Forty-third Annual Meeting – BERGEN 2017

The International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association held its forty-third meeting in Bergen, from 9 to 14 June 2017, in conjunction with the World Tunnel Congress 2017 "Surface challenges – underground solutions " organized by ITA and the the Norwegian Tunnelling Society. More than 1600 persons participated in the Congress. 52 of the 74 Member Nations participated or were represented in the General Assembly.


Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, , Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam.


Algeria, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Macedonia (FYROM), Morocco, Panama, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Venezuela.



Tarcisio B. Celestino, President, Brazil (2016-2019)
Søren Degn Eskesen, Past President, Denmark (2016-2019)
Alexandre Gomes, Vice-President, Chile (2016-2019)
Ruth Gunlaug Haug, Vice-President, Norway (2016-2019)
Eric Leca, Vice-President, France (2016-2019)
Jinxiu (Jenny) Yan, Vice-President, China (2016-2019)
Davorin Kolic, Croatia, (2016-2019)
Giuseppe Lunardi, Italy, (2016-2019)
Chungsik Yoo, Korea, (2016-2019)
Arnold Dix, Australia (2017-2020)
Lars Babendererde, Germany (2017-2020)
Randy Essex, USA (2017-2020)
Felix Amberg, Treasurer, Switzerland (2016-2019)
Salma AlMaamari, UAE  (2015-2018)
Teik Aun Ooi, Malaysia (2017-2020)


Nigeria has been accepted as a new Member Nation.

The Member nation of Malaysia (Tunnelling and Underground Space Technical Division -The Institution of Engineers Malaysia) will host the next WTC 2020, in Kuala Lumpur, from 15 to 21 May, 2020.

The Association has registered 26 new Affiliate Members (10 Corporate Members and 16 Individual Members); the total results to 74 Member Nations and 267 Affiliate Members (172 Corporate Members and 95 Individual Members) taking into account some resignations.

6 new companies became Supporters: Pöyry Infra GmbH (Austria), Smartec Mining Eng. Co., Ltd (China), Arcadis (France), Halfen GmbH (Germany), Sung Kuyn Kwan University (Korea,) Orica Pty Ltd (Australia), (total: 49).

Strategy. The Executive Council presented an updated strategy for the period 2017-2020. This updated strategy has been approved by the General Assembly. Six goals have been set up :

  • Encourage MNs to develop activities, share knowledge, and promote underground space
  • Optimize the contribution of WGs and Committees
  • Enhance interaction with industry
  • Encourage further knowledge sharing through education and training
  • Enhance tunnelling and underground space awareness
  • Improve communication with member nations, Industry and the general public



The following reports prepared by ITA Working Groups have been presented:

WG 6 - Maintenance and repair : Henry Russell (Anim),  René Van den Bosch ( Vice-anim.): Structural fire protection for road tunnels

WG 17 - Long tunnels at great depths : Gérard Seingre (Anim), Magali Schivre ( Vice-anim.): TBM excavation of long  and deep tunnels under difficult rock conditions

A new working group (WG 22) on "Information Modelling in Tunnelling" has been created. The Animateur is Jurij Karlovsek from Australia and the Vice Animateur is Paolo Cucino from Italy.



The Open Session, which took place on June 13th, was dedicated on “Rethinking major infrastructure Projects : a new look  at Underground Solutions and Public Acceptance”.

During the session moderated by Mr Jean-Christophe Giesbert and with the presentations made on the following projects:

Mr. Alain Chabert-Deputy CEO TELT
Mr Teitur Samuelsen-CEO  P/F Eytsur og Sandoyartunlar
Mr. Heinz Ehrbar - Head Management Major Projects (I.NGM)
Mrs. Anne Kathrine Kalager-Project Manager Bane Nor
Mr. Seunghyun Lee-manager of Engineering Team at Korad
Mr. Brian Fulcher-Former Construction Operations Manager

It has been debated on the different aspects to have large projects and notably tunneling projects accepted by the public and how in the course of the works communication and improvements of techniques made the projects better accepted.


  • Dubaï, UAE, from April 20 to 26 2018, during the ITA-AITES WTC 2018 "Smart Cities: Managing the use of underground space to enhance quality of life"
  • Naples, Italy, from 2 to 9 May, 2019, during the ITA-AITES WTC 2019 “Tunnels and underground cities: engineering and innovation meet archaeology, architecture and art”.
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 15 to 21 May 2020 during the ITA-AITES WTC 2020 "Innovation and sustainable underground serving global connectivity"