Technical Sessions that Enlighten

Cutting Edge focuses on advances in tunneling technology, hosted by some of the leading innovators in tunneling from around the world. Dig into the technical program below and explore how industry resilience will drive innovation in the underground construction and tunneling space.

Exciting program Updated October 10, 2023.



Continental Breakfast & Coffee with Sponsors

7:30 am – 8:00 am


Conference Opening & Keynote Session

Chair: Joe O’Carroll, Mott MacDonald

8:00 am – 8:10 am Chair’s Opening Remarks – Joe O’Carroll, Mott MacDonald
Sustainability, Efficiency & Environmental Responsibility
8:10 am – 8:40 am Keynote: The UK’s Lower Thames Crossing: A Pathfinder Project to Explore Carbon Neutral
Construction – Keith Bowers, COWI
8:40 am – 9:10 am Keynote: Australia’s Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project: Utilising an Abandoned Gold Mine to Generate, Store & Dispatch Renewable Energy on Demand – Brian Minhinick, Mott MacDonald
9:10 am – 9:40 am Keynote: Pure Water: A Significant New Sustainable & Reliable Source of High-Quality Water for Southern California – John Bednarski, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
9:40 am – 10:00 am Q&A


Coffee Break with Sponsors

10:00 am – 10:30 am


Tunnel Rehabilitation and Sustainability

Chair: Elisa Comis, Pini Group

10:30 am – 10:50 am An Overview of Tunnel Inspection & Rehabilitation Procedures – Henry Russell, HNTB
10:50 am – 11:10 am Tunnel Rehabilitation: Keys to Success at WMATA’s Yellow Line – Claire Ferko, Kiewit
11:10 am – 11:30 am Parliament Hill Underground Infrastructure: Building for the Future – William Coleman, Ellis Don
11:30 am – 11:50 am Smart Solutions in Tunnel Inspection Programs – Kristi Latimer, Mott MacDonald
11:50 am – Noon Q&A


Lunch with Sponsors

Noon – 1:30 pm


Renewable Energy and Water Security

Chair: Megan Yen, Walker Partners Engineers

1:30 pm – 1:50 pm Terror Lake Tunnel Project: Sustainable Hydropower for Kodiak, Alaska – Steve Brandon, Schnabel
1:50 pm – 2:10 pm Use of Progressive Design Build to resolve technical challenges on the Silicon Valley Clean Water Gravity Pipeline Project – Nik Sokol, Arup
2:10 pm – 2:30 pm Hydro Pumped Storage: The Energy Transition is Here – Greg Raines, Stantec
2:30 pm – 2:50 pm Integrated Pipeline Project: Collaborative Tunnel Procurement in Texas – Matt Gaughan, Plus Six Engineering
2:50 pm – 3:00 pm Q&A


Refreshment Break with Sponsors

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm


Contractor’s Panel Session: Negotiated Procurement (CMAR and Progressive Design Build) – Expensive Projects, or the Most Expensive Projects?

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Chair: Bob Goodfellow, Aldea Services
A panel of industry-leading contractors will discuss the latest trends in tunnel and underground construction contracting models. We recognize that US construction prices are some of the highest anywhere in the world. This will be a wide-ranging discussion of contractor preferences and their approaches to forms of procurement used in the US and around the world. We will discuss procurement within the context of delivering much-needed underground infrastructure projects within acceptable budgets.


Dawn Dobson, Barnard Construction
Joe Folco, CBNA
Lizan Gilbert, Kiewit
Chad Mathes, Southland Holdings
Glenn Walsh, Traylor Bros


Networking Reception

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm




Continental Breakfast & Coffee with Sponsors

7:30am – 8:00 am


Research, Development & Advances in Materials & Equipment

Chair: Botlhe Masedi, Kiewit

8:00 am – 8:20 am Solutions to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Underground Construction – Bernard Catalano, Bessac
8:20 am – 8:40 am Advances in Blasting Technology – Justin Banks, Dyno Nobel
8:40 am – 9:00 am Polymer Concrete in the Tunneling Industry: Applications and Benefits – John Kaneshiro
9:00 am – 9:20 am Introduction to NEU: An ACI Center of Excellence for Carbon Neutral Concrete & the NEU
Validation/Verification Program
– Dean Frank, NEU
9:20 am – 9:40 am How TBMs Can Become More Sustainable - Werner Burger, Herrenknecht
9:40 am – 10:00 am Q&A


Coffee Break with Sponsors

10:00 am – 10:30 am


Developments in Digital Technologies & Artificial Intelligence

Chair: Franz Wilhelmstoetter, Dr. Sauer & Partners

10:30 am – 10:50 am State of the Art AI in Tunneling – Mike Mooney, Colorado School of Mines
10:50 am – 11:10 am Hazard AI Camera Systems for Tunnel Safety – Mike Walling, Strata Worldwide
11:10 am – 11:30 am The Value of Integrated Operations: Using TunnelLink to Connect Stakeholders and Information for a Successful Tunneling Project Alejandro Gomez Rivera; binni and Madeline Mello, Dragados
11:30 am – 11:50 am Traditional 2D Design to BIM to the Digital Twin; Advances in Digital Technology – Javier Bautista, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
11:50 am – Noon Q&A


Lunch with Sponsors

Noon – 1:30 pm


Major Projects

Chair: Audrey Housson, Black & Veatch

1:30 pm – 1:50 pm Project Update from BART Silicon Valley Phase II – Bryce Grimm, Project Engineer, Kiewit Shea Traylor JV
1:50 pm – 2:10 pm TXDOT I-35 Capital Express Central Drainage Tunnels Project – James Parkes, Schnabel Engineering
2:10 pm – 2:30 pm Phase 2 Raw Water Delivery System Project (BCRUA) – Cody Johnson, SAK
2:30 pm – 2:50 pm The Sotra Link Project: A New Digital Approach for Tunnel Design – Enrico De Panicis, Pini Group USA
2:50 pm – 3:00 pm Q&A


South and Central Project Update

3:00 pm –3:30 pm

This 30-minute session, presented by Ross Webb of SAK Construction and Zach West of Jennmar, will look at upcoming projects in the South and Central regions of the United States providing updates on current progress and procurement status.


Refreshment Break with Sponsors

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm


‘Ask the Owners’ Panel Session

4:00 pm – 5:20 pm

Chair: Matt Preedy, Sound Transit

A selection of project owners with exciting upcoming underground projects will answer questions from the audience in this interactive panel session.

Joe Goessling, TxDOT
Keith Ward, Seattle Public Utilities
Kim Wilson, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Mike Wytrzyszczewski, City of Akron


Conference Chair’s Closing Remarks

5:20 pm

Joe O’Carroll, Mott MacDonald