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Here’s to another 50 years 23 March, 2021
In my current capacity as chairman of the Tunnels and Tunnelling Editorial Advisory Board (EAB), I was pleased to be asked by the Editor George Demetri to write this comment on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the British Tunnelling Society (BTS).
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Making progress
Monday, March 15, 2021 There are now around 9.5m fewer jobs in the US than before the pandemic. President Biden is planning to rebuild American infrastructure at a time of profound national crisis when he could have been forgiven for concentrating on a stimulus package which prioritised unemployment, coronavirus vaccines, childcare and other pressing social issues.
And the winner is…
Friday, January 29, 2021 It was a great honour and privilege to be asked by the ITA to represent T&T on the judging panel of the ITA Tunnelling and Underground Space Awards 2020. Like many events these days, they were held virtually with the online judging completed in November and the awards presented on December 4.
Can Joe lift infrastructure?
Thursday, January 28, 2021 ‘Crumbling infrastructure’ is a term that is heard frequently in the US, particularly to describe transportation and public utilities. Perhaps ‘infrastructure crisis’ is a better term. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the US will need to spend US$4.5tr on infrastructure by 2025 to avert ‘serious economic consequences’.
Light at the end of the...
Wednesday, December 16, 2020 As 2020 draws to a close, I am seeing increasing daily use of that dreadful ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ cliché which many of us in the tunnel press avoid using like the plague. It is being used not to mark the end of a long, hard year, which of course it has been for many of us, but to express hope that multiple vaccines for covid-19 appear to be a distinct possibility.
A great big beautiful book
Thursday, November 19, 2020 New publications are awaited with interest and expectation – at least they should be. We like to hear of new stories, ideas and interpretations. That is why the publication of a book in 2021 which celebrates 50 years of the British Tunnelling Society (BTS) should create more than just a stir in the industry.
Industry needs a WTC2021
Friday, October 23, 2020 So, another World Tunnel Congress (WTC) has come to what can only be termed a fairly successful conclusion given the unprecedented Covid-19 malaise under which it was held and so rapidly put together.
Achieving science fiction
Monday, September 21, 2020 There seems no halting the progress of technology and its innumerable benefits. A really inspiring announcement from the British government states that by Spring 2021, automated lane-keeping systems could be legal on UK roads for low-speed driving.
Decoupling from China
Monday, September 21, 2020 US-China relations are going through a tough time as the so-called ‘decoupling’ process enters a new phase, accompanied by the usual war of words. Rather than a straightforward trade war, we seem to be witnessing a tectonic geopolitical shift that will affect us all.
Supply malaise continues
Wednesday, August 26, 2020 It has been said that many of the jobs we will need in 20 years’ time have not yet been invented. But you can bet your bottom dollar that we will still need engineers in 20, 40, even 200 years’ time. In fact, increasingly complex technological societies – e.g. ones where the exploitation of underground space continues to expand – will probably need even more engineers than they do today.
Migrating to online
Monday, July 20, 2020 I heard a rumour on the grapevine recently (which thankfully proved false) that a highly-respected school of tunnelling was to withdraw its MSc programme.

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