Newsletter #6 - January 2011

Newsletter #6 - January 2011
   Editorial, Mr. Sherif Wissa Agaiby

ITACET has achieved much since its inception a little more than a year ago.
Feedback from the successful courses and workshops that took place in 2010 revealed that there is a real need for professional education and training in tunnel engineering, and that ITACET has the confidence of the profession and the industry. This feedback is the most valuable contribution ITACET could receive. It is only through direct and objective interaction with practitioners within the industry that ITACET can succeed and progress. This contribution would also serve to direct and guide the efforts ITACET makes to allow the courses/workshops given to be relevant and practical.
As Director of the Geotechnical and Heavy Civil Engineering Department at Dar Al-Handasah (Shair and Partners), and being responsible for much of the tunnelling and geotechnical design activities in the firm, I am acutely aware of the requirement for the professional engineer to be familiar with case histories and past experiences from across the breadth of professional practice in his specialization. Engineers are by nature practical and nothing is more convincing to them than past experience. I believe that by sharing our experiences we can give the tunnelling profession a great boost. We don't have to learn from our own experiences only; by sharing we would save one another the "long path" … by sharing we all benefit.
This sharing of experience and application of best practice is, of course, at the very heart of the notion of "profession", whether applied to tunnel engineering or any established profession. It is a notion that has found expression in various engineering institutions around the world. These institutions have taken up the mantle of the duty professional engineers owe to society. Hence, when we share our experiences we really are being more professional and helping our communities progress more, or rather more efficiently.
And just as we share our experiences, we should share our needs. What is it we need and want more? Since ITACET is founded to serve the profession, it would be "right" that the profession states its expectations from it. This would direct the efforts to where they are most valued. At this note, it is worth pointing out that needs differ from one region (geographically) to the other and from one sector of the profession to the other. This has been observed in the courses and workshops requested by the industry and professional bodies so far. Courses and workshops requested ranged from design considerations to training in construction techniques. They also ranged from the very basic introductory levels to the rather advanced and complex. It is to ITACET's credit that it can, through its network of experts and affiliates, cater for these needs and wide spectrum of expectations.
There is a lot of public interest in the use of engineering knowledge and experience to provide and operate the many structures and facilities that engineers create that enable civilization as we know it to operate, and for civilized society to evolve as we would wish it. Within our narrow, but important, domain of tunnel and underground engineering, I urge the industry to share its relevant experience through publications and participation in ITACET's workshops and seminars to fulfill better the responsibly our profession owes to the community through safer, better and more efficient engineering that is based on, amongst other factors, sharing knowledge. I also encourage the industry to identify fields that need further education and training that ITACET can focus on and play its role within the institutional structure of our profession as expected from it. It is only through the active participation and interaction of the industry, can ITACET fulfill its objectives and serve better.
Sherif Wissa Agaiby, PhD
Director, Geotechnical and Heavy Civil Engineering Department
Dar Al-Handasah (Shair and Partners)


   New addition to our Portfolio

Three news Topics are available on our Portfolio:

  • Principles for Maintenance and Repair of Tunnels.

    Seminar Objective: Introduction to the Maintenance and Repair process throughout a project cycle from planning, designing, construction and implementation of  tunnel with specific focus for Owners and Decision Makers, Consulting Engineers, Contractors and others with an interest in Maintenance and Repair activities Tentative programme is available for download >>

  • Maintenance and operation in Tunnelling.

    Seminar Objective: Introduction to the process throughout a project cycle from planning, designing, construction and implementation of a road tunnel with specific focus for Owners and Decision Makers, Consulting Engineers, Contractors and others with an interest in Maintenance and Operation activities Tentative programme is available for download>>

  • Software application in Tunnelling

    Seminar Objective: ahort course for  Tunnel Engineers focusing on the present state-of-the-art Software-controlled Methods in virtually all fields of Tunnel Engineering and Construction. Tentative programme is available for download>>


   Kuala-Lumpur Short course


The next event produced by the Foundation will be the Two days Short course on Principles For Tunnel Design will be held in Kuala Lumpur, 27-28 February 2011.

This event is organized by the Institution of Engineers of Malaysia, Tunnelling & Underground Space Technical Division.

Six lecturers from the ITACET Network, namely, MM. In-Mo LEE – ITA President , Markus THEWES – ITA First Vice President, Soren Degn ESKESEN – ITA Vice President, Rick P. LOVAT – ITA Executive Council Member, Suchatvee (Vince) SUWANSAWAT – WTC 2012 Organizer, Harald WAGNER – Expert to the ITA Executive Council will give courses on four topics: 

  • Introduction and Overview on Tunnel Design
  • General Aspects of Tunnel Design
  • Conventional Tunnelling
  • Mechanized Tunnelling

You can download the complete program and the registration form by following this link >>


   Training session WTC Helsinki

The two days Training session that will be held in Helsinki, May 2011, at the occasion of the  ITA-AITES World Tunnel Congress is well under preparation. 

The program and the lecturers name will be disclosed next month, and annonced  on the home page of the Foundation web site



   Training session in Abu-Dhabi

we are pleased to announce that the Foundation will organize another Training session for the Department of transports of Abu-Dhabi (UAE). The theme of the session will be "Maintenance and Operation in Road Tunnels ".


   New donor

On the occasion of the Training Session on Immersed Tunnels in Abu-Dhabi, Mr. Hans De Witt, lecturer during the sessions "Sizing and Designing the Structure" and "Construction, "Afloat and Geotechnical" made a donation to the foundation. We thank him warmly. 
Mr. De Witt is Managing Director of Tunnel Engineering Consultants, based in Nijmegen (NL) and an active member of the "Immersed Tunnel" working group of the ITA-AITES


   Secretariat of the Foundation


we are pleased to announce that Jeannette Schaerli has taken the position as secretary from January 11.
She is available on part-time basis, which is 50%, except on Wednesdays.



   Meeting of the Council of the Foundation

On December 14th, members of the Council of the ITACET Foundation met in Lausanne.

Main decision concerning:

  • Update of the General conditions and specific agreement concerning the organization of the events.
  • Update of the program of activities and the Portfolio
  • Relation with related organization, namely: ITA-AITES, IRF and PIARC

The approved minutes of the last council, that was also held in Lausanne, September 14th 2010 are available on request at the secretariat.