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Annual Tunneling Short Course Expanded for 2015

Jim Stevens, the project manager for the Joint Venture for the Bay Tunnel.

Jim Stevens, the project manager for the Joint Venture for the Bay Tunnel.

The Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, is world-renowned as a leading institute for training graduates and undergraduates in the disciplines that relate to the field of tunneling construction. It is no surprise, then, that the school’s office of Special Programs and Continuing Education (SPACE) is also one of the leading resources for professionals to gain an understanding of tunneling, or to keep their knowledge up-to-date.

From Sept. 14-17, the School of Mines will host the 7th annual “Breakthroughs in Tunneling” Short Course. The course covers all aspects of tunneling from design and planning to construction and disputes and claims resolution. The course’s guest presenters are experts in the field and are known nationally and internationally.

New to the schedule this year are presentations which cover “Tunneling Under High Water Inflows,” by Jack Raymer, Jacobs Engineering; “Design of Pressure Tunnels,” by Jon Kaneshiro, Parsons; “Soil Conditioning for Pressurized Face TBMs,” by Rory Ball, Hatch Mott MacDonald; “EPB and Slurry TBM Interventions,” by Justin Costello, Ballard Diving; and “Design and Construction of Jacked Box Tunnels,” by A.J. McGinn, Brierley Associates.

Also new this year – because of popular demand – is an expanded schedule, which covers three and half days. This allows for the addition of new materials and expanded networking opportunities, while allowing attendees time to travel home on Sept. 17.
“The changes in the program are due to feedback on what people have been telling us they want,” said Course Director Levent Ozdemir, a tunnel consultant and a former professor at the School of Mines. “People were saying that three days was not enough to cover all of the topics and still have time for discussion, so we added another half day to the program.”

In addition to the expanded classroom time, another change to the program is the addition of a welcoming reception on Sept. 14. The reception, sponsored by Michels/JayDee/Coluccio, will provide a relaxed atmosphere for attendees to mingle and help set a conversational tone for the remainder of the course.

Tunneling Short Course directors Levent Ozdemir (Left) and Tim Coss.

Tunneling Short Course directors Levent Ozdemir (Left) and Tim Coss.

One of the highlights of the event is the annual Banquet Dinner at which the Tunnel Achievement Award is presented. This year’s award will be presented to Michels/Jay Dee/Coluccio Joint Venture that successfully completed the historic Bay Tunnel project under San Francisco Bay. The award will be accepted by Jim Stevens, the project manager for the Joint Venture for the Bay Tunnel. Stevens will also give the banquet speech.

The $215 million Bay Tunnel went into service last fall. It is a new 108-in. diameter, 26,208-ft long, water transmission main pipeline for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The project commenced in spring 2010. Crews used a 15-ft diameter Hitachi Zosen EPB TBM to excavate the tunnel and install 12-ft, 6-in. ID concrete rings (6, 10-in. x 5-ft segments). Tunnel advance rates were exceptional for the 5-mile drive, with best production days exceeding 200 ft per day achieved on numerous occasions. As a result, the tunnel excavation came in eight months ahead of schedule. It was the first tunnel ever to be bored under San Francisco Bay.

The Banquet is scheduled for the evening of Sept. 15 at the Golden Hotel.

“With the expanded format and new presentations, the program is shaping up to be the best we have ever had,” Ozdemir said. “In addition to Brierley Associates as the main event sponsor, we are on track to have a record number of sponsors and we are gaining more interest from international delegates.”

With Ozdemir, Tim Coss, Microtunneling Inc., serves as a Course Director. In addition to the Tunnel Short Course, Ozdemir and Coss team up to offer the Microtunneling Short Course (held annually in February) and the Ground Improvement Short Course (held annually in May).

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