ITA Tunnelling Awards 2018

The fourth ITA Tunnelling Awards was organized together with the CTUC conference in Chuzhou, China, on 7 November 2018. „The ITA Tunnelling Awards 2018 is a unique conference, focussing on and sharing the yearly major achievements in our tunnelling industry, including the remarkable projects, technical innovations, innovative underground space concepts and safety initiatives as well as excellent young tunnellers and lifetime achievement“, Jenny Jinxiu Yan, ITA Vice president and chair of the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2018 Committee, welcomed the audience waiting for the announcement of the Award winners.

ITA president, Tarcisio Celestino stated the importance of this event in his welcome speech: „It is very fortunate for the tunnelling industry that the most important global event celebrating excellence is hosted by the country with the biggest market. The importance of China for our industry is measured not only by the size of the market; China is also responsible for many technical developments which have pushed ahead the state of the practice.“

68 entries from 20 countries were submitted, and 27 finalists presented their projects to a jury of 16 judges and an audience of 290 attendees.


Young Tunneller of the Year

Giuseppe M. Gaspari was awarded out of a group of seven very promising young engineers from all over the world. He holds a degree in civil engineering, a Master in geotechnics and a second level Master in tunneling and TBMs. Gaspari is currently Deputy Project Manager for the West Vaughan Sewage Servicing Project, a 14 km long tunnel with nine shafts in the Greater Toronto Area in Canada, and the Design Project Manager for the Suffolk Outfall in New York, USA. Giuseppe Gaspari started his career in the Geodata Engineering center of excellence in Turin, Italy.


Lifetime Achievement Award

For his extraordinary achievements in the tunnelling industry, Prof. Evert Hoek received the ITA Lifetime Achievement Award 2018. He was born in Zimbabwe, graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Cape Town and became involved in the young science of rock mechanics in 1958 when he started working in research on the problems of brittle fracture associated with rockbursts in very deep mines in South Africa. His degrees include a PhD from the University of Cape Town, a DSc (Eng) from the University of London and honorary doctorates from the Universities of Waterloo and Toronto in Canada. He has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He has published more than 100 papers and three books.

His consulting work has included major civil and mining projects in 35 countries around the world and has involved rock slopes, dam foundations, hydroelectric projects, underground caverns and tunnels excavated conventionally and by TBM.


Technical Project Innovation

The awarded project for the best technical project innovation was the „Mechanized method with large section horseshoe shape EPB-TBM first applied in loess mountain tunnel in China“. The project has developed the world’s first horseshoe shape EPB-TBM with multiple cutterheads. The machine has been successfully used in the Baicheng Tunnel of Menghua railway in loess stratum. The project is a benchmark of constructing non-circular section tunnel using full-face mechanized excavation method, extending the application field of EPB-TBM.


Project of the Year including Renovation (up to 50 Million Euros)

The Zarbalizadeh shallow tunnel construction underneath the operating railways in Iran was the winner of the ITA award for the project of the year including renovation up to 50 Mio. euros. The urban, 105 m long NATM-tunnel is located in the south of Tehran with an average overburden of about 3.0 m, excavation width and height of 14 m and 11.5 m, respectively. The project crosses under the subway line of Tehran Metro Line 1 with 550 000 daily commuters, and the North-South Railway with transportation of 40 000 passengers and a hundred tons of goods per day. Due to the special circumstances of the design and implementation of this underground project, a specific method of hybrid pre-consolidation system was implemented along with a multi-stage tunnelling procedure.


Innovative Underground Space Concept

The Norwegian Rock Blasting Museum was awarded for its innovative underground space concept. It provides a journey through the history of Norwegian tunnelling industry in a 240 m long semi-circular tunnel. The tunnel and outdoor area display hundreds exhibitis, from manual excavation without explosives to today‘s highly mechanised way of tunnelling. The museum‘s purpose is to preserve and display the unique cultural heritage from the tunnelling and rock blasting history. Today the museum is owned and operated by the Norwegian Public Road Administration.


