35th Annual Meeting of ITA in Budapest, Hungary

35th Annual Meeting of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association – World Tunnel Congress 2009 in Budapest, Hungary

Around 1,100 tunnellers from all over the world assembled in Budapest/H, from May 23rd to 28th, 2009, for the 35th Annual Meeting of the ITA – International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association in conjunction with the 2009 World Tunnel Congress. The motto of this tunnelling event organised by the Hungarian Tunnelling Association (HTA) was “Safe Tunnelling for the City and Environment”. Participants came from all over the world to attend. No less than 40 of the
55 ITA member countries were present in Budapest representing an attendance figure of
73  % – roughly the same num-ber compared to the previous year (70  %).
The following countries were represented:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic,  Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom and the USA.
The ITA member countries not represented in Budapest were: Algeria, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Me-xico, Peru, Saudi-Arabia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam.
Some 70 exhibitors presented their products on 3 floors of the modern conference centre parallel to the event and provided the participants with the opportunity to exchange views and make contacts above all during the breaks between lectures (Fig. 1).

2009 World Tunnel Congress

The Congress was prepared and organised by the Hungarian Tunnelling Committee in close collaboration with the ITA. The conference programme embraced 12 thematic aspects presented at 33 technical sessions.
■ Risk analysis, finances and contractual relationships
■ Geological and geotechnical investigations
■ Tunnelling in soft ground with shotcrete method
■ Cut- and cover constructions
■ Mechanised tunnelling
■ Monitoring, settlement control
■ Quality management
■ Miscellaneous (storing facilities, research and development etc)
■ Architectural design, structural design and management policy
■ City, tunnel, environment and safety
■ Maintenance, repair and rehabilitation
■ Special tunnels (long tunnels).
The contributions for the conference programme were rounded off with various poster presentations and an accompanying exhibition.
On May 22nd and 23rd a special ITA Training Course (Fig. 2) was held during the run-up to the meeting – now for the fifth time. The 17 papers presented by experts from 10 countries dealt with the risks involved in building inner urban tunnel in unstable soils. During more than 12 hours of lectures the international experts provided an extensive insight of the level of technology and knowledge in their own particular fields. They referred to theoretical and practical experience and in the process examined a range of examples from practice. The roughly 100 participants involved themselves at length in the discussions thus reflecting the great interest shown in the subject matter. The Training Course was prepared by ITA council member Prof. Markus Thewes (Ger-many), the tutor of the ITA Working Group 18 “Training” and deputy chairman of the “Committee on Education and Training” (ITA-CET). The other scientific advisors were André Assis, chairman of the ITA-CET and Daniele Peila, who heads Working Group 18 and is deputy chairman of the ITA-CET.
At the opening session on May 25th, 2009 welcoming addresses and short speeches were presented by Pál Kocson-ya, Martin Knights (Fig. 3), László Becker and Dr. Lajos Csepi. Subsequently 3 top-notch keynote lectures were delivered:
■ European Transport, Tendencies, Developments (KAZATSAY, Zoltán, EU Deputy Director-General for Transport)
■ Contemporary Issues Related to Tunnelling (KNIGHTS, Mar-tin, ITA President)
■ Conventional Tunnelling Methods in Soft Ground in Urban Areas – Risks and Chances (WITTKE, Walter, General Ma-nager of WBI).
The lecturers gave an overview of highly topical themes in tunnelling. European infrastructural measures, their financing and influence on the European economic programme were particularly highlighted. Safety and contractual issues as well as the ITA’s role in them were also dealt with. These themes were rounded off by practice-related references to conventional tunnelling with topical examples.
For the first time the work of the ITA Working Groups was highlighted at the start of the ITA’s public session in order to introduce the importance of their activities to a wider audience.
First of all Donald Lamont, the chairman of WG 5 “Health and Safety in Works” reported on the documents processed in recent years. In this connection the illustrated guides “Working safely in Tunnelling” and ITA Report 1 “Guidelines for Health Protection and Safety in Tunnelling” are of outstanding significance.
Then Heinz Ehrbar, the chairman of WG 19 “Conventional Tunnelling” presented the latest results of his group’s deliberations. The ITA Report 2 “Con-ventional Tunnelling”, which is meant to assist clients, contractors and tunnelling engineers and which provides an overview of the latest state of technology (please see news in this issue of tunnel), deserves especial mention in this case.
The ITA public session on May 26th was devoted this time around to the important topic “Planning of Modern Tunnel Projects with Emphasis on Urban Areas”. After the session was opened by Piergorgio Grasso the following 7 contributions were presented:
■ Elioff, Amanda: WG 20 – Modern tunnel planning, a US perspective
■ Klados, Gusztáv: The SMART project in Malaysia
■ Arnáiz Ronda, Manuel: Madrid Metro and M30 Project
■ Vähäaho, Ilkka : Underground (UG) – Master Plan of Helsinki
■ Gu, Xin: Master plan of Shenzhen (China)
■ Tsang, Keith: Deep Sewage Tunnels in Hong Kong
■ Parker, Harvey: A new tunnel in Seattle to replace the aging and earthquake-damaged viaduct along the waterfront
The examples presented clearly reveal that underground facilities optimally fulfil demands pertaining to mobility, ensuring supplies or the environment. It must be said though that the financial means that are available tend to restrict the imagination of engineers so that plans have to be economic as well as visionary. Innovative ideas, such as the temporary utilisation of a road tunnel as a drain in the event of flooding as in the case of the SMART project in Malaysia are more in demand than ever.
On May 26th, 2009 at a separate workshop some outstanding results achieved by the TUNCONSTRUCT research pro-ject supported by the EU were presented to a wider audience. The most important conclusions reached in the spheres of design, execution, new technologies as well as maintenance and repair were put forward (Fig. 4).

