STUVA-YEP, the “Forum for Young Engineering Professionals”at the STUVA Conference 2023

The STUVA-YEP general meeting on the evening before the STUVA Conference is by now a fixed date in the calendar for many young engineers. Thanks to the support of the Department of Concrete and Masonry Structures at the Technical University of Munich and the organisation by Fabian Rauch, almost 90 people were able to attend the event (Fig. 1).

2022/23 in Retrospect

The event began with a look back at the past two years by spokeswoman Anna Zehlicke and spokesman Christian Rhein. Thanks to the commitment of our members, we were able to organise a wide range of events. On 10 and 11 July 2022, around 50 YEPs attended the construction site visit for the 2nd core line in Munich. The YEPs visited both the construction site at Munich Central Station (Fig. 2) and the work on the launch shaft at Donnersberger Bridge (Fig. 3). Afterwards, various presentations were given on construction sites in and around Munich. We would like to thank DB InfraGO AG, August Reiners Bauunternehmung and ARGE Tunnel Hauptbahnhof.

In autumn, we went to the University of Applied Sciences (TH) Cologne to the Department of Geotechnics and Tunnelling headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Budach. At the workshop “Innovations in Tunnelling – Current Developments in Research and Practice”, the young engineers were able to get in touch with students from the TH Cologne and exchange ideas in addition to attending interesting lectures (Figs. 4 + 5). Once again, many thanks go to all those involved, sponsors from the Department of Geotechnics and Tunnelling and the STUVA as well as all participants.

In spring 2023, we then made the trip to Bochum in the Ruhr region for a continuation of the BIM workshop from 2017. In addition to numerous presentations, a lively exchange on current topics of digitalisation in construction/tunnelling took place on the premises of ZPP Ingenieure AG (Fig. 6). Many thanks to ZPP Ingenieure for organising and sponsoring this enriching event. Following the series of lectures, the YEPs were given the opportunity to visit the virtual reality laboratory of the Department of Computer Science in Civil Engineering at the Ruhr University Bochum (Fig. 7).

In addition to our larger events, regional get-togethers
of and for YEPs have been established throughout Germany. From Hamburg to Essen and Cologne to Munich, these have taken place and continue to take place

Steering Committee

As part of the 2023 general meeting, the Steering Committee was newly elected in accordance with the STUVAYEP statutes. A total of 10 candidates stood for election for the next two years. The new Steering Committee has the following members:

Daniel Görg (WTM Engineers GmbH)

Maren Kaiser (ZPP Ingenieure AG)

Robert Lutz (Vössing Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH)

Christian Rhein (Ruhr University Bochum)

Marc Steinfeld (DB InfraGO AG)

Anna Zehlicke (Schüßler-Plan Ingenieurgesellschaft  mbH)

Michael Sedlacek (Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau AG)

Chara Kalogeraki (Vössing Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH)

Ruben Deckers (STUVA e. V.)

Christian Rhein and Anna Zehlicke remain spokespersons of the Steering Committee.

The current committee would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing members of the previous Steering Committee, Christoph Caspari, Franziska Hebach and Nils Gramlich, and we hope to continue their work just as successfully.

In addition to the annual retrospective and the election of the new Steering Committee, there was also a vote on an amendment to our Articles of Association (available online at > about us > STUVA-YEP), which is intended to favour a gender-balanced distribution of members in the election of the Committee. Robert Lutz also presented the “Tunnelbau für Alle/Tunnelling for All” initiative.

Launch of the “Tunnelling for All” Campaign at the STUVA Conference 2023

Well before the STUVA Conference 2023, the Steering Committee discussed various ways of tackling the acute shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry and in our tunnelling trade and how we can attract people to work in this sector.

We quickly realised that the working environment in particular has a major influence on job satisfaction. In initial discussions at the end of 2022, it became clear that the construction industry and tunnelling still have some catching up to do when it comes to tolerance and equality.

This is why the STUVA-YEP has committed itself to tackling this issue and launching a long-term campaign under the name “Tunnelling for All” to increase the public image and appeal of what we consider to be the most exciting discipline in construction and to attract young talent and skilled workers to the tunnelling industry.

As part of the STUVA Conference, the Steering Committee has already made its first moves to draw attention to the issue of tolerance and equal rights. The campaign was advertised with its own trade fair beer and stickers. Fortune cookies were distributed, in which the unequal treatment of men and women in the construction industry was highlighted and explained using summarised facts (Figs. 8 + 9). There was also a free sanitary product dispenser at the YEP’s stand.

Further events are planned over the next two years, as it is not just about the partial inequality between male and female employees. The results or interim findings will then be presented at the upcoming STUVA Conference 2025 in Hamburg. If you are interested, please contact the Steering Committee for further information.

Following the general meeting, the STUVA-YEPs who attended ended the evening in a relaxed atmosphere with dinner together at the Max Emanuel brewery in Munich.

On the following two days of the trade fair, the STUVAYEP was once again represented with its own stand at the STUVA-Expo. As at previous STUVA Conferences, the
STUVA-YEP stand was a central point of contact for all interested young and experienced tunnellers throughout both days. Interested parties were given information about the STUVA-YEP Forum‘s work to date and its future plans, and there was the opportunity to make new contacts and rekindle old acquaintances. ITA President Arnold Dix also became a „local“ at our stand (Fig. 10)!

A screen on the stand not only promoted and explained the “Tunnelling for All” initiative, but also gave all visitors an insight into the experiences and achievements of our STUVA-YEP members under the title „P stands for Professional”. They were able to introduce themselves as “young professionals“ (with the emphasis on professional) in short profiles.

In addition, the YEPs again offered the opportunity to talk to the speakers of the “Young Forum” of the STUVA Conference on the second day of the fair and to exchange professional information on the presentation topics and discuss any questions in direct and informal dialogue.

We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all the helpers and the “Young Forum” of the
STUVA Conference for their support at the stand and in preparing and following up the STUVA-YEP stand.

The STUVA-YEP’s final summary of the STUVA Conference 2023 was once again consistently positive. The
STUVA-YEP has established itself as an organisation within the tunnelling family and was able to increase its membership once again. The young network now has over 450 registered members.

The next events are already being planned. Details will be announced in good time on the STUVA website, in our newsletters and via our social media channels. New members are very welcome! Interested young engineers up to around 35 years of age from all areas of tunnelling and tunnel operation can become members of our forum easily and free of charge ( > about us > STUVA-YEP).


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