11 May 2022

Chris Barrett, a 32-year-old civil engineer working with BAM Nuttall in London, has won the British Tunnelling Society’s Harding Prize 2022. The announcement was made at the BTS Annual Dinner on 6 May where Barrett received his award.

His winning paper – ‘The Planning and Construction of Main Line Tunnel B Connection Tunnel’ – looks at the 76m-long tunnel that was built to complete the stretch of Tideway leading to the Carnwath Road site.

 “I found the Main Line Tunnel B Connection Tunnel brought with it several complex challenges from the design, through to the planning and construction, all of which took place through the height of the pandemic,” said Barrett, who was tunnel agent on the project. “I was involved from the early stages of the design development ensuring that the constructability of the tunnel was as practical as possible when it came to building it.”

The 8m ID tunnel with its 350mm-thick sprayed concrete lining was a bespoke piece of engineering which Barrett described as a “pleasure” to work on.

In addition to Tideway, Barrett has worked on a string of high-profile tunnel projects which include the Silvertown Tunnel; Farringdon Station – Elizabeth Line (Crossrail); and the Tottenham Court Road Station Upgrade.

The winning paper will be published in the June issue of Tunnels and Tunnelling International.

The BTS Harding Prize competition is open to all tunnelling engineers of the age of 33 or below at the end of the previous year. They must submit an original paper relating to any aspect of tunnelling which the entrant considers to be of interest to others in the tunnelling industry. Further details at

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