The International Tunnelling Association (ITA-AITES) is the peak body for tunnelling and tunnellers the world over. From the 3rd to the 9th of May the whole ITA family including a large Australian contingent visited Napoli for the 2019 edition of the World Tunnelling Congress.

Key events across the week of the WTC included:

  • A focussed training course provided by the ITA’s training committee; ITA-CET entitled “Tunnelling 4.0: Information Technology”
  • 180 Podium presentations
  • 405 e-poster presentations
  • 230 Exhibitors and sponsors
  • Meetings and presentations made by the 14 active ITA Working Groups and the 4 ITA Commitees (ITA-Tech, ITA-CET, ITACUS & ITA-COSUF) and
  • A packed social agenda including opportunities for delegates to discuss the local and global issues facing our industry.

The official business of the ITA included the election of a new President (Jenny Jinxiu Yan [China]) and Executive Council members (Lars Babendererde, First VP [Germany], Arnold Dix, VP [Australia], Randy Essex, VP [USA], Giuseppe Lunardi, VP [Italy], Jamal Rostami [Iran], Abidemi Agwor [Nigeria], Hamdi Aydin [Turkey], Choi Hangseok [Korea], Jeyatharan Kumarasamy [Singapore] and Andres Marulanda [Columbia]. Visit TunnelTalk or Tunnelling Journal for a detailed wrap of the ITA’s General Assembly and the associated administrative activities.

The ATS is a founding member of the ITA and continues to have a strong voice at various levels within the organisation. The senior Australian voices within the ITA include Arnold Dix who successfully elected to the role of Vice-President of the organisation and the ATS’ very own Ed Taylor being appointed the Vice-Animateur of Working Group 6: Maintenance and Repair of Tunnels. Keith Bannerman also continues steer the ship with the ITA’s young engineer initiative the ITAym. The ym role was previously held by Jurij Karlovsek who has since gone on to be the founding Animateur for Working Group 22 entitled Information Modelling in Tunnelling. The ongoing involvement was particularly highlighted at the Executive Committee/Working Group Animateur meeting where Australia’s representation of 6 was more than double any other ITA Member Nation.

The 2019 edition of the WTC also  saw collaboration between the working groups as a key output with the recent successful publication of the FIDIC Emerald Book (Conditions of Contract for Underground Works) as a fantastic example of this kind of initiative.

ITA Executive Committee and Working Group Animateur Meeting

The ITA’s WTC is truly a unique event, and although other events, including the upcoming RETC, boast a stronger project delivery focus in the technical papers and presentations, there is an international flavour to the event which covers all corners of the globe. The 2020 edition of WTC is set to be held a lot closer next year, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and presents an opportunity for the Asian-Pacific region to showcase the work, initiative and innovation in the region.

For more information on WTC2020 please visit the conference website. We hope to see an even stronger Aussie presence in KL next year, see you then.

Some of the Australian contingent from WTC2019