The Program for WTC 2017 is falling into Place

After an extensive job by the Scientific Committee and the Programme Committee the total content for WTC 2017 is falling into place.  Beneath, you will get a taste of what you will learn more about in Bergen in June.


Muir Wood 2017 – Professor Håkan P. Stille

After a royal opening by HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, and the introduction speeches, the annual Muir Wood lecture follows. The Muir wood lecture is a honorary lecture being held in the name of Sir Alan Muir Wood. The speaker and topic is decided by the ITA General Assembly one year before the conference. This year’s lecturer is Professor Håkan P. Stille. He has a Ph. D. from The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and during his period as a Professor of Soil and Rock Mechanics at the same university, he has received several awards, including but not limited to;

  • Laurits Bjerrum Lecture 1988
  • Sigge Thernwall Award 2005
  • Atlas Copco Award in Rock Engineering 2006
  • Swedish Society of Civil and Structures Engineers Award 2007.

The uncertainties connected to design and execution in rock tunneling, especially geological uncertainties, are larger and to some degree different from those in other types of civil engineering projects. This implies that systems for handing the uncertainties like ISO 31 000 “Risk management – Principles and guidelines” must be adapted to the special conditions prevailing in underground projects. He will talk about how the right approach for risk assessments and quality assurance in rock engineering and tunneling is based on experiences from tunnel projects and supported by theories of uncertainties.

The Selected Paper is written by Professor Nuh Bilgin

To highlight the importance and great quality of the technical papers submitted for the conference, the Organizing Committee has decided to include a selected paper from the submitted papers for the conference in the opening session.

The selection is based on a combination of the relevance, current interest of the paper and the reviewers score after a thorough review of the submitted papers by the Scientific Committee The selected paper for WTC17 is “The factors affecting the performance of three different TBMs in a complex geology in Istanbul” written by Professor Nuh Bilgin ». The Organisation committee found his paper very interesting and relevant, and particularly suitable as part of the opening session. The main intention of the selected paper is to inspire current and new generations of tunneling professionals to contribute to sharing knowledge and experiences.

Nick Barton will also present during the opening session

Nick Barton obtained his Ph.D. on rock slope stability from Imperial College, London in 1971. He worked for 25 years in the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, part of the time as division director, and later as technical adviser. He is frequently involved in TBM project trouble-shooting. In 2000 he started his own consultancy in Norway: Nick Barton & Associates.

Rock masses obviously represent the most variable of engineering materials. Intact, jointed, or faulty rock represent the three categories most of the range of rock quality. Barton’s presentation will address some new findings about tunneling through these three categories.

The Open session: Public Acceptance of underground solutions

On Tuesday the ITA Executive Council will host a joint session for all participants. The topic for this session is “Rethinking major infrastructure projects; a new look at Underground Solutions and Public Acceptance”.  The ITA Executive Council wants to dedicate the open session to the experiences done worldwide in order to achieve public understanding and acceptance for important projects.. The audience will get an insight into the topic from several major infrastructure projects around the world, i.e.

  • Environmental planning, tailormade mitigations and communication as important project tools for public understanding. Major rail projects in Norway, Project Manager Anne Kathrine Kalager, BaneNor
  • Great experience of TELT (Tunnel EuroAlpin Lyon Turin) in the field of public acceptance of new infrastructures in The Lyon-Torino Rail Base Tunnel, Mr Mario Virano General Director of TELT
  • The social, technical, political and commercial benefits and decisions made around The New York City’s Second Avenue Subway, Brian Fulcher, J.F. Shea Construction and SSK Joint Venture

After a short presentation from each project, the will continue with a debate to further dig into this topic. The moderator through the whole of this session will be; Jean-Christophe Giesbert. Giesbert is the President of SAS Giesbert & Associés, a communication consulting agency based in Toulouse. He founded this agency after a long career in the newspaper industry, and especially as the managing editor for the regional daily newspaper La Dépêche du Midi. By its size and the diversity of its customers, Giesbert & Associés has established itself as a key player in the engineering industry.

Many interesting Technical sessions

As already informed, there will be 15 smaller technical sessions during the three days congress. The content in this sections is as presented below. There will be around eight oral presentations during each session. In addition to the below mentioned sessions, we will use the opportunity to present additional papers through four different poster sessions as well. We would like to thank all the authors and reviewers for job well done.

  • Urban tunnelling
  • Mechanised tunnelling in hard rock conditions
  • Innovations in drill & blast tunnelling
  • Tunnelling for energy and environmental purposes
  • Joined session with ITA-CUS
  • Joined session with ITA-COSUF
  • Joined session with ITA-TECH
  • Tunnelling in adverse ground conditions
  • Case histories, lessons learned
  • Mechanised tunnelling in soft and mixed ground conditions
  • Rock support and water proofing technology
  • Site investigation, ground characterization
  • Underwater tunnels
  • Seismic design of underground structures

Source: Norwegian Tunnelling Society (NFF)

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