At a gala dinner in the Hagerbach underground test facility venue in Switzerland in Novermber, awards were presented to the winners of 11 categories of competition for the annual ITA Awards for 2015. The evening’s master of ceremony host, Maria Ingold, introduced each award category and members of the panel of Award judges announced the winners and presented the trophies.
Click on each photograph to identify the winners and the individuals of each Award presentation
Video report of the Awards event day
The trophy presented to each winner is a bronze bust of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the famous civil engineer of the industrial revolution era of the 1800s who pioneered early tunnelling excavation for the expansion of the railway network across the UK and succeeded in building the first soft ground subaqueous tunnel under the River Thames in London using a mechanical tunnelling shield and courses of building bricks for the lining. The Brunel Tunnel under the Thames, completed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel after its start by his father Marc Brunel, remains in active operation today and is an inspiration to all aspiring civil engineers involved in the tunnelling and underground space industry.
As we celebrated the achievements of the 2015 ITA Award winners, nominations and submissions of entries for the 2016 series is to open soon and these will be presented next year at a conference and gala event planned in Singapore. Entries from all corners of the world and from all Member Nations of the ITA are welcomed and invited.
The Eurasia Tunnel Project is winner of the Major Project of the Year category at the ITA’s 2015 Annual Awards, held at the Hagerbach underground testing facility in Switzerland on Thursday evening (November 19).
|Table 1. ITA Awards 2015 category winners|
|Major Project (€500m+)||Eurasia Tunnel Project (Turkey)|
|Project of the Year (€50-500m)||LILW Radioactive Disposal Facility (Korea)|
|Outstanding Project (up to €50m)||Norsborg Metro Depot (Sweden)|
|Technical Innovation||System for Monitoring tunnel lining|
|Environmental Initiative||Corrib Tunnel Project (Ireland)|
|Safety Initiative||MineArc compressed air refuge chamber|
|Innovative Use of Underground Space||Toledo Metro Station, Line 1, Naples (Italy)|
|Young Tunneller of the Year||Karlovsek Jurij|
|Contractor of the Year||Salini-Impregilo (Italy)|
|Engineering of the Year||Parsons Brinckerhoff/WSP|
|Lifetime Achievement||Prof Dr Sebastiano Pelizza|
Awards were made across ten categories in total, by an expert judging panel of 16 of the world’s top industry experts plus TunnelTalk owner and publisher Shani Wallis. A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Prof Dr Sebastiano Pelizza, Full Professor at the University of Technology (Turin) and Head of the Tunnelling and Underground Space Center at the same establishment. Pelizza also teaches the one-year post-graduate Masters course in Tunnelling and TBMs.
The Award for Young Tunneller of the Year went to Karlovsek Jurij, who currently works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia, where he recently obtained his PhD in the field of TBM segmental lining integrity detection.
The well-attended Awards ceremony and banquet was the highlight of a full day conference at which delegates were able to hear full details of some of the most challenging underground projects in the world today, and learn more about important technological and safety initiatives that have been developed over the last 12 months. The conference programme was comprised of presentations by the shortlisted entries of the nine main Award categories.
Final candidates are selected for this year’s 2015 ITA Tunnelling Awards. The judging panel has selected a shortlist of 42 finalists, from 110 entries, to go forward to the Awards on 19 November at the Hagerbach underground testing facility in Switzerland. A jury of 18 experts will make the final decision during the one-day conference, prior to announcing the category winners at that evening’s special Awards Banquet.
This showcase award will be run between three of the world’s largest projects, and all of them have required extensive technical innovation for successful delivery
The 3.34km Eurasian Tunnel, part of a wider 14.6km highway construction project that also includes a 5.4km section of two-storey cut-and-cover approach tunnel along the Kazlıçeşme-Göztepe route, will connect Asia and Europe under the seabed of the Bosphorus Strait.
Full details of this technical triumph, and many, many others, can be found in the TunnelTalk Archive. Project highlights included the performance of the 13.7m Herrenknecht TBM under operating pressures of up to 11 bar, installation in the transition areas between rock and soft soils of seismic joints designed to withstand 12 bar pressure, and successfully overcoming challenging mixed face conditions.
Initiated eight years ago, and scheduled to be operational by 2016, the New York City Second Avenue Subway is the largest US transit project to date. Project scope involves construction of a new subway line to expand Lines 4, 5 and 6 that are currently the only ones serving the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
The underground construction works are among the most complex ever undertaken, with challenges that include large excavation spans, low rock cover (only a third of a standard cavern span), variable geotechnical conditions, large and complex intersections, and underground obstructions – all under some of the most densely populated and expensive real estate in the world.
