A sense of time

24 April 2023

Athens greets the international tunnelling industry in May, and with its long history of sharing knowledge and tunnels from ancient periods it also offers some appreciation of time.

Time comes to be reflected in a number of articles in this issue of T&T.

The clocking ticking down for the opportunity of young tunnellers to sign up to the fantastic flagship training course from the BTS – the 1-week residential Design & Construction course, at the University of Warwick, in early July. Peers, networking and instruction from experts at the top of their game.

A career booster – and staff enhancer that employers would be remiss to let pass.

July, remember.

Such investment will payoff over years. Decades. Time is again the dimension to consider.

There will be training, too, and plenty of information sharing at this year’s World Tunnel Congress (WTC), in Athens, but happening sooner – in mid-May. Its perspective of looking at underground space more widely offers may ways to consider what the industry can offer to society as well as the engaging with the public and peers. With time. A mind-expander plus practical thinking around sustainable tunnelling – which is also the technical focus of this issue. We look at rebuilds of TBMs for longer term reusability benefits. The context of lower carbon is also addressed in a look at developments in fibre reinforced concrete.

That such perspectives need advance consideration for planning on projects and procurement brings the important message of another article into focus: a call for a pilot project to get insurance professionals involved early, which can quantify gains in improved risk profiles as well as lowering premiums. Longer cycles of engagement but bigger wins.

Time features further as we return to BTS – to a BTSYM meeting report, on evolution of the Madrid Traditional Method of tunnelling in the Spanish capital, and potential for application elsewhere; and, to profile the current Chair of BTS, Rod Young, who shares his view on his areas of mining and micro-tunnelling, and post-Covid contact opportunities for tunnellers.