The Colorado School of Mines’ Office of Special Programs and Continuing Education (SPACE) has been a leader in providing specialty courses for the underground construction and tunneling for many years. Notably, the annual Tunneling and Microtunneling short courses gather professionals from across the country – and across the globe – at the School of Mines campus in Golden for expert instruction on these technically challenging and continually evolving fields.
Both the Tunneling Short Course (launched in 2008) and Microtunneling Short Course (1993) are administered through SPACE and organized by Dr. Levent Ozdemir, a tunnel consultant and professor emeritus at the college, and Tim Coss, president of Microtunneling Inc. Recognizing a need for professional education in the specialty field of excavation support in conjunction with tunneling and mining, they have introduced a new short course – “Ground Improvement and Support for Underground Construction and Mining.” The course will be held May 22-24 on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., which is just west of downtown Denver.
“The area of ground improvement has become a very big issue in the tunneling and mining sectors,” Ozdemir said. “We are building tunnels and shafts in much more difficult geologies than in the past, and we are building in urban settings where there are stringent settlement control requirements, which leads to the use of ground improvement and stabilization techniques in advance of construction.”
Additionally, the use of advanced techniques can be cost effective in making the ground more compatible with mining, or in the event of some unexpected soils. “If you run into problems when you are driving the tunnel, it can be a very difficult and costly proposition to deal with it from within the tunnel compared to dealing with it prior to construction.”
The three-day course will feature internationally recognized experts presenting on topics that include a comprehensive review of dewatering, grouting, ground freezing, and ground support techniques they are related to planning, design and construction of underground openings.
“We will explore the pros and cons of each technique,” Ozdemir said. “These are expensive undertakings – especially in an urban environment – so you want to be sure that you are using the best method and the most cost-effective method to do the job.”
One unique aspect of the course is that it is engaging the mining sector as well as the civil side. Mining employs similar excavation and support techniques so miners can also benefit from the ground improvement and support techniques.
For additional information or to register for the course, visit www.csmspace.com.