Evening Meetings 2017

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.


Harding Memorial Lecture - Tunnelling Impact Assessment for Utility Pipelines and Tunnels

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] An important consideration when planning and carrying out tunnelling works is the impact that those works may have on Third Party assets, particularly in cities. Damaging ground movements and loads may be caused by the tunnelling itself and/or by associated works for shafts. The impacts of tunnelling on buildings throughout the world have been widely reported but the impacts on utility apparatus have not received such detailed and extensive attention in the literature. The principal purpose of this lecture is to consider strategies and methods of impact assessment for utility pipelines and tunnels. The content is informed by numerous investigations into pipeline failures and consideration of the geo-environment of pipelines in cities which may render conventional analyses unreliable or even intractable. The lecture will discuss the current, mainly analytical, approaches to the problem and suggest other more broadly risk based methods which may be considered for future application. The emphasis will be on simplifying the assessment process to reflect the uncertain condition of the pipelines and other relevant factors but retain the asset protection essential to utility providers. Attendance at this lecture is expected to be high and the Godfrey Mitchell room will be used as an 'overflow' to which slides and audio will be transmitted.


Joint BTS/MinSouth Meeting – Seattle Alaskan Way Tunnel. NB Meeting is one week earlier than usual

In the northwest corner of the US the Washington State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct has been a fixture of grey concrete separating downtown Seattle from its picturesque waterfront for 60 years. The Seattle Alaskan Way Tunnel is a bored road tunnel under construction in the city of Seattle in the north-east US state of Washington. At 17.48 m diameter, a near world’s largest tunnel boring machine began mining for the 2.8 km long SR-99 tunnel in 2013, the centrepiece of the state’s efforts to replace the seismically vulnerable viaduct. The presentation will provide an update of the tunnel progress, and an overview of some of the challenges and objectives of the project.


Chris Bambridge, Mott MacDonald

BTSYM: Tunnel Warfare. Tunnelling during the Great War

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] Formed of volunteer sappers, tunnelling engineers, archaeologists, bomb-disposal experts and electrical engineers, the Durand Group specialises in the identification and exploration of subways and fighting tunnels used during WW1. This presentation will address tunnelling techniques during the first World War, mapping and exploration of underground space on battlefields, and EOD (bomb disposal).


Dave Hedges, Bruce Simpson & Alan Thomas, Durand Group

Delft Train Station, the Netherlands – design for safety, ventilation and air

With the ongoing development of HS2, the way of managing fire safety, ventilation and high-speed pressure waves in underground stations and tunnels is a current issue, especially in built-up areas. Delft Train Station in the Netherlands is an example case history and shows an innovative example of handling ventilation and pressure waves through the overground structure while maintaining the fire safety concept. The station hall and municipal offices form a new landmark for Delft and are located above a new underground station.


Robin Vervoorn, Witteween+Bos

BTSYM: Strength Monitoring Using Thermal Imaging (SMUTI)

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] SMUTI is a new multi-award-winning method of monitoring the strength development of shotcrete. The strength of the whole shotcrete lining can be monitored from a safe position as easily as taking a photograph – a radical step-change in safety and quality control. This talk will tell the story of its development: 1. The idea: understanding the underlying chemical reactions and the reality of spraying on site to provide a reliable system 2. Removing barriers to adoption: beautiful software, streamlining the process of taking readings and getting results 3. Getting it out there: the journey from idea to industry standard


Dr Benoit Jones, Inbye Engineering

The Harding Prize Competition 2017

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] The finalists of the 2017 Harding Prize Competition have been selected and have been invited to make an oral presentation at tonight's BTS meeting.They are: Jennifer Henderson of TFL, Omar Mohammed of TFL and Mohamad Fahed of Mott MacDonald. Their respective papers are 1) Getting on the right track: Early stage design in subsurface transport infrastructure; 2) Deep Pile Foundation Interceptions in Tunnelling at Bank Station 3) Investigation into the Splitting Strength of Steel Fibre Reinforced Segmental Lining. The Harding Prize is named after the founder Chairman of the Society, Sir Harold Harding. The annual competition is open to all aged 33 or under at the end of the previous year. Entrants must submit an original paper by 31st January relating to any aspect of tunnelling which they consider of interest to those in the tunnelling industry.


Booking is required for this joint RCEA/BTS Lecture: Farnworth - Re-boring a Grade II Listed 19th Century Rail Tunnel

Eoin Murphy will present and answer questions about this fascinating railway civil engineering project, which re-bored the original Victorian tunnel, increasing its diameter and allowing electrification of the railway line between Manchester and Preston. Keeping the adjacent lines open for passenger traffic and passing only metres beneath a main road, this is a dramatic example of innovation at work in the technically challenging rail sector. Please download the flyer for information on how to book and, if required, how to order an attendance certificate.


Eoin Murphy, OTB Engineering

BTS AGM followed by Joint BTS/BGA meeting - The Deoxygenated Gas Risk in London

This meeting will look at the deoxygenated gas risk which may affect underground construction works in London. This has been the subject of recent research and tonight's meeting will cover this, current thinking and the practical aspects to be adopted on projects.


