Hard to miss

12 February 2019

In this issue of Tunnels and Tunnelling International we have devoted the majority of the magazine to a paper by Dr Barry New of the Geotechnical Consulting Group (GCG). In it, New explores tunnelling impact assessments with a view to protecting existing underground assets. The work has been guided by investigations into failures and studies of the geoenvironment of cities and examines present approaches to the issue, while also making suggestions of how the industry might progress in future.

A version of the paper was first presented in January 2017 as part of the Harding Lecture. Subsequent interest from the ITA’s Working Group 2 (Research) has led to this paper, which, it is hoped, will become a key part of the ITA’s thinking in this area for the coming years.

The Harding Memorial Lecture, named after the founder chair of the BTS, is usually held every other year by a prominent fi gure in the tunnelling industry. It is given on a topic of the speaker’s choice.

For those readers unfamiliar with New, of his many achievements, one of the grandest is probably his 30 years on the Tunnels and Tunnelling Editorial Advisory Board, from which he retired in 2018. However, I think the best introduction would be to borrow the words of former ICE president Lord Robert Mair, who introduced New’s lecture in 2017.

“For many years New has been engaged on a large number of projects, mainly tunnelling and pipelines, particularly well known for his expertise on the impact of construction work on adjacent pipelines and tunnels.

“In 1974, following a period at the National Physical Laboratory, New joined the tunnels division of the Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL), an extremely active group under the direction of Myles O’Reilly. It was there that New developed methods for the prediction of tunnelling-induced ground movements and construction vibrations. These have become widely adopted by the industry around the world. His seminal paper on tunnelling-induced ground movements was written with O’Reilly (O’Reilly- New, 1982) is a very widely referred to paper by industry and academia.

“While at TRRL, New also examined the performance of tunnelling machines, the explosive excavation of rock, and the slope stability of embankments and cuttings.”

“New joined GCG in 1995 and has most notably advised Thames Water with respect to pressurised water and sewerage pipelines and tunnels, and the potential impacts of Crossrail and other works.”