The ITA Tunnelling and Underground Space Awards 2016

The International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) organizes the second edition of the ITA Tunnelling Awards in 2016. This event, to be held in Singapore, at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, on the 10th and 11th of November 2016, will consist in a one-day technical conference with 8 high-profile keynote lectures (11/10) and in a one-day Award conference and Banquet Diner (11/11), during which the Awards will be presented. In order to reward the most ground-breaking achievements and young personalities in underground infrastructures worldwide, the association will draw upon a panel of 17 civil engineers and experts in the tunnelling and underground space industry, chaired by the new president of the ITA, Tarcisio Celestino. The best entries will be distinguished through 9 Award categories.

17 experts of civil engineering in underground space to be judges for the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2016:

The panel is composed of:

  • International representatives of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association :

Han Admiraal, Chair ITACUS, Netherlands

Zaw Zaw Aye, ITA Expert, Thailand

Misha Belinky, ITA Expert, Russia

Soren Eskesen, ITA Past President, Denmark

Alexander Gomez, ITA Vice President, Chile

Roberto Gonzales, AMITOS Executive Director, Mexico

Leslie Pakianathan, TUCSS Board Member Singapore

Jenny Yan, ITA Vice President, China

Chungsik Yoo, ITA Executive Council Member, Korea

  • Experts of the tunnelling and underground space industry and partners of the ITA :

Andre Assis, Professor University of Brazilia, Former ITA President, Brazil

Karin Bappler, Herrenknecht AG, Germany

Heinz Ehrbar, Consultant, Switzerland

Tom Melbye, Normet Group Senior Adviser, Finland,

Harvey Parker, Consultant, Former ITA President, United States

Priscilla Nelson, Professor Colorado School of Mines, United States

Andreas Tauschinger, Larsen & Toubro, Qatar

Tris Thomas, Editor Tunnelling Journal, United Kingdom

9 categories of Awards to reward outstanding entries: main criteria of selections

Each Award category rests upon precise criteria of assessment, described below. 

1) Outstanding Tunnelling Project of the Year – up to €50m

2) Tunnelling Project of the Year – between €50m and €500m

3) Major Tunnelling Project of the Year – over €500m

For these three categories of entries, the judges will consider project implementation and features that demonstrate design and construction innovations developed for and during the project, an overall approach to management of construction (methods and schedule) to successfully complete the excavation(s) within plan, development of cost saving solutions, a demonstrated overall satisfaction of the owner with completed work, including safety and quality performance, public / community relations programs to bring public support to the project and mitigation of construction impacts in urban areas, demonstrated “value added” by all the parties, and other interesting features.

4) Renovation/Upgrading project of the Year

Renovation or Upgrade project entries should illustrate cost effective construction methods to inspire re-use or upgrade to a system. Judges will be looking to reward the best project in terms of the evidence presented to show: its sustainable design (including analysis of upgrade against new projects), innovation methods to construct the project, considering operational aspects of existing facility, cost savings / value added brought through design and construction innovations, a demonstrated overall satisfaction of the owner with completed work, including safety and quality performance, public / community relations programs to bring public support to the project and mitigation of construction impacts in urban areas, demonstrated “value added” by all the parties, and other interesting features. Winning entries will inspire others to reuse, repair and extend the useful life of an existing asset.

5) Technical Innovation of the Year

Technical innovations come in many forms which move the current “state of the art” forwards to improve, design, application, processes, equipment, materials, etc., resulting in improved and more cost effective solution to a problem. Entries must concern: new or unique use of equipment for an innovative process, development of design process of equipment to achieve new functions, increased safety for equipment use or application of a process, reduces the use of materials or energy, engagement of university or research facilities, which have demonstrated successful trials or lab work. Entries may also be supported by successful use in the laboratory and / or field.

6) Innovative Use of Underground Space

The winning project will show new or enhanced use of underground space. It should inspire additional uses, further enhancing tunnelling and underground space awareness. The judges will consider: innovative, new or adaptive re-use of underground space, overcoming hurtles to convince decision makers to get “on board” with the project, construction methods to provide the space, successful implementation and measurement of project success.

7) Environmental Initiative of the Year

This entry will illustrate use of underground space to improve the environment – through reduction of impacts brought about by traditional surface construction or reduction in energy or materials used. Winning projects will illustrate: environmental benefit factors leading to the project’s selection over others, successful implementation and measurement of project success, support of the surrounding community.

