At the occasion of the WTC2020 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the ITACET Foundation organised an online training session focused on 'Innovations in Tunnelling', in coordination with the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM).
Due to the rather special circumstances of the worldwide situation, the WTC2020 switched for the first time ever to an online format and so too did the ITACET training session. The programme was reformulated and condensed into a 1-day programme with a mixture of local Malaysian lecturers and international lecturers. The times of the session were modified so that as many time zones as possible could participate and so that as many lecturers as possible could present live. The final result was a training session that was partly pre-recorded video presentations and partly ‘live’ presentations - a mix that was very efficient!
Whilst the session lacked the face-to-face element that the Foundation’s normal training sessions have, there was still the opportunity for participants to chat via the digital platform, the opportunity to ask questions to lecturers presenting live and to send questions to lecturers who had pre-recorded their presentations.
The training session began with a welcome message from Professor Robert Galler, President of the ITACET Foundation executive board and Chair of the ITA-CET Committee. The session then kicked-off with two pre-recorded presentations by Malaysians engineers, Khoo Chee Min and Ooi Lean Hock on the ‘Overview of mega underground infrastructure development in Malaysia’ and ‘Challenges Related to Ground water on Underground Works’.
After a short break, the programme took an international turn with a presentation by Wout Broere from the Netherlands on ‘Underground sustainable solutions for urban planning’. Arnold Dix, ITA Vice-President, was next on the screen and presented live from Melbourne. His presentation on ‘A Guide for Young Professionals - Navigating the legal professional landscape as a tunnelling professional in a big and diverse world’ gave an insightful overview of the law in different countries and what as an individual you can do to protect yourself, as far as possible. Following this was Professor Robert Galler, coming live from Leoben in Austria, with a presentation on ‘The reuse of tunnel excavation material – Challenges’.
A short break followed and the session finished with pre-recorded presentations from Donald Lamont on ‘Tunnelling health and safety – moving forward’ and Harald Wagner on ‘Specific Funding Sources for Underground Structures’. The final presentation of the day came live from New York and was given by Nasri Munfah, animateur of Working Group 19, on ‘Innovations in Conventional Tunnelling’.
The training session was very successful and participants noted their enjoyment of the various presentations via the chat option. Overall 40 participants registered for the event and whilst many participants were in Malaysia there was also participants present from Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong, Kenya and India.
Being the first training session that the ITACET Foundation has organised online, the Foundation plans to build upon this first experience and take careful note of the feedback so as to improve online sessions in the future. We hope that these online sessions can be added to our arsenal of education tools!
The onscreen view from the control centre in Kuala Lumpur. Clockwise from top right: Arnold Dix (ITA vice-president), Robert Galler (ITACET Foundation president of the Executive board and ITA-CET Committee chair) and Kate Havard (Executive Secretary of the ITACET Foundation) online during the training session.
In the control centre, Kuala Lumpur, during the training session.
Ooi Lean Hock Khoo Chee Min