Technical Sessions

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Take part in the most innovative tunneling conference of the year and meet industry professionals leading the way in technology and process development.

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Technical Sessions that Enlighten

Cutting Edge is proud to present technical sessions hosted by some of the leading innovators in tunneling from around the world. To learn more about available sessions, please view the list below.


Cutting Edge will host an in-depth panel discussion, where a selection of local and regional clients with major underground projects will discuss their “Big Questions” and common issues in a vibrant debate. These facility owners will look to the audience and ask for suggestions and discussion about how recent advancements in the tunnel industry can help address their major issues with ongoing and upcoming megaprojects in an interactive discussion session.

Available sessions:

Conference Opening & Keynote Session:

Monday, October 29, 2018 | 8:00 am – 10:00 am

This opening session features prominent speakers from the industry, including Matthias Neuenschwander who has played a pivotal role in developing new contract forms specific to underground works and their peculiarities.

Chair’s Remarks and Introduction
Greg Colzani, Jacobs

Securing Water for Our Future
Patricia Mulroy, Senior Fellow - Climate Adaptation & Environmental Policy, The Brookings Institution | 8:10am - 8:40am

Be Prepared – Incorporating Climate Resilience into Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Design
Laurens van der Tak, Vice President, Technology Fellow - Water Resources and Ecosystem Management Services, Jacobs | 8:40am - 9:10am

The FIDIC Emerald Book: A New Contractual Standard for the Tunneling Industry
Matthias Neuenschwander, Chair of the FIDIC-ITA Task Group and Managing Director of Neuenschwander Consulting Engineers | 9:10am - 9:40am

Q&A | 9:40am - 10:00am

The Challenges of Subaqueous Tunneling

Session Chair: Mike Roach

Monday, October 29, 2018 |10:30 am – Noon

From the Chesapeake Bay Bridge & Tunnel District’s Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel and VDOT’s I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion to Suffolk County’s Bergen Point WWTP Outfall Replacement Project and Toronto’s Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant Outfall, this session will look at the challenges of subaqueous tunneling and the approaches and innovations that are being developed to deliver these complex projects.

“Threading the Needle” Under the Thimble Shoal Channel
David Watson, Mott MacDonald | 10:30am – 10:50am

RiverRenew: Considerations for Tunneling in Historic Alexandria, VA
Caitlin Feehan, Alexandria Renew Enterprises | 10:50am – 11:10am

Saving the Great Bay: Bergen Point Outfall
Keith Kelly, CDM Smith | 11:10am – 11:30am

Ashbridges Bay Outfall Tunnel
Gary Kramer, Hatch | 11:30am – 11:50am

Q&A | 11:50am – noon

Advances in Contract Delivery

Chair: Erika Moonin

Monday, October 29, 2018 |1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

This dedicated session will feature presentations from key industry figures and project owners on alternative forms of contract delivery, such as the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), Progressive Design-Build and Early Contractor Involvement models, along with issues surrounding financing and the sharing of risk.

CMAR Delivery on Atlanta’s Water Supply Program
Don Del Nero, Stantec & Lizan Gilbert, Atkinson Construction | 1:30pm – 1:50pm

Benefits of CMAR on Lake Mead Low Lake Level Pumping Station
Jordan Hoover, Barnard Construction | 1:50pm – 2:10pm

Atlanta Airport Plane Train Tunnel West Extension Project: Progressive Design Build Delivery
Pedro J. Gonzalez, WSP USA ATLNEXT | 2:10pm – 2:30pm

ECI & Collaborative Procurement for Urban Tunneling in the UK
Martin Knights, LBA | 2:30pm – 2:50pm

Q&A | 2:50pm – 3:00pm

Panel Session – Alternative Procurement Models

Chair: Randy Essex

Monday, October 29, 2018 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm

The tunneling industry continues to experiment with different contracting approaches. Some owners are shifting from traditional design-bid-build to variations of design-build, construction management at risk, and private financing approaches. A desire to transfer commercial and professional risk to the contractor or design-builder is apparent. At the same time, owners want to maintain control of their projects, while seeking cost-reducing innovation that requires contractor engagement during procurement.

