Vancouver venue for international tunnellers Jan 2010
Paula Wallis, TunnelTalk
- The spectacular waterfront city of Vancouver, Canada will welcome delegates from around the world for the ITA-AITES World Tunnel Congress (WTC) and 36th General Assembly in May 2010. The Tunneling Association of Canada (TAC) will welcome the 55 member nations and attendees to the brand new state-of-the-art Vancouver Conference Center overlooking Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver.
Coal Harbor and the conference center
- Congress Chair, Rick Lovat, said Canada is excited to be hosting the six-day event entitled Tunnel Vision Towards 2020. "Vancouver is one of cleanest and most vibrant cities in North America and offers spectacular sightseeing trips to several locations easily within reach of the downtown center," said Lovat.
- This is only the second time the premiere tunnelling congress has convened in Canada, the first was in 1989 in Toronto and it will mark the first time the WTC returns to North America, since 1996 when Washington DC was the host city.
- Early registration is currently open for the May 14 - 20 event that will include a two-day tunnelling course for young engineers. The training sessions have become a popular fixture following their introduction at the 2007 ITA-WTC event in Istanbul, Turkey. Numerous tunnelling related subjects and case histories will be offered and presented by industry-distinguished professionals with a certificate of participation provided for accreditation of many professional organizations.
- In memory of Sir Alan Muir Wood the first President of the ITA, the Muir Wood Lecture will be inaugurated at the WTC 2010 in Vancouver and will continue to be held as an annual feature of the congresses. Professor Emeritus, Dr Einar Broch from Norway will provide a lecture on the theme of 'Tunnelling for Hydropower Projects' . This new lecture will be held following the opening ceremony on Monday, 17 May.
- Topics for the technical program will include 'Innovative Techniques and Advances in Geotechnical Investigations for Tunnel Projects', 'New Advances and Innovation in Mechanized Tunnelling', 'Tunnelling under Sensitive Structures', 'New Advances in Contract Practices and Procurement', and 'Commercial Aspects for Tunnel Projects'.
- The associated exhibition at the event is almost sold out with more than 420 companies and organizations represented.
- Technical tours scheduled for the last day of the conference include a walking tour of the Canada Line, the city's new light rail system that was inaugurated in August 2009 that includes 2.4km of 6m diameter twin running tunnels, and 6km of cut and cover work. Seattle's $1.8 billion Brightwater conveyance tunnel project is also on the technical tour schedule.
- Design, planning and construction of the Canada Line in Vancouver and tunnelling plans for the transit expansion in Toronto will be the focus of keynote presentations, while the open session will address 'Ground Reference Information for Bidding Tunnel Projects' . Various practices on this subject are in place around the world and the open session will provide a series of presentations from the perspective of the ITA, the client, the engineer and the contractor.
- In addition to the technical session program and the exhibition hall, there will be ample opportunity for networking during the many social events that include the congress banquet and a sunset dinner cruise aboard a luxury vessel, enjoying the spectacular sights of Howe Sound and the city lights. With the George Fox Conference in New York at the end of this month (January 26), the Bauma show in April, the ITA World Congress in May, and the NAT in June, 2010 is shaping up to be a very busy conference season.
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