Frequently Asked Questions

The BTS

What are the aims of the BTS?

The BTS is a learned society of the British Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). Formed in 1971 to provide a forum for meetings and discussion on tunnel related matters, the Society also publishes industry guidelines and codes of practice, conducts training courses, acknowledges excellence in tunnelling, supports scholarship and disseminates information via its monthly meetings.

Who can become a member of the BTS?

Any individual or company with an interest in tunnelling. More...

What are the benefits of joining the BTS?

Full details are listed in the membership section of the BTS website. More...

How much does it cost to join the BTS?

Please refer to the membership section of the BTS website, where the current rates are shown. More...

What is the BTS Young Members Committee?

The BTS Young Members (BTSYM) Committee was formed in October 2008 by like minded young tunnelling engineers (under 35 years of age) for the purpose of promoting and raising the profile of the tunnelling industry and tunnelling as a career. It also acts as a forum for young tunnelling professionals to discuss tunnelling related issues. More...

Who can join the BTS Young Members Committee?

Persons under the age of 35 are eligible to join the BTS Young Members Committee. We are quite a large committee split into several sub-groups so that we benefit from the ideas and voluntary time of a broad spectrum of the industry. The full committee consists of about 45 members who were voted onto the committee at the Annual AGM.

How can I get involved as a BTS Young Member?

Firstly you can apply for a position on the BTS Young Members committee. If you think that you don't have time for a position on the committee we are keen to interact and seek opinions from young tunnelling professionals so please join the BTS Young Members mailing list by contacting the BTSYM Secretary or visiting the BTSYM Facebook Group Page.

How do I obtain copies of Tunnels and Tunnelling magazine?

Copies of Tunnels & Tunnelling International (T&TI) are distributed to all BTS members. Please refer to the membership benefits shown on the Membership section of the BTS website. More...

How do I receive a copy of the BTS newsletter?

As a member, provided you have supplied your email address upon joining, you will automatically be sent an electronic copy of the newsletter.

Evening Meetings

Who can attend BTS evening meetings?

The BTS evening meetings are open to anyone with an interest in Tunnelling and related aspects and are not restricted to BTS Members (though membership is encouraged). Details of future presentations can be found on the BTS Evening Meetings section of the BTS Website, and details are emailed to members.

When and where are BTS evening meetings usually held?

The BTS Evening meetings are held at the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1 Great George Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3AA, generally on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Meetings are not held in July and August. Meetings start promptly at 6:00pm. Tea and biscuits will be available at 5:30pm. Advance booking not required. In case of any query please contact; The Secretary, BTS Tel: 0207 665 2238 or e-mail: bts@ice.org.uk or Contact Us.

Any variance to the normal start time, date or location is advised to BTS Members and will be noted on the BTS Website.

Who can make a presentation at a BTS evening meeting?

Presentations are by invitation from the BTS Committee, with subjects chosen on criteria of interest to the membership whilst maintaining a cross-section of subject matter and technical content. Anyone may offer themselves forward as a speaker by submitting a short synopsis of the proposed paper to the BTS Secretariat for referral to the BTS Committee. The proposer will then be advised whether his or her proposal has been accepted and advised of a proposed date. Note that most lectures are fixed a year or more in advance.

What is the topic of the next BTS Evening meeting?

Details of all evening meetings are published in the BTS Evening Meetings section of the BTS website

How can I register to attend an upcoming BTS lecture?

Advance booking is not required.

Are BTS Evening Meeting presentations available via the Web?

Evening meetings at the ICE are usually recorded, available as a live broadcast and in playback version after the event. Links for these are emailed to the membership.

Where can I obtain a copy of a presentation from a recent BTS lecture?

Evening meetings at the ICE are usually recorded, available as a live broadcast and in playback version after the event. Links for these are emailed to the membership.

Events

Who can enter for the BTS Harding prize?

The Competition is open to all aged 33 or under at the end of the year before the prize is awarded. Entrants must submit an original paper relating to any aspect of tunnelling which they consider of interest to those in the tunnelling industry. The papers will be reviewed by the BTS committee and writers of selected papers invited to make an oral presentation to the April BTS meeting.

Who can attend/purchase tickets for the BTS Annual Dinner?

Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis, and there is no requirement to be a member, though this is preferred. Booking is via the BTS website.

Training and Education

What tunnelling training courses are available?

The BTS runs a 5-day "Tunnel Design and Construction" course every year in June/July, and a 2-day "Tunnelling Health and Safety" course each Autumn - details of these can be found in the Events section of the BTS Website.

What tunnelling H&S training courses are available?

The BTS runs a 2-day Tunnelling H&S course every Autumn and a 5-day "Tunnel Design and Construction" course every year in June/July - which includes lectures on H&S - details of these can be found in the Events section of the BTS website. The ITA runs a course which includes H&S prior to the ITA GA/WTC each year - refer to the ITA website.