8) Safety Initiative of the Year

This award is to reward an initiative introduced within the tunnelling and / or underground industry which has enabled a company, project or series of projects to deliver clients improved performance with respect to the safety, health, and welfare. The 17 judges will be particularly interested in hearing about: the drivers that led to the initiative being launched, the reaction of clients and local communities, any longer term impacts prompted by the initiative, results and cost implications of the initiative, the reasons why the initiative goes beyond normal practices.

Nominations for the first 8 categories of the ITA Awards are innovations or entries that were implemented in tunneling or underground space use projects between January 1st, 2014 and April 1st 2016.

9) Young Tunneller of the Year  

Nominations for this award are sought to find the individual born after January 1st, 1980, that has made an outstanding contribution to the tunnelling industry. The judges will focus on the personal contribution made by the individual to successfully deliver innovative ideas or initiatives, challenge normal practices or lead major technically complex operations. Judges will look for evidence of the individual’s ability to: drive their team, project or business to technical or commercial success, deliver beyond the client’s expectation, personal commitment to improving the tunnelling industry, and tangible differences made by the environment in which they operate. Judges will also take into account the way that the individual has met the specific challenges faced by the industry, their business or their project. The entry must be supported by two independent references.

Expectations for 2016: three judges testify

Three judges of the panel express their vision of the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2016 high value and display the criteria that will break a tie among the entries.

Member of the jury of the ITA Tunnelling Awards in 2015, Tom Melbye renews the experience this year. He will judge the new candidates upon accurate criteria: My judgement is based on innovative use of underground space and new construction methods, technical solutions provided, originality, and the positive impact of the project regarding all stakeholders involved. This is what I am expecting from the candidates this year again. Personally, I look forward to get more projects from Latin Aamerica and the Nordic countries that have many challenging projects to their credits.”

Han Admiraal highlights the contributions to industry or society that the projects provide: As for me, I look for complete entries that fitted the brief of the competition. Projects that stand out from others are those which offer innovative and contributing services to the industry or the society.  The difficulty I encountered in 2015 is that not all information in the attachments were in English or even in Arabic lettering, thus some projects could not be fully scrutinized. This year, I hope I will see even more entries in all categories reflecting that the use of the underground can contribute greatly in helping cities meet the challenges they are facing. In this way, I would hope to see a demonstration of maybe smaller scale projects, but ones that contribute in a large way to creating liveable, sustainable, resilient and inclusive cities”.

Chungsik Yoo expects specific underground construction projects and awaits the candidates to adapt their presentation to their audience: “In order to judge candidates and projects at best, I compare all entries between them upon innovative ideas, impact on the society and completeness of the project. This year, I expect more underground construction projects than transportation tunnels, and from the candidates I definitely expect an excellent English communication”.

Perspective of a former ITA Tunnelling Award 2015 Winner:

“The Toledo Metro Station project on Line 1 in Naples was a successful adventure. The nomination and the reward in the “Innovative use of underground space” category of the ITA Awards 2015 were a real factor of tourist attractiveness for the city and a source of pride for its citizens. The prestigious Award adds value to this urban facility. Actually, it is one of the most widely used stop station by travellers. Moreover, this success acts perfectly as a launching pad for the Italian candidature of Società Italiana Gallerie to host the World Tunnel Congress in 2019 in Naples. In fact, the title assigned to the congress, “Tunnels and Underground Cities –Engineering and Innovation Meet Archaeology, Architecture and Art”, was precisely inspired by the characteristics of the Naples Metro, also known as the “Metro of the three A: Archaeology, Architecture and Art” – Mario Calabrese, Councillor for Infrastructures, Public Works and Mobility of the Municipality of Naples, Antonio de Risi, Technical Director of Metro Line 1 in Naples and Andrea Pigorini, President of Società Italiana Gallerie.

The word of Tarcisio Celestino, new president of the ITA:

The ITA Awards are a great incentive as it enables engineers to work on innovations in the tunnelling and underground space industry worldwide that maybe would not have been thought if it was not for the event. They work hard to come up with relevant ideas and projects for the awards, showing that all these developments put together are significant and profitable for everybody.”

Entries can be submitted until 30 May 2016. The submission requirements and selection process are stated in the ITA Tunnelling Awards website. The finalists will be announced by mid-July 2016.

1 reply
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