General Assembly

President Martin C. Knights (UK) chaired the General As-sembly. He informed the delegates about membership figures. The number of member countries has risen by 1 to
55 since Laos joined last year.  10 corporate and 4 individual members have also joined. Taking resignations into account the ITA now has 55 member countries, 151 corporate and 122 individual members.
As in previous years, the members were informed about the means of communication used by the ITA and their development.
The ITA Newsletter “Tribune” which has only been published once per annum since 2005 concentrated on tunnelling in Hungary in its 2009 issue. In addition, it contains reports on the activities of 30 ITA member nations as well as company profiles of a number of the ITA’s prime sponsors.  
4 issues of the ita@news have been dispatched per e-mail since the 2008 General Assembly at Agra (India) in September. These contain the latest news on the ITA, its Working Groups, the member countries as well as on forthcoming events such as exhibitions, workshops and seminars in conjunction with tunnelling and on the activities of international affiliated organisations. Currently the dispatch list contains some 7,700 addresses of persons, companies, architectural offices and other organisations in addition to the member countries and associated ITA members after distribution of the “ita@news” was considerably extended over the past year.
The ITA’s scientific organ “Tunnelling & Underground Space Technology (TUST)“ is now only available to ITA members in electronic form – however, it includes the complete archives. In 2008 (year 23) 6 issues were published, embracing a total of almost 750 pages. In 2009 (year 24) so far 4 further issues totalling almost 500 pages have appeared.
The ITA Website now contains around 1,000 html pages and 1,000 pdf data with roughly 12,000 printable pages. The number of visitors amounts to about 5,000 per month with the average session in excess of 5 min.
As in previous years, the report on the activities of the ITA Working Groups occupied a substantial amount of the General Assembly’s time.
The General Assembly decided on the venue for the 2012 Annual Meeting. Towards this end the cities of Zhengzhou (China) and Bangkok (Thailand) put forward their candidature. A majority vote among the delegates decided in favour of Bangkok as the venue. In this connection the dates and venues for the following annual meetings is certainly of interest:
■ May 5th to 10th, 2010, 36th ITA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. The motto “Tunnel Visions 2020”
■ May 21st to 26th, 2011, 37th ITA Annual Meeting in Helsinki, Finland with the motto “Underground Spaces in the Service of a sustainable Society”
■ May 18th to 23rd, 2012, 38th Annual Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand with the motto
“Tunnelling and Underground Spaces for a global Society”.
In memory of Sir Alan Muir Wood, who died on February 1st, 2009, at the age of 87
(tunnel 2/2009, p 14), Claude Berenguier recalled Muir Wood’s longstanding connections with the ITA.
Displaying a large number of pictures he charted Muir Wood’s professional career, who was life honorary president of the ITA from 1973.
Subsequently president Mar-tin Knights presented Muir Wood’s son David with a plaque of honour.
To cherish Muir Wood’s memory it was decided to hold a key lecture at future world tunnel congresses to be named the “Muir Wood Lecture”.