Who should attend the tunnelling H&S course?

Engineers, both contracting and consulting, who have an involvement with or are intending or hoping to become involved with tunnelling activity.

Who should attend the Tunnel Design and Construction Course?

This course is ideal for young consulting and construction engineers at the start of their civil engineering careers. It is also valuable to representatives from Client organisations or the financial and insurance sectors with involvement in tunnelling projects.

Please can I have information on the courses?

Details of these courses can be found in the Events section of the BTS website.

Health and safety

Where can I find advice on Hand Arm Vibration?

A good practice guide can be found in the Publications section of the BTS website.

Where can I find advice on complying with Nitrogen Monoxide levels?

A good practice guide can be found in the Publications section of the BTS website.

Membership and Benefits

How do I join the BTS?

Details of the current subscription rates and an application form are available on the BTS website via the membership page.

I have recently applied to join the BTS and not received a welcome letter, has my membership application been accepted?

Please email bts@ice.org.uk, with your name and address, we will then contact you to confirm the status of your membership.

Why have I not received my copy of Tunnels and Tunnelling International?

If you have recently moved or changed delivery address it may take up to 2 issues before the delivery address changes to your new address. If you have not recently moved and have previously received copies of T&TI, please contact Progressive Media Group on 0845 073 9607. If you have recently joined BTS and never received T&TI, please contact the BTS Secretary on 0207 665 2238 or bts@ice.org.uk.

How do I become a member of the BTS committee?

You can be nominated to run for election to the Committee, voting for which takes place at the AGM in May. Alternatively you can be co-opted onto the Committee to perform a specific role.

As a new corporate member how do I add my company's logo to the corporate slide shown at evening meetings?

Send a jpeg version of your logo to bts@ice.org.uk. This will also be placed on the website in the corporate members' section, with a link to your own website.

Is there the opportunity to supply my company's promotional material via any avenues e.g. delegate packs at events?

No, the BTS will not support individual commercial organisations. However, promotional material can usually be distributed at conferences - please contact the conference organiser.

Publications and Guidance

Where can I obtain guidance documents on tunnelling?

Coming soon...

Are there any standard tunnelling specifications?

The BTS publishes a "Specification for Tunnelling" which can be purchased from Thomas Telford Ltd or by following the link on the Publications section of the BTS website.

Where can I obtain guidance on Ground Reference Conditions?

Coming soon...

Where can I obtain advice on pipejacking?

Information on pipejacking may be obtained from the Pipe Jacking Association (PJA) whose website can be found at www.pipejacking.org.

Where can I obtain a copy of a BTS publication/guide?

BTS publications are shown on the Publications section of the BTS website. Many publications can be downloaded for free, others can be purchased via the links provided.

Where can I find advice on tunnel design?

Coming soon...

Where can I find advice on monitoring?

Coming soon...

Where can I find advice on insuring tunnelling projects?

Advice on insurance will almost always start with enquiries to a reputable broker: there are several in the UK that specialise in construction and infrastructure projects. Larger projects tend to have Owner Controlled Insurance Programmes specifically for the project, for smaller jobs the existing insurances of the project participants (client, consultant, contractor) may suffice. Nearly all insurers will want to see that the project team are complying with the BTS/ABI "Joint Code of Practice for Risk Management of Tunnel Works", and both the UK and international versions are on the BTS website.

Please can you provide statistics or information on historical tunnelling projects?

Please refer to the PHEW section of the website.

Personal Guidance

Where can I find a list of tunnelling Consultants and Contractors?

A list of BTS Corporate members can be found on the BTS website under Membership. T&TI publish an annual list of tunnelling Consultants and Contractors.

I am looking for work, please could you assist or recommend any of your corporate members who might be seeking employees?

Sorry, but we are unable to recommend individual organisations. News on tunnelling projects can be found on websites including T&TI, TunnelTalk, and Tunnelling Journal, and these often contain job advertisements. Contact details for Corporate members can be found on the Members section of the BTS website.

How do I become a tunnelling engineer?

Most tunnelling organisations have their own training schemes, training engineers who generally arrive with a civil engineering or mining engineering degree (or other related qualification). A number of training courses exist for further learning, including those run by the BTS.

What qualifications do I need to work on a tunnelling project and how can I get these?

Most tunnelling projects require all personnel to hold (or to be working towards) an appropriate CSCS card, which requires the passing of a health and safety test. Major UK tunnelling projects also now usually require a TunnelSkills safety passport which requires the passing of a tunnelling health and safety test and requires the holder to hold or obtain an appropriate qualification (such as a degree or NVQ).