Technical Sessions that Enlighten


Cutting Edge is proud to present technical sessions hosted by some of the leading innovators in tunneling from around the world. To learn more about available sessions, please view the list below.



Cutting Edge will host an in-depth panel discussion, where a selection of local and regional clients with major underground projects will discuss their “Big Questions” and common issues in a vibrant debate. These facility owners will look to the audience and ask for suggestions and discussion about how recent advancements in the tunnel industry can help address their major issues with ongoing and upcoming megaprojects in an interactive discussion session.

Available sessions:

Keynote Session: Pushing the Envelope of Pressurized TBM Tunneling

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Session Chair: Bob Goodfellow, Aldea Services

This opening session will feature prominent industry speakers such as International Tunnelling & Underground Space Association (ITA-A ITES) Vice Chairs Dr. Arnold Dix and Lars Babendererde, who will present on The Future of TBMs for Faster Excavation and Minimized Human Risk and Face Support in XXL Soft Ground TBMs, respectively, in addition to a keynote from a major international project featuring challenging pressurized face TBM tunneling conditions.

Chair’s Opening Remarks:
Bob Goodfellow, Aldea Services | 8:00 am – 8:10 am

Extreme Tunneling for a Brave New World
Dr. Arnold Dix, ALARP | 8:10 am – 8:40 am

Keynote: Face Support in XXL Soft Ground TBMs: Never Outdated
Lars Babendererde, BabEng | 8:40 am – 9:10 am

Keynote: Evolution of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project
James Utterback, Virginia Department of Transportation | 9:10 am – 9:40 am

Coffee Break & Exhibition
10:00 am – 10:30 am

Cutterhead Interventions: From Saturation to Elimination

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 10:30 am – Noon

Session Chair: Mina Shinouda, Jay Dee Contractors

This state of the practice session will look at the challenges of accessing the TBM cutterhead during pressurized TBM tunneling, from recent advances in high pressure compressed air working and saturation diving techniques, to safe-havens and reducing the need to access the cutterhead entirely.

Compressed Air Work: In Need of an Intervention
Justin Costello, Ballard Marine Construction | 10:30 am – 10:50 am

Tuen Mun - Chek Lap Kok Link Hybrid TBM Intervention Strategies: From Saturation to Robotic Arm
Antoine Schwob, Bouygues Travaux Publics & Marina Pajak, Hydrokarst | 10:50 am – 11:10 am

Current Status & Future Potential of Accessible Cutterhead Technology
Werner Burger, Herreknecht | 11:10 am – 11:30 am

Hyperbaric Interventions: Preventative or Reactive?
Scott Black, ASI Marine, and Steve Skelhorn, McNally | 11:30 am – 11:50 am


Buffet Lunch & Exhibition
Noon – 1:30pm


Ground Control, Face Support & Monitoring

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Session Chair: David Field, Mott MacDonald

This dedicated session will feature presentations from key industry figures on the important topic of controlling the ground. The subject of tunnel settlement is a hot topic on all urban tunnel projects – but settlement is a symptom of the degree of ground control. This session will shed light on the root causes, and how best to minimize, ground settlement during construction.

DC Water’s Anacostia River Tunnel: Protection of Structures Case History
Colin Lavassar, McMillen Jacobs | 1:30 pm – 1:50 pm

Ground Response, Instrumentation & Alternative Delivery: An example from Minnesota
Michael Haggerty, Barr Engineering Co. & Tom Pullen, Brierley Associates | 1:50 pm – 2:10 pm

Digitalization in Tunneling
Ulrich Maidl, Maidl Tunnelconsultants | 2:10 pm – 2:30 pm

Instrumentation for Tunneling and Compensation Grouting
Paul Thurlow, Geo Instruments | 2:30 pm – 2:50 pm

Coffee Break & Exhibition
3:00 – 3:30pm

Big Data and Who Wants It?

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Session Chair: Joe O’Carroll, Mott MacDonald
Panelists: Michael DiPonio, Jay Dee Contractors; Gary Kramer, Hatch; Angus Maxwell, Maxwell GeoSystems; Paul Thurlow, Geo Instruments, Moussa Wone, DC Water

This Panel Discussion session will focus on the critically important topic of managing the abundance of data generated by modern design and construction projects. A selection of industry experts will discuss developments in data management and presentation; and they will discuss with the audience how the industry can and should adapt to the current capabilities with specifications and contract requirements.

