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Acknowledging awards
Friday, April 24, 2015 Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year to simply promote movies and television shows for events like the Academy Awards and the Emmys. While superficially glamorous, the prestige is lacking with each passing year, with deeper pockets and a growing number of award shows for the entertainment industry.
High tide
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 It’s an exciting time for the International Tunnelling Association (ITA) leadership. With growing international acceptance that climate change is affecting the world, there are two outcomes. Firstly, governments try to change the habits of the planet to slow the pace of a changing biosphere. This is a boost to the demand for tunnelling on the larger scale; governments looking for low-carbon per capita means of transportation, for example. Metro networks rather than private car ownership.
What is sustainable infrastructure?
Tuesday, February 03, 2015 It's not underground, one would conclude from a report asking, what does the future of sustainable infrastructure look like? Making use of underground space is not once mentioned.
China Decider
Thursday, January 29, 2015 In December Australia’s multi-industry contracting giant Leighton Holdings announced the impending sale of John Holland to the fourth largest construction company in the world. The buyer, state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) stressed that it would be “business as usual” for John Holland customers, that it perceived growth opportunities in Australia. Normal commentary during a takeover.
Young members matter
Friday, October 31, 2014 In the last 15 months there has been a flourish of countries establishing Young Member Groups in tunnelling organisations, and that includes both Canada and the US. In May the ITA General Assembly in Brazil approved the creation of an ITA Young Members Group. Its mission is to “bridge the generation gap and provide a technical network platform for young professionals in the tunnelling and underground space industry."
Next Generation
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 Recently, various reports have been released that confirm the ever-widening gap between the Millennial generation and the preceding Baby Boomers.
Spending Spree
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 This month marks the fifth anniversary of the Recovery Act, the government’s attempt to create new jobs and spur economic growth at a time when the economy seemed very bleak. Congress and President Obama issued USD 787bn in tax cuts, funding for entitlement programs (such as unemployment benefits and funding for federal contracts), grants and loans, which was later upped to USD 840bn.
In with the new
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 In a Finnish conference hall in 2011, Sao Paulo hammered both Singapore and Sydney, and was selected to host the World Tunnel Congress in 2014.
Public opinion
Thursday, December 12, 2013 Almost four years ago Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) dubbed "Obamacare" by detractors. As this new year begins most aspects of the ACA that haven't already started are now effective-such as the health care exchanges for people buying their own plans, and making it illegal for insurers to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions.
Canada’s project of the year
Thursday, December 12, 2013 As tunnels went to press the Tunnelling Association of Canada's annual awards were in full swing. The award for best Canadian tunnelling project for 2013 went to a project that had to endure some of the toughest ground conditions, consistently varying, and continually testing the skills and knowledge of the teams involved.
Shutdown Showdown
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 "Due to a lapse in funding, the US Federal Government has shut down.”
Two faces of disclosure
Thursday, July 18, 2013 Last month Edward Snowden, a former low-level NSA technician revealed to the world what it already knew: that the shadowy arm of the world’s most powerful government is keeping tabs on its citizens.
Face the facts
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 As this issue of Tunnels North America goes to print, three significant events took place in the US within days of each other. Two brothers set off bombs at the Boston Marathon, a fertiliser plant exploded in Texas and the Federal Aviation Administration furloughed air traffic controllers as part of the government-wide sequester, the current buzzword for USD 85bn spending cuts.
An open letter to the U.S. Congress
Friday, April 05, 2013 Dear elected officials, or the interns who open their mail, while I have no direct affiliation with the organisers, I’m going to go out on a limb, here, and invite you to RETC, the Rapid Excavation Technology Conference, which is being held in your neighbourhood this June. I’m sure they won’t mind.
A cost of price
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 The UK has been hit by a supply chain scandal in the past month that seems unrivalled in recent years. One of the most regulated industries has spectacularly failed. British and European consumers have been eating horsemeat disguised as beef. This scandal offers a warning on price driven markets. The introduction of horsemeat into beef products has affected the lowest price readymade meals. Opportunists in the supply chain delivered cheap ‘beef’ to undercut competition.
Rock Me Amadeus
Thursday, February 28, 2013 NATM is a frequently misunderstood approach to tunnelling. Its de¬ nition, its use and its advantages are often the subject of debate. In this issue of Tunnels, Austrian Society for Geomechanics (OeGG) president Wulf Schubert attempts to tackle the issue.
Show, don't tell
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 The National Center for Education Statistics recently released results for US students on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), a program testing maths and science every couple years at grades four and eight over the past decade and a half.
150 years of the London underground
Thursday, January 17, 2013 Railway construction in Great Britain began in the early 19th Century. A network of lines crisscrossed over the country and six terminals were built on the outskirts of London’s city centre. Permission to build a central terminal was refused and just one terminal, Fenchurch Street, serving the counties east of London, was ever built within the city limits.
Over The Hill
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 This October marked the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, legislation enacted to regulate the discharge of pollutants into the waters in the US and establish water quality standards. It made it unlawful to discharge any pollutant into navigable waters without a permit. As a nation we’re much better off, with cleaner lakes, rivers and other waters, as an industry, underground construction has fared well, too. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) roughly 772 cities across the US have combined sewer systems and therefore combined sewer overflows (CSOs), and are expected to clean up their act.
Look back to move forward
Thursday, December 27, 2012 Last month the world’s oldest working digital computer was rebooted after three years of painstaking rebuilding. The machine was found in a storeroom where it had been left abandoned for 15 years. In its prime in the 1950s the computer had been used by the UK’s atomic energy research programme. The 2.5t machine will now take pride of place at Bletchley Park, the site of the English code breaking efforts during World War II.

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