Evening Meetings 2018

The BTS holds monthly evening meetings from September to June, generally on the third Thursday of the month. Additional meetings are arranged by the BTS Young Members. If a meeting report is available this is noted in the first line of the description.


Tunnel Design Life of 120 years - Definition, Assessment and Improvement

The meeting will focus on design life requirements of tunnels and how these are assessed by designers; and improvements and cost savings that can be made on projects when the concrete mixes are tested early on in the design stage.


Joint BTS/Minsouth Meeting: North Yorkshire Polyhalite Project

Please Note: this meeting is on the second (not third) Thursday of the month. The opportunities presented by a world-class fertiliser resource, close to a deep-water port, in a stable and developed country are substantial. The extraordinary steps taken to protect the local environment with the mine-site and the majority of the transport route located in a National Park, have presented a number of challenges that had to be solved by the team at Sirius Minerals, together with their engineering and construction partners. A small group of thoughtful and committed individuals therefore navigated these challenges to the point where these solutions are in place and ready to commence construction of the Mineral Transport System in early 2018. To preserve the character and tranquillity of the North York Moors, the conveyor will be routed more than 300m below the surface in a tunnel. This combined conveyor and tunnel forms the minerals transport system (MTS) and ensures that none of the ore sees daylight from the moment it is mined 1,500m below the ground to the point where it arrives on the Wilton industrial complex on Teesside. The presentation by Sirius Minerals Chief Development Officer, Simon Carter, is the story of this journey to date and the vision of the business to become one of the world’s leading producers of multi-nutrient fertilisers.


BTSYM: Southam Quarry Tunnel: My Design & Build SCL Experience

Southam Quarry, located in Warwickshire, is relied upon to supply clay and limestone to the Cemex cement works in Rugby. The proposed quarry extension will ensure the continued supply of material to the plant for the next 28 years. Designed and constructed by Morgan Sindall, the new 60m SCL tunnel is to run directly underneath the A426 carriageway to expand the site to the new area, where there is an estimated 14 million tons of reserves. The tunnel will form an integral part of a 1km long conveyor system which will transport 2500 tons/day of quarried material to the processing plant. This presentation will focus on both the design and build aspects of the SCL tunnel as well as looking at the specific construction methodology used to build both the portals and the tunnel itself. It will also discuss the project from a personal point of view as it was Will’s first tunnelling project he was heavily involved with.


Crossrail Project – SCL Tunnel Junctions at Farringdon Station

This presentation will focus on the design and construction of the Sprayed Concrete primary lining tunnel junctions at Farringdon Station. The behaviour of the SCL tunnel junctions based on the recorded monitoring data will be discussed.


BTSYM Lecture: Soft Ground Tunnelling – Nature and Necessity are the Sisters of Invention

The birth of soft ground tunnelling started not far from the Institution of Civil Engineers building nearly 200 years ago. Tunnelling technologies and principles used today are founded on the early tunnelling pioneers particularly in the UK and notably London. The last 20 - 25 years have seen a rapid acceleration in urban tunnelling for metros and water related projects. The current demand has enabled the market to invest and improve this aspect of industry allowing us to excavate and support tunnels in soft ground conditions that would have been considered 'too difficult' 30 or so years ago. With the emphasis on the recent historical past Martin will narrate the significant influences that have shaped our soft ground tunnelling industry. The lecture was previously given at the annual ITA training session in Bergen in June 2017.


Harding Prize Competition

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] The Harding Prize competition is named in honour of Sir Harold Harding, the founding Chairman of the BTS. The competition is open to young engineers aged 33 or under. Original paper submitted must address aspects of tunnelling which are considered of interest to the tunnelling industry, with the winning paper selected by a judging panel.


BTS AGM followed by BTS/BGA Lecture: Crossrail's Experience of Geotechnical Baseline Reports – A Client's Perspective

The presentation sets out to record Crossrail’s experience of GBRs from the client’s perspective. It covers why Crossrail adopted GBRs, where they were adopted and summarises how they were adopted. A semi quantitative assessment of the performance of the GBRs is then presented along with an analysis of the types of encounter that gave rise to successful compensation events. The presentation closes with a subjective view on whether the GBRs were a success and some thoughts on who is best placed to write them.


BTSYM: How to Design and Construct an Immersed Tunnel to be Watertight

Immersed tunnelling has been around for a long time and is a perfect example of how Rubber, Steel and Concrete complement each other. Rubber is a unique material with unique properties perfectly suited for creating watertight joints over a long period of time. This presentation is about how to design a rubber product that can solve the most demanding technical challenges - what to consider and what to know before a solution is made and practically applied. The talk will cover the history of immersed tunnelling and address the specific challenges rubber has in the field of sealing, both in the short and long terms. As an example Joel will go through the process of designing, testing and applying seals for an immersed tunnel.


Harding Memorial Lecture: Collaboration, Communication and Competence in the Tunnelling Industry

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] The lecture will look back over the speaker’s 50 years in the construction industry when he was principally engaged in tunnelling and will consider whether we have achieved improvement in the key areas of Collaboration, Communication and Competence. The contribution made by these areas to the tunnelling industry will be considered and then how we might utilise what we have learnt to shape our industry going forward. Current initiatives and comments by others will be recognised and incorporated into some indicators for the future.