Tim Newman, Geotechnical Engineer, Tideway

Paddington Bakerloo Line Link Project

The presentation will describe Transport for London's/London Underground's Paddington Bakerloo Line Link project and cover such aspects as: the Sprayed Concrete Lining works, the cross passage excavations, the new switch room excavations, the link tunnel breakthrough with secondary lining, the square works in the lift lobby and the lower concourse strengthening.


Sharon Young, TFL Principal Project Engineer, BLL; Chris John, TFL Tunnelling Project Manager, BLL; Phil Astle, Engineering Director, OTB and Lead Tunnel Designer BLL; Simon Welsh, Costain Skanska Joint Venture, BLL Engineering Manager

BTSYM/BGA Cambridge Service Tunnel Astra Zeneca Global R & D Headquarters

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] AstraZeneca's new global research and development centre and corporate headquarters in the City of Cambridge. The purpose built facility will be located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and will be home to approximately 2,000 employees. The investment in a £330 million facility in Cambridge is part of the Company's move to create strategic global R&D centres in the UK and to improve piepline productivity and establish AstraZeneca as a global leader in biopharmaceutical innovation.


Lloyd Rew, Skanska

BTSYM: Challenges in the Drilling & Blasting method at Main Access Tunnel - Uma Oya Project

The Uma Oya multipurpose project is a hydropower project in Sri Lanka with several tunnels over 25 km in length, mostly in hard rock. This presentation will describe some of the challenges and solutions in the Drilling and Blasting method used in this project during construction. Excavation of the underground powerhouse complex and associated tunnels will be explained and improvements in the drill and blast patterns implemented during the construction of this project will be described. (Excavation of tunnels: 2011-2015)


Mehdi Hosseini, London Bridge Associates

High Speed Railway Tunnel Projects & General Tunnelling Status in China

This presentation will be given jointly by the China Railway Tunnelling Group Co Ltd (CRTG) Contractors & China Railway Engineering Equipment Group Co Ltd (CREG) TBM Suppliers. It will discuss the status of High Speed Railway technology in China with a particular emphasis on the design, construction techniques and use of TBMs in the tunnel sections of current major projects. An overview will be given of how the roles of client, designer and contractor operate in the Chinese market. The presentation will cover the past, present and future of High Speed Rail in China; the latest advanced technologies in rail, trackbed, signalling and power; principal design technology; construction methods, technology and equipment; and operations and maintenance. Mr Wang has more than 25 years civils/tunnelling experience and Ms Han has more than 30 years mechanical and TBM tunnelling experience.


Mr WANG Kun, Senior Civil Engineer, China Highspeed Railway Construction and Tunnelling; Ms HAN Yali, Senior Mechanical Engineer, China TBM Tunnelling for High Speed Railway and Metro

BTSYM Lecture at The University of Warwick: Historic Railway Tunnel Construction

This talk will go through the process of constructing a railway tunnel as practised in the period 1830 to 1890. It is based on part of a study done for Network Rail and includes illustrations from Simms 'Practical Tunnelling' 1844 and various other 19th Century works.


Peter Harris, Senior Technical Director, Tunnels and Civil Engineering, COWI UK

The Management of Risk in Tunnelling and Major Infrastructure Projects

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] The construction of underground infrastructure is an inherently high risk activity and successful project delivery requires effective management of risk, particularly high impact risks and those involving health & safety and/or third parties. Many project insurers take an active interest in the management of construction risk and they frequently employ risk engineering specialists to support these activities. In recent years insurers and the BTS have partnered on several initiatives, most notably the publication of the Code of Practice for Risk Management of Tunnel Works. The speakers will talk about the reasons behind the need for formal risk management and the value of managing risk, and will go on to describe the current plans to review and potentially revise the Code. The insurers’ views of risk will be offered and both the philosophy behind and delivery of their risk engineering activities will be discussed. This will be illustrated by lessons learnt from involvement in various international major infrastructure projects. The Grenfell tragedy and what tunnelling engineers might learn from it will also be considered.


BTSYM AGM and Evening Lecture: Rock Engineering in Underground Space: Investigating the effect of time in the surrounding ground

This talk covers advances in the scientific understanding of time-dependent rock and rockmass behaviour, with a view to increasing awareness of how such phenomena are captured numerically. Furthermore, it aims to lay out a practical framework for dealing with such deformations when predicting tunnel movement – offering an opportunity to bridge the gap between the scientific and industrial community.


Finsbury Park Squareworks

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] A presentation on the Finsbury Park Station step-free access scheme for London Underground. This will include information on squareworks tunnelling, shaft sinking and undertrack crossings, all carried out from within a live station.


Waterview Tunnel, New Zealand (Chris Parker Memorial Lecture)

A Memorial Lecture in commemoration of the late Chris Parker (formerly Balfour Beatty International Director and General Manager, with responsibilities for both UK and International tunnelling projects), and will include a brief tribute to Chris, by Mike McConnell. The Lecture will be given by Tommy Parker (Chris's son) and Iain Simmons, on the Waterview Connection in Auckland, which is the largest and most complex Road Project ever undertaken in NZ. The project includes twin tunnels, each three lanes wide, with an outside diameter of 14.41m, excavated under residential development, the Great North Road, and Auckland's western rail corridor. Tommy will also provide a flavour of some of New Zealand's future major infrastructure projects.


Tommy Parker (NZ Transport Agency) and Iain Simmons (Well-Connected Alliance)