It was an opportunity not to be missed. Having both organized their respective Steering Board meetings in Lyon, France, the ITA-CET and ITA COSUF Committees decided to meet on 9th February 2017 to discuss how to better collaborate on knowledge sharing actions.
The meeting took place at the Centre for Tunnel Studies (CETU) and kicked off with each Committee presenting its respective activities. These presentations highlighted the fact that whilst both ITA-CET and ITA COSUF are engaged in knowledge sharing actions, they are significantly different, notably in terms of their scope and target audience.
The ITA-CET Committee and ITACET Foundation provide short training sessions for students and young engineers with little or no experience on the subject matter in question. These training events, organized at the request of an ITA Member Nation, cover a wide range of topics and are often held in developing countries or countries in transition.
ITA COSUF regularly organizes workshops focused on operational safety, aimed at professionals who are already experts in their field. These workshops are a mixture of presentations and round table discussions, with exchange between professionals being a main objective. COSUF may endorse certain conferences if they are not commercially-oriented and this Committee also produces technical reports.
This meeting was not the first time that the two Committees joined force to work on training actions. Indeed, collaboration goes back to 2009, when they both worked together to develop a training session programme on the “Management of (User) Safety in Underground Facilities”. Several training sessions dealing with operational safety issues have since taken place, notably in China.
Discussions amongst the members of both Committees highlighted that there is a clear demand for training on operational safety which is likely to increase in the near future, with numerous underground projects in progress throughout the world. Developing countries do not always take operational requirements sufficiently into account when planning a project. As a result, there will be a demand to train asset owners and operators in the forthcoming years. Language could prove to be an issue however, as these actors do not always speak English. It may therefore be useful to train trainers, who could then dispense training in their country in the operator’s native language. It is clear that ITA COSUF could help the ITA-CET Committee and Foundation in the organization of training sessions for these actors by finding the right lecturers and helping to adapt the course programmes to specific requirements.
Joint knowledge sharing actions could take the form of training sessions / webinars organized by ITA-CET that would present the results of ITA COSUF technical reports. The Committee chairs will attempt to meet in Bergen during the WTC to further discuss possible avenues for collaboration. To facilitate this cooperation between the two Committees, a representative of ITA COSUF is invited attend future meetings of the ITA-CET Committee Steering Board.