Safety Initiative of the Year

Roby 850, a semi-automatic drilling robot from Hong Kong, China, was awarded for the safety initiative of the year 2018. In longer and larger tunnels, there is an increasing demand for construction workers to install E&M services, in particularly drilling anchors and installing permanent utility containment systems like cable brackets and cable trays. Current practice of using hand-held equipment to drill holes and install anchors repeatedly exposed the workers to the hazards of „falling from height“, „falling object“, „joint or muscle damage“, „misuse of drill“ and „hazardous dusts“. The Roby 850 has been developed by Bouygues/Dragages Hong Kong to improve productivity and to eliminate the health and safety risk.


Technical Product or Equipment Innovation

The multifunctional energy-storage and luminescent material (LUMA) for sustainable and energy-saving lighting for tunnels from China was honoured with the ITA Award for the technical product of the year. LUMA has been applied in manufacturing a series of products including tunnel coating, road marking and tunnel signage fixtures. The material alleviates contamination to tunnel walls from car exhausts, increases in-tunnel visibility and air quality, and provides illumination for escaping from accidents.

Project of the Year worth between 50 and 500 Million Euros

The ITA Award for the project worth between 50 and 500 Mio. euros was given to the Queershan Tunnel on the China National Road 317. With an altitude of 4378 m, a main tunnel and a parallel pilot tunnel both over 7 km long, the Queershan Tunnel is the world‘s highest long highway tunnel. The design concept “weather routing” has been proposed for the first time, which provides new ideas for routing of high-altitude and cold-zone tunnels. Through the systematic research and application of anti-freezing measures, ventilation criteria, personnel oxygen supply standards and hot spring utilization, the aims of zero accidents and casualties during tunnel construction and smooth safe transportation during tunnel operation were achieved. The risks of the once so-called “most dangerous road in China” are eliminated. A complete set of high-altitude survey, design and construction technologies was established, and its successful experience was widely used in construction of similar tunnels.


Project of the Year worth over 500 Million Euros

The immersed tunnel of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge link in China was awarded Project of the Year worth over 500 Mio. euros. The tunnel is 6.7 km long and consists of 33 tunnel elements (28 straight and 5 curved elements). The project is the first immersed tunnel in China. It is also the longest immersed highway tunnel and one of the deepest immersed tunnels in the world. It was a great achievement for Chinese engineers to bring such a project into successful completion in 7 years with new material, new equipment and advance technology.


ITA Tunnelling Awards 2019 in Miami

Next year, the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2019 conference and presentation ceremony will be held on November 18, 2019  in Miami, USA.


Related articles:

Issue 02/2018 ITA Award 2017 in Paris

ITA Awards 2017

“We’re very proud to be able to select the best among 66 candidates as the ITA Award winners in eight categories”, Jinxiu (Jenny) Yan (China), the chair of the ITA Tunnelling Award Committee and...

Issue 06/2022

ITA Tunnelling Awards 2022 Winners

Awards for Projects, Innovations and Outstanding Personalities Presented in Eight Categories

ITA President Arnold Dix praised the quality of the award-winning projects, underlining that “the Tunnelling Awards is a celebration of the great milestones and the great innovations achieved. It...


Virtual ITA Tunnelling Awards 2020 – List of Finalists

Online Conference and Ceremony, 3–4 December

The five previous editions of the event in Switzerland, Singapore, France, China and the USA gathered more than 1200 attendees and 403 entries. In 2020 the award ceremony is for the first time...

Issue 04/2015 ITA

ITA Tunnelling Awards: already 50 Candidacies received

As part of its strategy to further enhance tunnelling and underground space awareness on an international level, the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) launched its own...

Issue 01/2020 USA | USA

5th ITA Tunnelling Awards – The Winners 2019

Since 2015, the international competition “ITA Tunnelling Awards” seeks and rewards groundbreaking innovations and outstanding projects in tunnelling and underground space use. In November 2019 the...