Rock
  • Risk Management in Tunnelling

More than 160 attendees joined  this conference.



   Training Session Abu Dhabi

 October 5 – 6, 2010 The Foundation organized this training session for the Department of Transport of Abu-Dhabi. Attendees were officials of the Department of Transports.

The two days program  was prepared in coordination with the ITA-CET Committee and the ITA-AITES Working group "Immersed and floating tunnels" .

This training session allowed  4 speakers, namely, M.Chrisian Ingerslev (coordinator of this event) , MM.Jon Baber,Hans De Wit and Michael Tonnesen to provide 16 lectures to the participants.

Covered topics ranged from "overview of immersed tunnels" to "Safety and Managing Project Risk".


   Training session in Bangkok

At the request of the Thailand  Underground & Tunnelling Group
the Foundation prepared a two days training session on "Principles of Tunnel Design and Construction".

More than sixty persons registered for the training session, both from the academical and corporate world.

The Foundation invited two young engineers, one from Laos, one from Myanmar, covering their travel and accomodation expenses. The organizer, TUTG offered them the seminar subscription fees.

Four lecturers from our network, Lars Babenderde, Animateur, International Tunnelling Association WG 14, Mr. Soren Eskesen, Vice President, International Tunnelling and Underground  Space Association,  Professor In-Moo Lee. President, International Tunnelling and Underground  Space Association (ITA), Dr. Harald Wagner, Expert to the ITA Executive Council, gave a total of sixteen lectures.

Sessions topics were:

  • Introduction and Overview on Tunnel Design and Construction
  • Tunneling Methods
  • Conventional Tunneling
  • Mechanized Tunneling

Full programm is available for download >>


   New donor

On the occasion of the Training Session on Immersed Tunnels in Abu-Dhabi, Christian Ingerslev, technical organizer on behalf of the Foundation, made a donation to the foundation. We thank him warmly.





   Foundation next events

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) – 27-28 February 2011: "Principles for Tunnel Design” 

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

Hagenberg (Austria) - 14 - 15 July 2011: "Numerical Simulation"