The ITA-CET university network currently comprises 28 higher education establishments from 20 different countries around the world. This network was set up in 2009 in order to act as an exchange platform for universities offering Master’s degrees in tunnelling and underground space. Its main aims are to enable professors to:
- share ideas on teaching methods and the content of Master’s
- develop collaborations on specific research activities
- organise exchanges between lecturers and students
- envisage ITA endorsement of high quality Master’s programmes
Over the years, whilst the number of network members has steadily increased, the global scale of this network means that meetings and regular exchanges have proved somewhat difficult to implement. Efforts have been made to facilitate cooperation, such as the setting up of an ITA-CET university network group on Linkedin, but have not met with the success that was anticipated.
From a practical point of view, it would appear easier to organise meetings on a regional scale, within the scope of a specific event that would enable universities to promote their courses and the work conducted by their students. For this reason, ITA-CET has decided to organise its first annual meeting of European tunnelling professors and PhD students. This event will be hosted by the Politecnico di Torino in Italy on 5th and 6th December 2019.
On the 5th December, tunnelling professors from European universities are invited to meet, present their courses and reflect on possible avenues of collaboration with their counterparts. Non-European professors are also welcome to attend if they wish to do so and are able to bear travel and accommodation costs. Social events will be organised in the evening for both the professors and students.
On 6th December, a limited number of students (10 to 12) will be invited to present their PhD thesis to all those present. Universities from Austria, Greece, Switzerland, Italy and the UK have already expressed their interest in this ITA-CET event and it is expected that several more will attend.
It is hoped that this meeting will spark the organisation of similar events for universities in other regions around the globe and thereby strengthen the ITA-CET university network.