Some projects have met with success, others have not. This panel discussion will focus on what is working and what can be improved upon, from owner, contractor, designer and insurer perspectives. Attendees will have the opportunity to get involved, offer opinions, and judge for themselves if we are heading in the right direction.
Confirmed panelists include:

  • Greg Colzani, Jacobs
  • Martin Knights, LBA
  • Matthias Neunschwander, Neuenschwander Consulting
  • Mike Roach, Traylor Bros.

Advances in Materials, Equipment & Linings

Chair: Don Del Nero

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 | 8:00am – 10:00am

From Innovations in Precast Segment Connections and Corrosion Protection for Linings to Advancements in Grouting Techniques and TBM Grouting Systems, this session will look at recent advances and novel applications of tunneling materials, equipment and linings.

Advancements in Grouting Techniques and Real Time Monitoring
Jeff Hill, Hayward Baker | 8:00am – 8:20am

Rondout BT-2 Progress and Construction Update: Delaware Aqueduct Repair
Andrew Russell, Kiewit-Shea Constructors JV | 8:20am – 8:40am

Innovations in Precast Segment Connection and Grouting Systems for Large Diameter Tunnels
Christophe Delus, Optimas | 8:40am – 9:00am

Corrosion Protection/One-pass Liners
Michael Vitale, Mott MacDonald | 9:00am – 9:20am

Latest Developments in Segmental Liner Design and the New ACI Code
Verya Nasri, Aecom | 9:20am – 9:40am

Q&A | 9:40am – 10:00am

New Ideas and Faces: UCA of SME Young Members

Chair: Colin Sessions

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 | 10:30 am – Noon

Young Members of the UCA of SME will head up this session, providing insight into innovative uses of underground space, emerging tunneling trends and technology, new techniques for renovation and repair projects, as well as current developments in digital technology and 3D imaging.

Application of Data Science in the Tunneling Industry from a Contractor Point of View: Opportunities, Risks, and Challenges
Nicholas Ziv, Bouygues Construction | 10:30am – 10:50am

High Resolution Tunnel Surveys by Remotely Operated Vehicles
Robin Houlik, ASI Group | 10:50am – 11:10am

Design and Construction of the WestConnex M4E Project, Sydney, Australia
Chris Rees, McMillen Jacobs Associates | 11:10am – 11:30am

From Gold to Neutrinos - Expanding on 140 Years of History at the Homestake Mine
Ben Seling, Kiewit Infrastructure Co. | 11:30am – 11:50am

Q&A | 11:50am – Noon

Advancements in Excavation Technology

Session Chair: Alan Howard

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 | 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

From LA’s Regional Connector Project and Fort Wayne’s 3RPORT Project to presentations from Herrenknecht and The Robbins Company on advancements in excavation technology and rapid excavation techniques, this session will look at the challenges of going faster and discuss approaches and innovations that are being developed to deliver complex projects safely and efficiently.

Unexpected Underground Obstructions: Challenges & Lessons Learned on the Regional Connector
Christophe Bragard, Traylor Bros | 1:30 pm – 1:50 pm

TBM Mixshield Design: 3RPORT Case Study
Emidio Tamburri, Lane Construction | 1:50 pm – 2:10 pm

TBM Development & Technology Advancements: From "Larger and Deeper" to "Continuous and Automated"
Werner Burger, Herrenknecht | 2:10 pm – 2:30 pm

Going Faster
Luis Piek, Arup | 2:30 pm – 2:50 pm

History and Future of Rapid Excavation
Brad Grothen, The Robbins Company | 2:50 pm – 3:10 pm

Q&A | 3:10pm – 3:30pm

Panel Session – The Facts and Myths of Rapid Excavation

Chair: Bob Goodfellow

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 | 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Panel Discussion: With recent news and social media discussion about speeding up tunneling to make it more affordable, we gather industry experts to talk logistics, safety and what is possible with faster tunnel excavation rates. Our panel will answer questions and also engage the audience in a vibrant debate and interactive discussion session. Confirmed panelists include:

  • Christof Metzger, Kiewit
  • Richard McLane, Traylor
  • Lok Home, The Robbins Company
  • Luis Piek, Arup
  • Werner Burger, Herrenknecht

Closing Remarks

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 | 5:15 pm

Conference Chair: Greg Colzani, Jacobs


*Please check back often for updates to technical sessions.