Conference Report

7th Munich Tunnelling Symposium

The organisers of the conference (from left to right): Prof. Philip Sander, Prof. Thomas Braml, Prof. Conrad Boley, Prof. Manfred Keuser and the Managing Director of STUVA e. V., Prof. Roland Leucker
Credit/Quelle: Universität der Bundeswehr München

The organisers of the conference (from left to right): Prof. Philip Sander, Prof. Thomas Braml, Prof. Conrad Boley, Prof. Manfred Keuser and the Managing Director of STUVA e. V., Prof. Roland Leucker
Credit/Quelle: Universität der Bundeswehr München
There was a sense of relief written all over the organisers‘ faces when, after a delay of more than two years, the 7th Munich Tunnelling Symposium was finally able to open its doors at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich on 8 July 2022. The event had originally been scheduled for May 2020, but Covid and pandemic-related contact restrictions had thrown a spanner in the works.

Since its foundation in 2008, the Munich Tunnelling Symposium has been a permanent fixture in the calendars of tunnelling specialists and has long since become a well-established networking event for the profession in southern Germany. Every two years, in between the STUVA Conferences, it offers the opportunity to discuss current topics with an expert audience. After all, the planning, construction and maintenance of tunnel structures are highly complex tasks that require multidisciplinary cooperation. Regular exchange among colleagues from the various disciplines is therefore absolutely essential, and the compact one-day event in Munich is the best prerequisite for precisely this. After the long hiatus due to Covid, almost 300 experts were once again welcomed to the symposium. 

Four Key Topics

This year‘s event was organised by Professors Thomas Braml, Philip Sander, Conrad Boley and Manfred Keuser
of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences together with the STUVA e.V. (Research Association for Tunnels and Transportation Facilities) and dealt with four key topics: Tunnels in Bavaria, Digitalisation, BIM and Research, Contract Models and Risk, and Major International Projects. 

Tunnels in Bavaria

In this first thematic block, Dipl.-Ing. Frank Frischeisen (City of Munich) presented the current projects of the city of Munich under the title “Public Transport Initiative: Subway Construction in Munich Picks Up Speed Again”. In addition, Dipl.-Ing. Albert Wimmer (DB Netz AG) presented the current status of the planning and construction of the 2nd S-Bahn main line in Munich. Finally, Dipl.-Ing. Martin Zeindl (Bavarian State Ministry for Housing, Construction and Transport, Munich) gave an up-to-date overview of other tunnel projects in Bavaria. 

Digitalisation, BIM and Research

In the second block of topics, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Günther Meschke (Ruhr University Bochum), Dipl.-Ing. Gereon Behnen (Büchting + Streit AG), Fabian Rauch (TU Munich) and Dipl.-Ing. Stephan Frodl (Ed. Züblin AG) gave an insight into current research topics in the field of tunnel construction. Furthermore, Frodl presented the new developments in the modelling of tunnel projects with Building Information Modelling (BIM). 

Contract Models and Risk

After the lunch break, Dr.-Ing. Peter Hoffmann (Schüßler Plan), Dipl.-Ing. Frank Ruopp (Munich Re) and Dipl.-Ing. Heinz Ehrbar (Heinz Ehrbar Partners) provided information on the latest developments in cost calculations and risk management for tunnel projects and presented the currently published recommendations for project risk management in underground construction to the auditorium. 

Major International Projects

In this last block of topics, Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Neumaier and Dipl.-Ing. Manuel Gotthalmseder (both DB Netz AG) gave exciting insights into the project “Northern Approach to the Brenner Base Tunnel”. Afterwards, Dr.-Ing. Karin Bäppler (Herrenknecht AG) spoke in her lecture about the challenges for a tunnel boring machine in very difficult ground (large-scale project Lyon). At the end of the symposium, Prof. Dr. mult. Konrad Bergmeister (University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna and Honorary Doctor of the University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich) gave an impressive lecture on the topic “Overview of Long Base Tunnels and Their Challenges”.

In the foyer in front of the Audimax auditorium, an exhibition was held accompanying the conference. This gave engineering consultants and construction manufacturers the opportunity to present themselves to the conference participants. It provided the setting for interesting discussions among the tunnel builders until the early evening.

The 8th Munich Tunnelling Symposium is scheduled for summer 2024. An exact date is yet to be announced.

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