ITA Executive Council

Compared with last year the only change resulted from the death of honorary president Sir Alan Muir Wood. The new ITA Executive is made up as follows:
M. Knights, UK, president, till 2010
H. Parker, USA, past-president, till 2010
P. Grasso, Italy, vice-president till 2010
E. Grov, Norway, vice-president till 2010
Y. Leblais, France, vice-president till 2010
I.-M. Lee, Korea, vice-president till 2010
S. Eskesen, Denmark
K. Fukumoto, Japan
J. Hrdina, Czech Republic
M. Thewes, Germany
V. Umnov, Russia
B. Yun, China
F. Vuilleumier, Switzerland
C. Bérenguier, France, secretary-general.
The General Assembly re-appointed Mr. S. Calinescu, Roma-nia, as internal auditor for the period of a further year. D. Brox of Canada has been appointed to advise the ITA Executive as representative of host nation Canada for the 2010 World Tunnel Congress and the same applies to P. Saarka of Finland for the 2011 congress. Their appointments run until 2010 and 2011 respectively. In addition, since January 1st, 2009, Olivier Vion, after his appointment as the full-time CEO of the ITA, has been available to assist the Executive Council (Fig. 5).

Reports on the Activities of the Working Groups

12 of the active ITA Working Groups held ongoing sessions during the Budapest meeting
The chairmen of the Working Groups reported on the stage reached by their work and the activities planned for the months ahead at the General Assembly on May 27th, 2009.

Working Group 2: Research
Chaired by: Eric Leca, France; Deputy: Chung-Sik Yoo, Korea; Tutor: Søren Eskesen, Denmark
Altogether 14 experts from 11 countries took part in the deliberations.
Currently the WG is engaged in processing 2 documents “Strategy of Site Investigations” and “Monitoring and Control of Underground Works”. The latest draft of the second paper was once again revised and approved during the session. It is expected that the final draft of the first document will be available for the next session in May 2010 (Vancouver).   
A further major subject for discussion related to “Guidelines for Risk Management in Tunnelling”. Teaching material has been generated since the Agra session (2008) to pass on the recognitions and findings already available in the field of risk management on the basis of the corresponding recommendation dating back to 2004. This material was presented to the experts attending the training course on May 22nd, 2009.
Future activities will concentrate on producing recommendations for tunnel linings with high-strength concrete (conventional inner shells and segmental support) as well as assessing pipeline damage caused by tunnelling settlements.

Working Group 3: Contractual Practices in Underground Construction
Chaired by: Arnold Dix, Australia; Deputy: Martin
Smith, United Kingdom; Tutor: Martin Knights, United King-dom
The work begun in Agra on compiling a checklist for contracts, which allows for an objective assessment of contractual issues, has been completed in the interim. Prior to its scheduled publication the document is being revised again by WG 19 (Conventional Tunnelling). Its final completion is due within a few months. The bulk of the time in Budapest was spent scrutinising and revising the numerous contributions put forward by members of the Working Group.

Working Group 5: Health and Safety in Tunnelling
Chaired by: Donald Lamont, UK; Deputy: Martin Vogel, Switzerland; Tutor: Vitaly Umnov, Russia
The delegates from 8 countries who were present were intensively involved in reviewing the ITA publication “Safety in Tunnelling”.  A revised version is to be made ready for the 2010 meeting in Vancouver – available in various languages – as has already been the case.
The “Guidelines for Health Protection and Safety in Tunnelling” appeared as the first in the new series of ITA Reports.
The report relating to “Dealing safely with temporary Ducts in Tunnels” has practically reached completion.
In addition it was decided to lend support to the field of health and safety in tunnelling at future ITA training courses.

Working Group 6: Maintenance and Repair of Underground Structures
Chaired by: Henry Russell, USA; Deputy: René van den Bosch, Netherlands; Tutor: Bai Yun, China
The WG’s session was at-tended by experts from 10 member countries.
“Guidelines on Structural Fire Resistance for Metro Tunnels” were further discussed by the WG.  This document forms an important addition to corresponding guidelines relating to “Structural Fire Resistance for Road Tunnels”, which were previously published by the WG. The new report was subsequently passed on to the ITA Executive Council to receive the green light for publication.
In this connection it should be pointed out that the recommendation for fire protection in road tunnels worked on by the WG was accepted by the American National Fire Protec-tion Association (NFPA) within its code of practice “Standard for Road Tunnels, Bridges and other limited Access Highways” (edition 2008). This underlines the high quality of the recommendation compiled by the Working Group.