BTSYM: Design of Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Tunnel Segments


Advanced Site Characterisation – helping to avoid the unforeseen and reduce project cost

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] Tunnelling projects typically overrun by more than 30% and performance has shown little improvement in recent decades. Inadequate understanding of ground conditions is a principal cause of delay and cost escalation – yet technologies exist that could make previously unforeseen conditions foreseeable.The presentation will highlight innovations in site characterisation, including developments in: • data acquisition and processing including geophysics and instrumented drilling to build a high-resolution geological/geotechnical model • iterative ground modelling with 3D visualisation – the starting point of BIM and the best way to predict the impact of geohazards on construction • data delivery such as dynamic reporting via online portals which can combine geophysical, geotechnical, monitoring and other data.


Discussing Procurement: Dependency of successful project delivery on procurement

In addition to the usual Thursday BTS lecture, this talk, organised by the ICE Graduates and Students Committee, will be delivered by BTS members Bob Ibell and Kevin McManus and will take place on Monday 24 September. Booking is not required.Please download flyer for further details.


NB: Tuesday 9th October at the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster. Registration is required. Title: Brenner Base Tunnel

This month only, the BTS Evening Meeting has been moved to Tuesday and will be held at the QEII, following on from the BTS Conference. To register please go to https://www.btsconference.com/bts-2018-visitor-registration/. The construction of large infrastructure projects appears as a challenging venture, not only from a technical point of view but also in terms of effective cost and time evaluation. Numerous decisions throughout the planning and constructions phases and the project's service life are related to efforts to plan, prevent, mitigate or address possible adverse events. Uncertainties, stemming from materials, mechanical, traffic and financial models, political changes and authorization problems or even human perception towards the various project components, have to be treated effectively in an integrated design framework. Over the past years, BBT SE has implemented a risk management model based on goal achievement, starting with the development phase of the final project to the start of operations of the future Brenner Base Tunnel. This talk will discuss the development of the entire Brenner Base Tunnel Project, the analyses carried out to determine the risks linked to the construction of large infrastructures, with the pertinent areas of responsibility, and the effective risk management process implemented by BBT SE to successfully achieve the objective of starting operations within the planned completion date and without overshooting the budget.


Booking is required for this joint BGA/BTS lecture: Investigating the effect of tunnelling on existing tunnels in London

This event is part of the ICE’s Global Engineering Congress and this evening meeting is free to attend, but advance booking is required. This can be made from the Events section of the BGA website. Urban expansion throughout the world has resulted in the need for many new tunnelling projects to provide adequate infrastructure for increasing urban popluations. Many cities already have comprehensive underground networks and so new tunnels have to be constructed in the close proximity of exisiting tunnels. There is always concern that ground deformations associated with new tunnel construction might adversely affect nearby existing tunnels and other subsurface assets and services. In London the recently constructed Crossrail tunnels passed beneath numerous existing tunnels. Imperial College London, working closely with Crossrail, undertook major research to investigate the effect of tunnelling on existing tunnels using an interactive five path approach involving field monitoring, structural and soil testing and numerical analysis of segmental linings and field response. The main elements of the research will be described and key findings summarised.


BTSYM: North Yorkshire Polyhalite Project. Designing a 21st Century Mine

Through the development of its North Yorkshire polyhalite project, Sirius Minerals will become a world leading producer of polyhalite, a unique multi-nutrient fertilizer containing potassium, sulphur, magnesium and calcium. The £3.2 billion project is constructing Woodsmith Mine – south of Whitby, North Yorkshire – to extract polyhalite, and a tunnel system to transport it to a materials handling facility and harbour at Teesside. The polyhalite deposit is the world's largest and highest grade. This talk will offer an introduction to the project and an overview of the works to date that have enabled the development of the mine site from a working farm into a world class construction project. The project’s design strategy for shafts and the Mineral Transport System tunnels will also be covered; including some of the innovative measures used to enable a timely delivery of the mine's extensive infrastructure.


Cadent Gas Chelsea to Battersea Pipeline Tunnel Project

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] This presentation will focus on the design and construction of the Chelsea to Battersea gas pipeline tunnel project. The project included construction of a 30m deep and 330m long pipe jack tunnel, crossing the River Thames between Chelsea Embankment and Battersea Park. The challenges during design, site set up and construction including complex interfaces with third parties such as RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be discussed. Close collaboration between all parties was necessary to ensure safe completion of the works including safe construction of a 30m deep shaft within a constraint space in Battersea Park. A robust programme of instrumentation and monitoring was carried out during the construction works to record and monitor the ground behaviour and to ensure minimum impact on the existing third party assets.


Crossrail - Immersive 360 stills and video behind the scenes

Drew Gardner has been documenting tunnelling projects, including Crossrail, in immersive 360 stills and VR to give an unrivalled view of tunnelling and major infrastructure projects. Drew will be giving a special presentation describing his experiences using high quality immersive media and will be giving a 'behind the scenes' perspective of his work. He will also be sharing his vision of how immersive media can be used more effectively and how it can be part of effective health and safety training as integrated into a learning management system.