- As representatives of the 68 current member nations of the International Tunnelling Association (ITA) gather for the General Assembly of the organisation at the WTC in Geneva in early June, one of the principal orders of business will be the election of new members of the Executive Council. A new President will be elected for transition of leadership as the three-year term of the current President, In Mo Lee of South Korea, comes to a close.
Ruth Gunlaug Haug, Norway
- Also to be voted on will be promotion of four current ExCo members to the position of Vice President, and the appointment of six new members to the Council.
- Starting with the election of new members of the ExCo, six candidates have declared their interest. All are expected to be appointed to fill the six vacancies.
- One of the six candidates, nominated by Member Nation Norway, is Ruth Gunlaug Haug. With a Masters in Science, Gunlaug Haug is a Project Director of the Norwegian contractor Leonhard Nilsen & Sønner (LNS), a Past President and a Member of Honour of the Norwegian Tunnelling Society, and a driving force behind the establishment of the Tunnel Academy of The Norwegian Public Road Administration. Since the General Assembly at the WTC in Agra, India, in 2008, Gunlaug Haug has been voting delegate for Norway.
- Norway is a founding member nation of the ITA since its establishment in 1974, and Norway presented and supported the fifth President of the organization, Einar Broch, from 1986 to 1989. It has continued its active support and association with the organisation and has been involved in its various working groups and activities. Its commitment to membership of the Association continues with the nomination of Gunlaug Haug to the ExCo. "Ruth is an active, busy, and positive person, and we are proud to nominate and support her as a member of the ITA Executive Council," said a spokesman on behalf of the International Committee of the Norwegian Tunnelling Society (NFF).
The other five nominations for new members to the ExCo are:
• Jinxiu, Jenny Yan - China
• Eric Leca - France
• Alexander Gomes - Chile
• Oleksandr Okhotnikov - Ukraine
• Nikolaos Kazilis - Greece
Of the ExCo members whose term ends this year, four are candidates for four new Vice President positions:
• Rick Lovat - Canada
• Amanda Elioff - USA
• Daniele Peila - Italy
• Tarcisio Celestino - Brazil
Ow Chun Nam
The other two ExCo members are retiring from the Council:
• Pal Kocsonya - Hungary
• Ow Chun Nam - Singapore
When the three-year term of each President of the Association ends, the new President is elected from the four existing Vice Presidents (VP). Of the current VPs, two - Bai Yun of China and Ivan Hrdina of the Czech Republic - have decided to retire from the ExCo and have withdrawn from the Presidential race. This leaves leaving the two remaining VPs to contest the election:
• Søren Degn Eskesen - Denmark; and
• Markus Thewes, the Association's First Vice President - Germany
- One of these ExCo members will become the new President of the ITA for the coming three years upto 2016, taking over the reins from In Mo Lee of South Korea who will remain on the ExCo as the Immediate Past President (IPP). He will assume that position from current IPP, Martin Knights of the UK (2007-2010).
Søren Eskesen Denmark
In Mo Lee
Another duty for the voting delegates of Member Nations at the General Assembly in Geneva is election of the host city for the 2016 World Tunnel Congress and the 42nd General Assembly of the Association. This will follow on from the General Assemblies to be hosted in the coming years at:
• WTC2013 in Geneva, Switzerland - May 31-June 8, 2013
• WTC2014 in Iguassu Falls, Brazil - May 9-15, 2014
• WTC2015 in Dubrovnik, Croatia - May 23-28, 2015
- Member Nation USA has submitted its invitation to host the 2016 WTC in San Francisco, with others yet to declare.
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