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Tunnelling delegations gather at WTC2015 30 Apr 2015

TunnelTalk reporting

If you are still undecided, now is the time to confirm plans to be at the World Tunnel Congress in Dubrovnik, in May. With only three weeks to go, ITA Croatia as host has organized a comprehensive programme of interests for the international tunnel engineering delegation as well as an exhibition that will showcase industry manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and service provides.

As host also of the 41st Annual General Assembly of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association, the event includes a programme of ITA meetings, workshops, discussions and sessions that will further the activities and objectives of the Association.

Along with the social events that distinguish each WTC as a memorable occasion in a different part of the world, it will be a busy week of networking, meeting, of sharing experiences, doing business and organizing strategies for advancing the industry across all its various facets.

As well as being a historic Mediterranean destination, Dubrovnik provides a gateway to the South East European (SEE) region, one of the fastest developing areas of Europe and including some of the newest members of the European Union, including Croatia itself, which became a member of the EU in July 2013. Under the congress theme, Promoting Tunnelling in SEE Region, ITA Croatia, as one of the 71 Member Nations of the ITA, began work on the mission four years ago with the first international tunnelling conference in SEE which TunnelTalk supported and attended. In the sense of promoting tunnelling in the SEE region, the 2015 congress will collect and present recent worldwide experiences and enable engineers and authorities in the region to learn from the international practice to advance the many underground infrastructure projects that they plan. The references at the end of the article list the reports published by TunnelTalk to report development in the SEE region and as the official media partner in efforts to win hosting of the WTC2015 event three years ago and to report on previous ITA Croatia conferences.

Table 1. WTC2015 Registration Fees
Categories Standard rate to May 14, 2015 On site rate from May 15, 2015
Full 1000 EUR 1120 EUR
ITA Young Members 800 EUR 900 EUR
Croatia 700 EUR 780 EUR
ITA Member Nations Category 3* 700 EUR 780 EUR
Student 500 EUR 560 EUR
Accompanying Person 270 EUR 270 EUR
One day only 450 EUR 450 EUR
Banquet 95 EUR 95 EUR
Exhibitor (part of the package)  
Exhibitor fee 300 EUR &300 EUR

*ITA Category 3 Member Nations: Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Iceland, Lao DPR, Lesotho, Macedonia, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, Panama, Serbia, Vietnam

More than 1,000 delegates are anticipated at WTC2015 in May and more are expected to register during the coming weeks. Delegate fees ranges from €500 for students to €1,000 for a full registration (Table 1) and the hotels at the congress venue and in the glorious Adriatic coastal city of Dubrovnik, offer first class accommodation at reasonable rates. A short bus ride will bring delegates from the city’s airport to the congress hotel where a team of organisers will be on-hand to help with registration and orientation.

For delegates and those involved with ITA activities, work begins on Friday and Saturday with the ITA-CET Training Course and Executive Council meetings for ITA officials (Table 2). The two parts of the ITA General Assembly are on Sunday morning and Wednesday afternoon, and the ITA Open Session on Underground Space and Natural Resources-Hydro, is set for Tuesday morning. The Opening Ceremony on Monday morning is followed by the Sir Alan Muir Wood Lecture, which will be presented this year by Professor P Lunardi of Italy and titled Control of extrusion in the core of ground at the face as an instrument for the stabilization of the cavity. Tuesday morning also host sessions for ITACUS, the ITA Committee on Underground Space, and ITAtech, the Committee on Technologies, which aims to find ways of supporting the introduction of new techniques and products into the marketplace. The Anamateurs of the ITA Working Groups will also present reports of their Group activities in a session on Tuesday morning, ahead of the Open Session, and after meeting on Sunday and Monday afternoon.

Table 2.  WTC2015 programme – Download a pdf copy
Table 2. WTC2015 programme –
Download a pdf copy

Eight technical sessions of three and four simultaneous tracks begin on Monday afternoon and continue on Tuesday afternoon and both morning and afternoon on Wednesday (Table 2). The main topics to be discussed during the sessions include:

  • Planning and Designing Tunnels and Underground Structures
  • Mechanized Tunnelling in Development and Use
  • Conventional Tunnelling Methods in Development and Use
  • Immersed and Floating Tunnelling
  • Operation and Maintenance of Tunnels and Underground Structures
  • Equipment of Tunnels and Underground Structures
  • Fire Safety of Tunnels and Underground Structures
  • Intelligent Systems, Mechatronics and Robotics in Tunnelling
  • Developments in Use of Underground Space : Case Studies for Traffic, Waste, Energy, Water, Sewer, Flood Protection, Commercial Purposes and other uses
  • Urban planning and Use of Underground Space
  • A specific SEE Session based on Soft Ground Urban Tunnelling / Rock Tunnelling in Karst
  • Risk Analyses and Techniques for Underground Structures and
  • Cost Optimization and Financing of Underground Structures
Table 3. ITA-CET Training Course Fees
Categories Standard rate to May 14, 2015 On site rate from May 15, 2015
ITA-CET Course Regular 420 EUR 420 EUR
ITA CET 1-day 280 EUR 280 EUR
ITA-CET Course Student 290 EUR 290 EUR
ITA CET Student 1-day 160 EUR 160 EUR

The two-day ITA-CET Training Course, programmed over eight sessions on Friday and Saturday, 22 and 23 May, will focus on two main topics: Soft Ground Urban Tunnelling and Rock Tunnelling in Karst. The programme organised and delivered by the ITA Committee on Education and Training is created for graduate students and young engineers who are new to tunnelling or planning to specialise in the underground engineering discipline. The course is held in English and the lectures are delivered by professionals who are recognised globally as experts in their related fields. Registration fees begin at €160 for a one day attendance to €480 for the full course (Table 3). The aim of the ITA-CET courses is to contribute to the on-going and specialised education and knowledge of students and young professionals in tunnelling fields.

Post conference tours

As part of the programme, technical visits are arranged to four different sites and starting on Thursday 28 May, after the closure of the congress. These represent major hydro or traffic underground works either already finished or in construction.

The one day excursion to the underground structures of HPP Zakučac and HPP Peruča, on Thursday will remind participants of the role of the HPP Pečura in the Balkan war of 1991. Price: €95

A visit to the underground structures of the HPP Dubrovnik I and II is on Friday, May 29. Price: €80

The Biokovo highway tunnel on the route connecting Zagreb - Split - Ploče is planned for Saturday, May 30. Price: €90

Excavation of the road tunnel on highway Bar, Boljare, Montenegro will be on Sunday, May 31. Price: €100

Visits to tunnelling works in Croatia are planned as part of the post congress technical tours


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