Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk
- From Montreal to Ladysmith; from Singapore to Bergen; from seminars and symposia; to conferences and trade fairs; the new conference season for 2012/13 has something on offer for everyone and in every part of the world.
- After the summer holidays and a highly successful WTC in Bangkok and NAT fixture in Indianapolis, the new season started with a seminar in Baku, Azerbaijan to bring focus to an area of the world that is now independently and impressively wealthy in oil and gas riches and which is now ready to invest this capital in national infrastructure of world class standards. TunnelTalk is preparing a regional focus based on the presentations and discussions from the September 2012 event.
NATM will be part of discussions in Salzburg
- From the middle-eastern zone, attention shifts next to Alpine Europe for the Geocolloquium in Salzburg, Austria, in the second week of October. This ever-popular annual event draws together engineers from across Austria and Europe to discuss the particular concerns of excavating tunnels and caverns under high mountain overburdens and beneath some of the most historic and loved cities of the world. Together with the two-day discussion of geomechanics, the programme includes the Austria Tunnel Day, on Wednesday this year, and will focus on tunnel design and excavation developments. As well as an impressive line up of speakers, including a paper from the UK on the history of NATM introduction and development in Britain and in London Clay in particular. A recent article about the topic inspired a set of Feedback contributions on the definitions of NATM, SCL, SEM and NMT. (See References below). Organisers confirm a delegate participation once again of more than 1,000 and a few remaining stands available in the exhibition.
- The season in North America opens with a conference in Montreal, Canada at which advancements in tunnelling research and practice from around the globe will be highlighted. Organised by the Tunnelling Association of Canada and with the support of the ITA, the TAC 2012 programme includes four keynote speeches from:
A visit to the Romaine River hydro scheme is part of TAC 2012
• In-Mo Lee, President - International Tunnelling Association
Underground Structures for Sustainable Development
• Felix Amberg, President - Amberg Engineering
Hard Rock TBM Tunnelling, The Gottard Experience
• Daniele Peila, Politecnico di Torino
Soft Ground Soil Conditioning
• Tarcisio Celestino, Universidade de São Paulo
Soft Ground Tunnelling in an Urban Environment, Sao Paolo
- The technical tour on the Saturday includes a charter flight to Havre St-Pierre to visit the Romaine River Hydro-Electric Project on the north coast of the St Lawrence River close to Newfoundland & Labrador. The project is currently the largest hydro-electrical development in the Province. A chance to visit this benchmark construction site is not to be missed!
Crowds await opening of a bauma fair
- Events in Asia are highlighted by the start of the giant construction equipment trade fair Bauma series in Shanghai, China in November, which continues to the bC Bauma Conexpo show for its second time in Mumbai, India, and will continue with the anchor of the series in Munich, Germany, its home venue in April 2013 and with the first ever Bauma show in Africa in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa in September 2013. The organisers of this important and truly global series of trade shows are expecting a huge turnout at the parent show in Munich in 2013 after the infamous volcano ash cloud spreading from Iceland ruined attendance at the previous event in Munich in 2010. The series events in China and India will build on previous success and the event in Africa will bring much - needed attention to a continent that is next to feel the urgent need to improve and expand national and international infrastructure.
- Continuing in Asia, the 13th World Conference of ACUUS (the Associated research Centre of Urban Underground Space) will convene in Singapore in November to discuss Underground Space Development - Opportunities and Challenges. It will present the ITA the opportunity to promote and expand the activities of its Committee on Underground Space (ITACUS) and research and development of resilient cities - resilient to the enormous pressure applied by exploding urban populations and the threatening effects of progressive climate changes. Members of ITACUS will be in Singapore and will present keynote lectures.
A new all-year Atlantic-Pacific connection between Chile and Argentina is in design
- In the more sparsely populated southern hemisphere of the globe, urban and national infrastructure tunnelling on the three regional continents will be represented by three important events. In Australia in December the tunnelling community will convene in Brisbane, Queensland, the country's tunnelling hotspot of recent years, to Promote Best Practice in Design, Construction and Maintenance. Several national and international mega projects will provide case studies for the presentations and discussions. Also in early December, SANCOT, the South African National Committee on Tunnelling will meet for its traditional Santa Barbara Day festival seminar to discuss Lessons Learnt on Major Projects. Gathering this year once again in the town of Ladysmith in the Drakensburg, construction of the nearby Ingula hydro scheme will be one project for discussion as will the construction of the Gautrain railway project in Johannesburg. Both have applied different techniques to deal with difficult geological conditions. In South America, in November, tunnelling and underground space excavation in the Andean mountain chain will be discussed at a venue in Bogota, Colombia. Integration of trade and development both nationally and internationally across the continent is dominated by the need to scale these high and tectonically active mountains.
Sumptuous venues make for enjoyable event networking
- Once into the 2013 New Year, the cornerstones of the conference calendar year for the international tunnelling community are just around the corner. In May 2013 the annual ITA General Assembly and World Tunnel Congress (WTC) will be staged in the European central city of Geneva. Hosted by the Swiss Tunnelling Society, the nation's massive Gotthard AplTransit railway tunnel project will rank high among the topics of discussion. A planned conference in Split, Croatia, in April, a few weeks before the WTC in Geneva, will provide a focus on the East European region and provide Croatia experience for its hosting of the WTC in 2015.
- Following on in June 2012, North America stages the 2013 session of the RETC - Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference in the USA national capital Wachington, D.C. As with all RETC and WTC sessions, the 2013 events are bound, once again, to attract large numbers of delegates and exhibitors.
- As we begin the new conferencing season, TunnelTalk wishes all delegates safe and enjoyable travels; productive and interesting discussions; and memorable social gatherings. We look forward to meeting our friends and supporters at the events and to making new associations and connections as the industry continues to expand and attract new interest.
- See you somewhere along the track!
Rekindled NATM debate - SCL debate opens - TunnelTalk, September 2012
Video report of 38th ITA General Assembly and WTC-2012 - TunnelCast, May 2012
NAT shines in Indianapolis - TunnelCast, June 2012
BAUMA: All set for a bumper 2010 turnout - TunnelTalk, April 2010
BAUMA: Stage for discussion - TunnelTalk, February 2010
bC India impresses with premiere show - TunnelTalk, February 2011
In search of resilient cities - TunnelTalk, December 2011
Tunnels key to Colombia's Mountain Highway - TunnelTalk, November 2011
Andes link a priority for Chile-Argentina-Brazil - TunnelTalk, December 2011
Underground plans in South-East Europe - TunnelTalk, Podcast, April 2012
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