International Tunnelling Association (ITA)

The BTS provides the UK Member Nation representative to the International Tunnelling Association (ITA) and represents the UK on the ITA General Assembly. BTS Members are involved in ITA Working Groups and, at times, on the ITA Executive. The BTS has supported society members as President of the ITA including its first President and subsequently Honorary Life President, Sir Alan Muir Wood (1974-1977), Colin Kirkland OBE (1989-1992), and most recently Martin Knights (2007-1010).

Our national representatives actively participate in the annual ITA General Assembly and World Tunnel Congress. In late 2013 Damian McGirr took over from Donald Lamont as the UK Member Nation representative to the ITA General Assembly.

The ITA currently has thirteen active Working Groups (many of which have UK representatives on them), which meet at intervals and prepare reports and guidance on a range of tunnelling topics from Underground Works through to Shotcreting and Mechanised Tunnelling. Currently there are two ITA working groups with UK Animateurs: Donald Lamont is Animateur of WG 5 'Health and Safety in Works'; and Jon Barber is Animateur of WG 11 'Immersed and Floating Tunnels'. Information on publications can be accessed on the ITA website.

The ITA also has four committees with BTS members actively supporting the work of all of these. ITA CET (the ITA Committee on Education and Training) endorses Masters degree courses in tunnelling, including the MSc in Tunnelling at Warwick University.

The ITA General Assembly is held annually in May or early June, alongside the World Tunnel Congress (WTC). There are generally a number of papers at the WTC contributed by BTS Members.

The ITA Corporate Website, which includes a BTS page, contains a substantial quantity of information:

  • Working group reports and publications
  • Tunnel related news and events
  • Reports from the member nations

The ITA has posted on YouTube, an informative video on tunnelling for those embarking on, or considering, a career in the industry.