Other challenges have included the use of optimized excavation sequencing and support methods, as well as the need to carry out drill+blast works in close proximity to high-rise building foundations, as well as underpinning an occupied 30-storey luxury high-rise building, and building two highly sophisticated muck houses to service each station excavation to minimize environmental impacts.
Phase 1 construction is expected to complete next year (2016), but once all four of the planned construction phases are completed by 2029 the line will comprise 8.5 miles of underground subway and 16 new stations.
The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-Speed Railway is a part of the Beijing-Hong Kong High Speed Railway, connecting mainland China and Hong Kong. This 11.4 km long project was also structured around the Yitian Road Tunnel, located between Shenzhen North Railway Station and Futian Station. At a project cost of US$933 million, the project has considerably reduced travel times from Guangzhou to Hong Kong. The works began in 2008 and came to an end on June 2015.
Futian Station is the first underground railway station in China and the largest one in Asia. More than 1,000m long, 32m deep and 80m wide, it is constructed in three layers around eight lines and four platforms, and integrates with urban rail networks, buses, and taxi transport systems. The station is located under the densely populated urban area of Shenzhen. During the seven-year construction works, engineers were confronted with complex geological and hydrogeological conditions. The station combines the open-cut bottom-up and the cut-and-cover top-down methods.
The shortlisted contenders across all 10 categories are:
Major Tunnelling Project of the Year (€500 million+)
Tunnelling Project of the Year (€50–500 million)
Outstanding Project of the Year (up to €50 million)
Technical Innovation of the Year
Environmental Initiative of the Year
Safety Initiative of the Year
Innovative Use of Underground Space
Young Tunneller of the Year
Contractor of the Year
Engineering of the Year
The one-day conference will be an opportunity to share with the whole community the most important and impressive projects and initiatives of the previous year all over the world. In one day, participants to the conference will have an overview of the tunnelling activity in the different countries.
Online Registration for attendance at the one-day conference only is €300, for the Banquet and Awards ceremony €300, or €500 for attendance at both.
Since registration opening on 10 April, more than 30 nominations have been filed for the 2015 awards that will recognise excellence within the tunnelling and underground space industry. The entries will compete in one of nine categories that represent major sectors of the industry from projects of different sizes that completed between January 2014 and February 2015; technical and underground space use innovations; environmental and safety initiatives; and an award to promote the achievements of the industry’s young professionals.
Promoted by the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA), the Awards will be presented at a conference and gala dinner event at the Hagerbach underground test gallery facility in Switzerland on Thursday 19 November 2015.
With the aim of attracting global recognition of the remarkable contributions of tunnelling and underground space developments to the vital infrastructure of the world and the protection of its natural environment, entries are invited from across the world and for each of the categories.
A panel of 17 experts in the tunnelling industry will adjudicate the entries. The panel for the 2015 Awards comprises Søren Degn Eskesen, Chairman of the Board and ITA President, Denmark; Han Admiraal, ITACUS Chair, the Netherlands; Andre Assis, ITA Past President, Brazil; Zaw Zaw Aye, ITA Expert, Thailand; Mikael Belenkiy, ITA expert, Russian Federation; Tarcisio Celestino, ITA Vice-President, Brazil; Heinz Ehrbar, ITA Working Group 19 Animateur, Switzerland; Amanda Elioff, ITA Vice-President; Simon Knight, ITA expert, Australia; Martin Knights, ITA Past President, UK; Tom Melbye, ITA Expert, Finland; Harvey Parker, ITA Past President, USA; Dominique Perrault, ITA Expert, France; Andreas Tauschinger, Qatar; Shani Wallis, media representative, UK; Jenny Yan, ITA Executive Council Member, China; and Chung-Sik Yoo, ITA Working Group 2 Animateur, South Korea.
The nine categories of the ITA Tunnelling Awards:
A short-list of entries will be announced officially in September 2015 and will provide the conference programme presentations in November at Hagerbach. Winners will be announced during the Prize Awards Ceremony during the evening banquet the same evening. All interested in the underground construction industry and in the Awards themselves are welcome as a delegate at the conference and as a guest at the Awards Ceremony Gala Dinner. Mark your calendar – Thursday 19 November, Hagerbach, Switzerland.