The Allen Neyland Tunnelling Achievement Award was originally conceived to recognise outstanding contribution to the Australian tunnelling and underground construction industry on a triennial basis.

From the work of Allen and others who carried the committee work of the Australian Underground Construction and Tunnelling Association (AUCTA) in its formative years, the Association decided it was appropriate to recognise the outstanding achievement of individuals by an award known as the “Tunnelling Achievement Award”, with the presentation at the triennial AUCTA Conference.

After a succession of four (4) awardees over a nine (9) year time span from 1981, it was unanimously agreed by the committee of the day that the 1993 award would be made posthumously to Allen Neyland following his untimely death, and henceforth the award would be known as the “Allen Neyland Tunnelling Achievement Award” in recognition of his service to AUCTA and the tunnelling and underground construction industry.

Allen’s contribution to tunnelling ranged from his early service in the Snowy Mountains Scheme following graduation from the University of Melbourne in civil engineering. A subsequent career move took him to the H.E.C. at Poatina in Tasmania and the introduction of the first Robbins TBM to Australia.

He subsequently moved to the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works on Section 3 of the South Eastern Trunk Sewer project, and was associated with the pioneering development of the well-known “Melbourne Head” of the Robbins Company to overcome stability problems in broken ground.

The latter part of his career was with Jacobs Associates and the Connell Consortium principally on the Melbourne Underground Rail Loop project, ultimately as Chief Construction Engineer, and advisor on other significant infrastructure projects such as:

  • Sydney Harbour Tunnel
  • Brisbane Inner City Rail Tunnels
  • Melbourne Water North Western Sewer
  • Melbourne Water Western Trunk Sewer
  • Sydney Ocean Outfall Tunnels.

The Allen Neyland Tunnelling Achievement Award is made to an Australian for outstanding achievement associated with tunnelling and underground excavation and construction and is presented at the Australian Tunnelling Conference, normally held every three years. The 16th Australian Tunnelling Conference is to be held in Melbourne in 2020.

The Award shall be made by a decision of the ATS Executive Committee. Non-membership of the Association does not preclude nomination.

The trophy consists of a metal enamel plaque, symbolic of the achievements of Allen Neyland, mounted on a core of Victorian rock.

Tunnelling Achievement Award

1981 – Alan Croxford – MMBW
1984 – Stan White – Allied Construction
1987 – Frank Watson – Melbourne Water
1993 – Allen Neyland – Jacobs Associates

Allen Neyland Tunnelling Achievement Award

1996 – David Sugden – D B Sugden & Associates
1999 – Robert Cooper – Tenix
1999 – David Baxter – Baxter Tunnelling
2002 – Mike Wille – Transfield Tunnelling
2005 – Alan Chappel – Connel Wagner
2008 – Philip Pells – Pells Sullivan Meynink
2011 – Arnold Dix – ALARP
2014 – Doug Maconochie – WSP
2017 – Ed Taylor – John Holland