Future Evening Meetings

The BTS holds monthly evening meetings from September to June, generally on the third Thursday of the month. Unless otherwise stated, the meetings are at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) with the lecture starting at 6pm. Additional meetings are arranged by the BTS Young Members, by regional groups and as joint meetings with other societies. Click on the calendar to place this meeting in your Outlook calendar; click on the download button for a copy of the flyer; and click on the film icon to view the meeting live.


BTS January Meeting: Challenges of the Design and Construction at the Gotthard Base Tunnel, Switzerland

The 57 km long Gotthard Base Tunnel, a 9 billion Euro project, is the world’s longest railway tunnel. The main Breakthrough took place on the 15th October 2010. All 151.8 km of the overall system are complete and the tunnel has been in operation since 2016. This lecture will provide some feedback from the construction difficulties and lessons learnt from the two 30 km long southern TBM drives from Bodio to Faido under overburden reaching a maximum of 2,400 meters. The project overcame a major fault zone, squeezing ground conditions and rock bursts. The TBM was blocked by a collapse, and had to cross water-carrying faults with rock and water temperatures reaching 48°C. The project also needed to cross weak and potentially risky zones like the Piora Basin. A section of the tunnel was enlarged after squeezing rock nearly blocked the TBM drive. Expected water pressure exceeding 160 bars required suitable pre investigation equipment. A waterproofing system with sheet membrane was installed along the whole tunnel length and extensive testing was carried out. The presentation will give a general overview and go deeper in selected topics.


Yves Boissonnas, Head of Tunnelling, EMEA, Sika

Joint BTS/MinSouth meeting. Salt Mining in Cheshire

Please note this meeting is earlier in the month than is usual. Winsford Salt Mine: From Drill and Blast to Continuous Mining will explore the historic method of drill and blast, focusing on the move from continuous miners to the automation of the miners and the benefits of automation. Alternative Mine Uses (AMUs) which are in place to reduce the effect of a winter de-icing business will also be discussed.


Gordon Dunn, Compass Minerals UK

BTS February Meeting: Joint BGA/BTS meeting: Water and Tunnelling – lessons from 40 years of interesting problems.

The talk will highlight David Hartwell's experience in finding solutions to problems with groundwater associated with shafts and tunnels over the last 40 years. Along the way lessons were learnt, many of which do not appear in groundwater or soil mechanics text books. Two major projects will be highlighted: the Storebaelt tunnels in Denmark, including pressure relief for the cross passages and the MOSES offshore dewatering scheme. The second major project concerns the recovery of the flooded Docklands Light Rail tunnel under the river Thames; freezing was considered but the scheme adopted included wells in the river and horizontal wells drilled from within the tunnel. David was awarded the 13th Skempton medal by the BGA in 2018. He is recognised world-wide as a leading authority on groundwater and tunnelling and has extensive experience investigating and developing practical solutions to groundwater related geotechnical issues for tunnels, heavy civil engineering and mining projects.


David Hartwell

BTS March Meeting: Elan Valley Aqueduct


Phil Cull, Barhale

BTS April Meeting: Harding Prize


BTS May Meeting and BTS AGM


BTS June Meeting: Tideway TBM Deliveries


Yueyang Zhao, Wentworth House