Working Group 11: Immersed and Floating Tunnels
Chaired by: Christian Ingers-lev, USA; Deputy: Jonathan Baber, United Kingdom; Tutor: Yann Leblais, France
16 participants from 10 countries participated in the WG’s deliberations.
In Budapest new recognitions and reports pertaining to ongoing projects and development activities were exchanged. By the next session in Vancouver it is intended to expand the catalogue dealing with floating tunnels with new projects and ensure that the catalogue of supply tunnels and the first part of the guidelines for owners are made available on the webpage. Furthermore further activities were determined, which will be dealt with by the WG in future.

Working Group 12: Shotcrete Use
Chaired by: Tarcisio Celestino, Brazil; Deputy: Atsumu Ishida, Japan; Tutor: Elvind Grov, Norway
28 representatives from 17 different countries participated in the WG’s discussions.
The “State of the Art Report” drawn up by the WG was augmented by new photo material. Once it has been approved by the ITA Executive it will be made available on the ITA Website. Activities to set up a test programme for fibre reinforced shotcrete have made good pro-gress. In addition, the results relating to standardising the training and certification of nozzle operators as well as work devoted to sustainability were presented. The glossary which in the meantime has been issued in
12 languages will have a further 3 added to it in the near future.

Working Group 14: Mechanisation of Excavation
Chaired by: Lars Babendererde, Germany; Deputy: Felix Amberg, Switzerland; Tutor: Katsuji Fukumoto, Japan
The Working Group has actively worked on 2 new documents, which are intended to simplify the choice of tunnelling method at an early stage. In the first document the pros and cons of conventional and mechanised tunnel excavations will be contrasted with each other. In the second outstanding projects will be presented that highlight the possibilities provided by mechanised driving. Both documents are to be published on the ITA webpage in the near future.

Working Group 15: Underground Works and the Environment
Chaired by: Jan Rohde, Norway; Deputy: Jon Kaneshiro, USA; Tutor: In-Mo Lee, Korea
Altogether 9 representatives from 7 ITA member countries took part in the deliberations in Budapest.
The WG session largely focused on reviewing the draft for the final report on “Environ-mental and sustainable Development Reasons for Going Underground”. The report is due to be published shortly.
In addition, those attending concentrated on 6 reports relating to projects and tasks. Towards this end, aspects such as storing waste, ventilation, vibrations, ingressing underground water, portal design and the Norwegian Road Authorities’ Handbook were discussed.
Finally the overall aims of the WG were set as follows:
■ Advantages and chances for using underground space
■ Challenges of underground structures
■ Recommendations and guidelines for underground structures pertaining to the environment.  
A questionnaire was prepared by means of which member countries can determine targets, challenges, general conditions, risks as well as environmentally related and sustainable solutions.

Working Group 17: Long Tunnels at great Depth
Chaired by: Gérard Seingre, Switzerland; Deputy: Minoru Shimokawachi, Japan; Tutor: Piergorgio Grasso, Italy
The session, which was attended by 20 delegates from 10 different countries, presented 4 projects as examples from the WG’s activities. In addition on account of the further development of safety regulations in Europe minor changes and additions were made to the WG’s report.

Working Group 18: Training
Chaired by: Daniele Peila, Italy; Deputy: Han Admiraal, Netherlands; Tutor: Markus Thewes, Germany
10 experts from 9 countries participated at the session.
The deliberations focused on the WG’s relationship with the Committee on Education and Training (ITA-CET) as well as further activities on the part of the Working Group. It was agreed that the WG should act as the contact point between the ITA member countries and the ITA-CET. In future the WG will then define requirements for training and further instruction. Furthermore the Working Group will support the other groups so that instruction material can be developed from their spheres of activity. Follow-ing the transition period a decision will be reached regarding how the group’s work can be coordinated with that of the ITA-CET.

Working Group 19: Conventional Tunnelling
Chaired by: Heinz Ehrbar, Switzerland; Deputy: Robert Galler, Austria; Tutor: Francois Vuilleumier, Switzerland
Altogether 18 participants from 9 countries were involved in this Working Group’s deliberations.
Now that the WG’s report on conventional tunnelling has been published as ITA Report 2, the WG will concentrate on contractual aspects involved in conventional tunnelling. Towards this end examples were presented by delegates from Austria, Switzerland and the USA. The Working Group intends collecting further information, which will be published as guidelines. An initial draft is due to be tabled for the next session in Vancouver.

