The 4th annual Risk Management in Underground Construction course was held March 10-11, 2020, in Houston, as travel restrictions were just beginning to take effect in the United States. While some participants were forced to stay home, about 70 participants were on hand to discuss the latest in risk management strategies as applied to underground construction projects, principally tunneling projects.
Risk management experts representing all facets of the underground construction industry, including owners, engineers, contractors, lawyers, financiers, manufacturers and insurers, were on the agenda to share their experience.
The program, held at the Hyatt Regency Houston Intercontinental Airport, consisted of four session spread over two days, featuring a mix of presentations – both live and via remote link – and panel discussions.
Session 1 focused on fundamentals of risk management for underground construction and concluded with an owner’s panel featuring representatives from local agencies who are developing tunneling programs, including Jeff Masek, City of Houston; Scott Elmer, Harris County Flood Control District, Eric Bailey, City of Austin, and Gail Hamrick-Pigg, San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS).
Session 2 covered contracting practices, Session 3 cover legal and insurance topics and Session 4 covered a range of topics including instrumentation and operations and maintenance.
Sponsors included Brierley Associates and Dr. Mole Inc. (Gold sponsors); Donovan Hatem, Frantz Ward and HNTB (Course sponsors); Mott MacDonald (Breakfast sponsor); Pillsbury and Watt Tieder (Lunch sponsors); and AECOM (Lanyard sponsor).
Course organizers are Levent Ozdemir, Ozdemir & Associates; Tim Coss, Microtunneling Inc., and Jim Rush, TBM: Tunnel Business Magazine/Benjamin Media Inc. Supporting organizations included the Distribution Contractors Association (DCA), Dispute Resolution Board Foundation (DRBF), the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) and Tunnel Talk.
Details on Risk Management in Underground Construction are available at: undergroundriskmanagement.com.