Exhibit Hall Reception

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Sponsored by Civil & Building North America-Bouygues


Keynote Session II: Pushing the Envelope of Pressurized TBM Tunneling

Wednesday, Novemember 20, 2019 | 8:00 am – 8:30 am

Session Chair: Bob Goodfellow, Aldea Services

Metro Tunneling in Complex Urban Areas: The Thomson Line, Singapore
Andreas Raedle, Arup.

Developments in Tunnel Lining Design, Testing & Manufacturing

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Session Chair: Gary Kramer, Hatch

From innovations in tunnel lining design and current R&D by contractors, to cutting edge research on segment corrosion, manufacturing challenges and project case histories, this session will look at developments in tunnel linings Internationally.

Segmental Linings: What’s New?
Jon Hurt, Arup, & Anthony Harding, Jacobs | 8:30 am – 8:50 am

Biogenic Corrosion in Sewer Tunnels: New Approaches and Solutions
Charles Allen, OtB Concrete | 8:50 am – 9:10 am

Fantastic Designs and How to Manufacture Them
Bryce Scofield, Traylor/Shea Pre-Cast | 9:10 am – 9:30 am

Lean ‘One Pass’ Segmental Lining: Advanced Design & Manufacturing for Unparalleled Project Benefits
Violaine Babolat, CBNA – Bouygues Travaux Publics | 9:30 am – 9:50 am


Coffee Break & Exhibition
10:00 am – 10:30 am

New Ideas & Faces: Young Members Session

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | 10:30 am – Noon

Session Chair: Anthony Bauer, HNTB

The Young Members group of the UCA of SME will head up this session, which includes a selection of presentations from the next generation of tunneling industry leaders, including finalists of the 2019 ITA Awards "Young Tunneller of the Year" category.

On the Job Production Analysis: Black Creek Sanitary Sewer
Amanda Kerr, Michels Corp. | 10:30 am - 10:50 am

Single Bore in Silicon Valley
Paul Hetu, HNTB | 10:50am – 11:10am

Case Studies on Challenges and Innovative Solutions adopted in Singapore Tunnelling Projects
Diwakar Velu, Land Transport Authority | 11:10am – 11:30am

Practice Makes Perfect: De-risking Major TBM Processes in the Virtual World
Nicholas Ziv, Bouygues Travaux Publics | 11:3 0am – 11:50 am


Buffet Lunch & Exhibition
Noon – 1:30pm

Advancements in TBM Operation & Excavation Technology

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Session Chair: Joe Folco, CBNA - Bouygues Travaux Publics

This state of the practice session will look at the challenges of TBM operation, including soil conditioning and TBM operator training, volume loss control and include presentations from US and international tunneling projects.

Traylor Approach to Soil Conditioning
Dick McLane, Traylor Bros.| 1:30 pm – 1:50 pm

Operator Assist: An AI Based Approach to Improving EPBM Performance
Mike Mooney, Colorado School of Mines | 1:50 pm – 2:10 pm

Advances in Soil Conditioning for Clogging in Mixed Transitional Ground: OCIT Case History
Elisa Comis, McMillen Jacobs | 2:10 pm – 2:30 pm

Innovation & Big Data in TBM Tunneling to Improve Project Timelines & Reduce Costs
Fernando Vara, Acciona | 2:30 pm – 2:50 pm

EPBM Technology: Pro-Active Tracking and Progressive Response
Daniele Nebbia, Salini Impregilo Healy | 2:50 pm – 3:10 pm

Coffee Break & Exhibition
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Panel Discussion: TBM Operation & Face Support

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Session Chair: Bob Goodfellow, Aldea Services

This Panel Discussion session will focus on how important the TBM operator is on a soft ground tunnel project. Further questions and discussion on how the TBM operation is a critical component in controlling the ground. Training of operators and operational constraints will also be discussed with the audience in a vibrant debate and interactive discussion session.

Steve Chorley, The Robbins Company
Elisa Comis, McMillen Jacobs
Niels Kofoed, Kiewit Construction
Dick McLane, Traylor Bros.
Mike Mooney, Colorado School of Mines

Chair's Closing Remarks

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | 5:30 pm
Conference Chair: Bob Goodfellow, Aldea Services

*Please check back often for updates to technical sessions.