BTSYM conference a resounding success

22 November 2012

The British Tunnelling Society Young Members (BTSYM) hosted their first conference last month. The International Conference for Young Engineers played out to a packed auditorium and audio-linked overflow room at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in London, UK. The given purpose of the conference was to educate young tunnel engineers, and to expose university students to the profession.

In the following annual general meeting, Petr Salak of Dr. Sauer & Partners succeeded Tom Kavanagh as chairman of the Young Members society. Kavanagh spoke about the achievements of the past year: larger BTSYM focus groups, school and university visits to promote tunnel engineering as a viable career, and the launch of the conference.

Salak looked to the coming year and a spread of technical workshops featuring cases studies and debates with field experts. He called for improvements to the website and a second conference to build on the success of the first.

The makeup of the first conference was a mix of young and old speakers. Keith Bowers of London Underground gave his reflections on a career in the industry, while veteran engineer Colin Mackenzie took the young audience back to the origins of tunnelling. From the younger end, Salak gave a talk on the basics of SCL while David Naylor of Mott MacDonald presented a case study of shaft construction, and the challenges therein.

Recordings of the conference will be made available on the ICE website.