After two years of being a relative shut-in due to cancelled events in the wake of the global pandemic, it has been great to actually go out and meet with members of the tunneling community face-to-face in the past two months.
TBM, in conjunction with Ozdemir & Associates and Microtunneling Inc., hosted the Risk Management course (April 12-13 in Atlanta, Georgia) and the Microtunneling Short Course (April 27-29 in Scottsdale, Arizona). It was the first time both of these events were held in person since 2020 (in fact, the Risk Management course in 2020 was held just as the severity of COVID-19 was taking hold).
On the heels of that, I traveled to New York for the annual George A. Fox Conference (May 10) and The Moles Awards Dinner (May 11), both also held in person for the first time since 2020. Both of these events, rescheduled from their customary January timeslot, were well attended, with the Fox Conference setting a record for the highest attendance in the event’s 20-plus year history. (Side note: it was great traveling to New York City in the spring vs. the dead of winter!)
The general vibe at all of these events presented an optimistic attitude about the future of the underground construction market. There are a host of projects in the planning and design stages, and the recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could prove a much-needed funding boost for projects of all types across the country.
Next on the agenda is UCA of SME’s North American Tunneling (NAT) Conference, set for June 19-22 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While UCA of SME’s Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference was held in person in 2021, COVID protocol and travel restrictions impacted the event. I am optimistic that NAT will see a return to pre-COVID attendance levels. TBM staff will be on hand at the event, so please feel free to stop by our booth. We look forward to hearing about your latest endeavors!
Breakthroughs in Tunneling Short Course
Speaking of tunneling events, the 15th annual Breakthroughs in Tunneling Short Course is set for Sept. 12-14, 2022, at the University of Denver in Colorado. If you have not had the opportunity to attend, please consider coming or sending a company representative. Course Director Levent Ozdemir has assembled a top-notch lineup of presenters who will cover all aspects of the tunneling market, from planning and design through construction.
One of the highlights is the presentation of the Tunnel Achievement Award, given to a project that represents the successful implementation of a tunneling project, advances the state of the industry and benefits the community. Be on the lookout for in-depth coverage of the award-winning project in the August issue. More information about the course is available at TunnelingShortCourse.com.
I look forward to seeing many of you in Philly!
Jim Rush, Editor/Publisher, TBM