Working Group 20: Urban Problems – Underground Solutions
Chaired by: Amanda Elioff, USA; Deputies: Wout Broere, Netherlands and Junji Nishi, ACUUS/Japan; Tutor: Harvey Parker, USA
The session was attended by 20 delegates from 12 ITA member countries.
The WG has made good progress on working out an overview of typical challenges for urban planning and the related solutions available by using underground space. As a result the fifth draft of the report was revised and approved by the WG. The second aspect related to the scrutiny of a report on case examples pertaining to out of the ordinary underground projects throughout the world. Altogether this catalogue now embraces 16 descriptions prepared for publication. Others are being processed.

ITA-CET – Committee on Education and Training

Chaired by: André Assis, Brazil; Deputy: Daniele Peila, Italy; Tutor: Claude Berenguier, Switzerland
The Committee on Educa-tion and Training (ITA-CET) currently has 40 members from
24 different countries. So far 4 master courses in tunnelling have been sponsored. Currently 8 courses (lasting 15 h each) are being prepared on topics derived from the Working Groups. Since the 2008 General Assembly 2 sessions have taken place; one of them during the WTC ’09. At both further planning activities for training courses and future educational measures were discussed.
In addition a further important point related to planning was the setting up a foundation responsible for the administrative and financial management of the education and training measures. Towards this end at the 2009 General Assembly the member countries decided to support the establishment of a “Foundation on Education and Training in Tunnelling and the Use of Underground Space” (ITA-CET). The ITA as a founding member will receive a seat on the foundation’s council.
The foundation is to be set up as soon as the other organisations interested in being founding members express their intentions and commit themselves to contributing a sum of their choice to the foundation. This is due to take place at the latest by September 2009. Organisations interested in the foundation being established can also receive the statutes, rules of procedure as well as the budgetary plan for the next 5 years.

ITA-COSUF – Committee on Operational Safety of Underground Facilities

Chaired by: Felix Amberg, Switzerland; Deputy: Didier Lacroix, France; Tutor: Claude Berenguier, Switzerland
The Annual General Meeting held in Budapest was once again coupled with a workshop, at which 10 papers were presented. The workshop bore the caption “Operators and Emer-gency Services – a decisive Factor for Safety in Underground Facilities” (Fig. 6). The presentations and discussions dealt with the following topics:
■ operational findings, incidents and drills in tunnels
■ interaction between infrastructure, installations, operation and emergency forces
in road and Underground tunnels
■ educating and training operators and emergency forces.
The roughly 70 participants showed great interest in the discussions, which were deliberately accorded a large time frame. Those who took part came from various fields of tunnel operations. Such as for instance road tunnel operators and safety officers, Underground railway operators or fire service personnel. The participants will be sent the lecture material on a CD and it can be made available to COSUF members upon request.
A special feature, which was greatly appreciated by COSUF members as well as others, was the water mist demonstration in a Budapest Underground station on the evening prior to the workshop.
Following the workshop, this year’s General Assembly was held. Here the chairman and the heads of the Working Groups reported on the past year’s activities and provided a preview of what was planned in the course of the year ahead. In addition the financial situation was presented and approved by the members.

ITA-CUS – Committee on Underground Space

Chaired by: Han Admiraal, Netherlands; Deputy: Ray Sterling (ACUUS), USA; Tutor: Harvey Parker, USA
The Committee on Under-ground Space regards its task as making the public more aware of the possibilities afforded by underground space and facilities. With this goal in mind the members held an internal session on the Monday in order to discuss current and future activities. Furthermore the first position paper entitled “Under-ground Space: Questions and Answers” was approved. The paper is intended to make the advantages of underground space clear to decision-makers. On the afternoon of May 26th, 2009 ITA-CUS held a public lecture event for the first time, which received a rousing response from WTC participants.

Publications and Information

Further details of the World Tunnel Congress and the 2009 ITA Annual Meeting in Budapest, the most important resolutions passed at the General Assembly as well as the activities of the Working Groups are published on the webpage www.ita-aites.org, in the ita@news as well as in the Proceedings and on the CD issued in conjunction with the World Tunnel Congress. All results and extensive reports and the outcome of the Working Groups’ consultations are generally carried in the ITA Journal “Tunnelling & Underground Space Technology” (TUST), Elsevier Science Ltd as well.
Information relating to the ITA and future Annual Meetings is available from:
The Secretariat of DAUB – Mathias-Brüggen-Str. 41, D-50827 Cologne (www.daub-ita.de) or the Secretariat of the ITA – International Tunnelling and Underground Space Associa-tion, (c/o EPFL), 1 402 (Bât. GC), Station 18, CH-1015 Lausanne, as well as the secretariats of the national tunnelling associations of the various ITA member nations.


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