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Who wants to be a Tunnel Engineer - Isn't it boring?

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Abstract: Technologies developed in the last three decades have made it possible to safely construct tunnels and to use urban underground space in effective, economic and innovative ways. The tunnel industry in London continues to boom with the Northern Line Extension following on from Crossrail, and station improvements at Bank, Victoria and London Bridge following on from Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street. Thames Tideway works are now underway, HS2 Design and Construct contract awards are imminent, and Crossrail 2 design is shortly to be on the cards. Flyunders to solve the conflict between traffic and living are being seriously considered by TfL and have been widely successful internationally.

Worldwide, metro projects abound, the likes of Hyperloop and Vactrain, partially evacuated tunnels in which maglev trains will run, are receiving serious consideration and a 100km new loop at CERN is proposed. What’s not to like about becoming a tunnel engineer? But is it an art or a science? Surely its engineering at its most advanced, demanding both structural and geotechnical expertise, but with still enough of a “black art” to give a frisson of excitement.

Biography: Peter Wright is a director in the Tunnels and Earth Engineering Practice of CH2M , based in Hammersmith. His career has been both as an academic and a practitioner, and he has been involved with the analysis and design of underground works for the last 15 or so years.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Geotechnical Society Seminar Series series.

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