Keynote Speakers

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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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Meet Our Expert Speakers

At Cutting Edge, we are bringing together the industry's top thought leaders in tunneling.


At Cutting Edge, we are dedicated to bringing together some of the most renowned professionals in urban tunneling in the industry. Learn more about these speakers and their presentations in Technical Sessions.

Keynote Session: Securing Water for Our Future
Monday, October 29, 2019 | 8:10 am – 8:40 am

Pat Mulroy
Independent Consultant

Pat Mulroy serves as a Non-resident Senior Fellow for Climate Adaptation and Environmental Policy for The Brookings Institution and also as a Practitioner in Residence for the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law. Mulroy also serves on the Wynn Resorts Ltd Board of Directors.

Between 1989 and early 2014, Pat Mulroy served as General Manager of both the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA). Mulroy was a principal architect of the SNWA, helping to guide Southern Nevada through one of the worst droughts in the history of the Colorado River.

At UNLV’s Boyd School of Law, Mulroy’s focus is on helping communities in water-stressed areas throughout both the American Southwest and the world develop strategies to address increased water resource volatility and identify solutions that balance the needs of all stakeholders.

Securing Water for Our Future

Fresh water is one of the Earth’s most valuable resources. Growing populations in our cities combined with impacts of climate change create the need now more than ever for a new approach in the way we manage and use our water resources. Securing water for our future generations will require increased collaboration among stakeholders, increased conservation, and innovative infrastructure solutions.

Keynote Session: Be Prepared - Incorporating Climate Resilience into Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Design
Monday, October 29, 2018 8:40 am – 9:10 am

Laurens van der Tak, P.E., D. WRE
Vice President and Technology Fellow, JACOBS

Mr. van der Tak is a Vice President and Technology Fellow in Water Resources and Ecosystems Management with JACOBS in Silver Spring, MD. He has more than 30 years of experience in helping public and private clients to address stormwater and water resource issues, including climate vulnerability assessments and adaptation. He is a member of WEF, AWWA, AWRA, and ASCE and is the past Chair of AWWA’s Climate Change Committee.

He has a BA in biology and a BS in agricultural engineering from Cornell University, an MS in agricultural engineering from the University of California at Davis, and a Civil Engineer Degree from MIT.

Mr. van der Tak has led or supported the following projects in the field of climate adaptation:


  • Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment, Adaptation and Mitigation Planning, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Maryland.
  • Facility Hardening and Climate Resilience, Ocean Outfall Legislation Program, Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, Florida.
  • Wastewater and Storm Drainage Facilities Plan, Boston Water and Sewer Commission, Massachusetts.
  • Storm Sewer Capacity Analysis Study, City of Alexandria, Virginia.
  • Climate-Ready Water Utilities Project, USEPA Water Security Division.
  • Community Resilience Pilot Project, Wilmington, North Carolina, USEPA Office of Sustainable Communities.
  • Climate Change Assessment, Louisville Metropolitan Sewerage District, Kentucky.
  • Program to Enhance Climate Resiliency and Water Security, USAID, The Maldives.
  • Confronting Climate Change: An Early Analysis of Water and Wastewater Adaptation Costs, NACWA/AMWA.

Keynote Session
Monday, October 29, 2018 9:10 am – 9:40 am

Matthias Neuenschwander, M.Sc. ETHZ (Switzerland)
Chairman, FIDIC Task Group 10 "Contract Form for Underground Works"

Matthias Neuenschwander, after his MSc in civil engineering from the Swiss Institute of Technology, Zurich, and an over 30 year long career with contractors and engineering firms specializing in large infrastructure works, established his own company Neuenschwander Consulting Engineers, Ltd., Bellinzona, Switzerland, in 2014. He is an arbitrator and a door tenant with Thomas More Chambers, as well as a mediator and partner with Albert Square Mediation Alternative Dispute Resolution, London, UK.

Matthias has extensive experience in procurement, contracting, design and consulting for construction works. He has served as the Engineer under the Contract, as Expert Advisor to a party, Sole Adjudicator, Mediator and Member of Dispute Adjudication Boards under different jurisdictions and different contracting systems worldwide.

Matthias is the Chairman of the joint FIDIC - ITA Task Group 10, in charge of the new FIDIC Form of Contract for Underground Works. He is also the Animateur of the ITA-AITES Working Group 3 "Contractual Practices", and has just concluded his third and final term as a member of the Committee of the Swiss Tunnelling Society.

A Swiss, Matthias provides services in German, English, French, Italian and Spanish.

The FIDIC-ITA Emerald Book: A New International Standard for Underground Works Contracts

Underground projects worldwide are prone to time and cost overruns and to extremely lengthy and expensive disputes. Too often, improper risk allocation and inadequate procurement has led to disruption of projects and to major problems for stakeholders. After a thorough analysis of international best practice, the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association ITA-AITES and the International Federation of Consulting Engineers FIDIC, both accredited bodies with the UN and with the World Bank, have joined hands to develop a Form of Contract for Underground Works, in order to set a standard that helps Employers and Contractors improve their results. The “Emerald Book” shall integrate the FIDIC Rainbow Suite of Contract Forms with a tool that is specific to underground works and their peculiarities.

Over the past four years, a joint ITA-FIDIC Task Force of tunnelling experts has developed this new Form, which is now in its final drafting stage and shall be published by the end of 2018. Along with the General Conditions of Contract and the other documents that are typical for FIDIC forms, it will include a Guidance for the Preparation of Tender Documents that should be particularly useful to Employers and Designers during the early project stages.

This Keynote Address aims to present the guiding principles of the new Form, explain its main features and show why and how the Emerald Book will make contracting underground infrastructures easier.