Technical Sessions


Featured Sponsor

Register Today!

Take part in the most innovative tunneling conference of the year and meet industry professionals leading the way in technology and process development.

Register Today!

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 are*:

  • Conference Opening & Keynote Sessions
  • BIM/VDC/New Technologies for the Underground
  • Advancements & Success – Alaskan Way SR 99 Tunnel
  • Panel Session - Risk Management on Tunneling Projects
  • Advancements in TBM Technology & Tunnel Safety
  • Advancements in Materials, Tunnel Linings & Rehab
  • West Coast Projects Update
  • Single Bore Transit Tunnels
  • Panel Session – Advancements in Tunneling Technology: Towards Zero Settlement

Keynote Session: Pushing the Innovation Envelope

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | 8:10am - 10:00pm

This opening session will feature prominent speakers from the industry such as Sound Transit Executive Project Director, Joe Gildner, who will provide insight into the next phase of tunneling works included in Seattle’s $54 billion ST3 light rail program.

Sound Transit’s Future Tunneling Program
Joe Gildner, Executive Project Director, Sound Transit | 8:10am – 8:40am

Developments in Large Bore Tunneling
Werner Burger, Chief Engineer, Herrenknecht | 8:40am – 9:10am

How Stakeholders Helped Get The SR-99 Tunnel Built
Bob Donegan, President, Ivar’s | 9:10am – 9:40am

Q&A | 9:40am – 10:00am

Innovations in Underground Digital Technology

Session Chair: Greg Colzani, Jacobs

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | 10:30am - 12:00pm

Building Information Modeling (BIM), data management and analysis, and digital technology, are rapidly growing fields within the underground construction industry. We look at practical applications of these tools and how they are being used effectively on projects around the world.

3D/BIM for Geological Data Presentation: New Metro Line to Arenastaden, Stockholm
Emil Rudegran, WSP Sweden | 10:30am – 10:50am

BIM Level 3: What Does the Future Hold?
Paul Clark-Edwards, Mott MacDonald | 10:50am – 11.10am

Applying BIM/VDC Technologies on Sound Transit’s Northgate Link Extension Tunnels
Phil Bergsieker, Hoffman Construction | 11:10am – 11.30am

Applying BIM/VDC Technologies on Sound Transit’s Northgate Link Extension Tunnels
Phil Bergsieker, Hoffman Construction | 11:10am – 11.30am

BIM – Model-Based Project Management: The Albvorland Tunnel
Jens Classen, Implenia Construction | 11:30am – 11.50am

Q&A | 11:50am – 12:00pm

Advancements & Success – The Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program

Session Chair: David Sowers, WSDOT

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | 1:30pm - 3:30pm

From polymer segments, to the use of robotics to conduct TBM cutterhead interventions and operational tunnel inspections, we look at the latest developments in tunneling materials, equipment and safety.

SR-99 Tunnel Project Update and Outlook
Joe Hedges, WSDOT | 1:30pm – 1:50pm

Building the Highway While Driving the Tunnel
Greg Hauser, Dragados USA | 1:50pm – 2:10pm

Settlement Management
Tony Stirbys, Tutor Perini | 2:10pm – 2:30pm

TBM Performance Following the Restart
Paco Gonzalez, Dragados | 2:30pm – 2:50pm

Third Party Coordination
David Sowers, WSDOT | 2:50pm – 3:10pm

Q&A | 3:10pm – 3:30pm

Advances in Approaches to Risk Management on Tunneling Projects

Session Chair: Bob Goodfellow, Aldea Services

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Panel Discussion: Key industry figures will discuss common risk management issues and developments in approaches in a vibrant debate and interactive discussion session.


  • Bill Edgerton, McMillen Jacobs Associates
  • Joe Gildner, Sound Transit
  • David Hatem, Donavan Hatem LLP
  • Chris Hebert, Traylor Bros
  • Rob Labbe, Zurich NA

Advancements in Tunneling Technology & Safety

Session Chair: Shannon Goff, McMillen Jacobs Associates

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | 8:00am – 10:00am

From London’s Thames Tideway project to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District’s Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel, this session will look at innovation and advances in tunneling technology, as well as high-pressure compressed air working and safety.

Tunneling Validation: A Ranking-Based Back Analysis on Massive Data Streaming in EPB Tunnels
Valerio Violo, SELI Denmark | 8:00am – 8:20am

Steep Inclined SEM Excavation – The ‘Uphill Machine’ for London’s Crossrail
Rainer Antretter, BeMo Tunnelling | 8:20am – 8:40am

Mechanized Shaft Sinking with VSM
Peter Schmäh, Herrenknecht | 8:40am – 9:00am

Advances in High-Pressure Compressed Air Working
Justin Costello, Ballard Marine Construction | 9:00am – 9:20am

CBBT Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel
Motts/Dragados | 9:20am – 9:40am

Q&A | 9:40am – 10:00am

Advancements in Tunnel Linings & Materials

Session Chair: Joe Clare, Mott MacDonald

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | 10:30am – 12:00pm


Advancements in SEM Tunneling
Vojtech Gall, Gall Zeidler Consultants | 10:30am – 10:50am

In-line Seismic Joints for a Large Diameter Tunnel Liner in Istanbul
Gordon Clark, HNTB | 10:50am – 11:10am

Advancements in Tunnel Linings
Keith Abey, McMillen Jacobs Associates | 11:10am – 11:30am

TBM Grouting Under High Pressure for the World’s Longest Tunnel: Delaware Aqueduct Repair
Kiewit/Robbins Company | 11:30am – 11:50am

Q&A | 11:50am – 12:00pm

Advancements in Tunnel Tunneling Technology: Towards Zero Settlement

Session Chair: Greg Hauser, Dragados USA

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | 1:30pm – 2:30pm

Panel Discussion: Key industry figures will discuss issues such as TBM overcut, avoiding sink holes or settlement events, and soil conditioning, in a vibrant debate and interactive discussion session.


  • Mike DiPonio, Jay Dee Contractors
  • Glen Frank, EPC Consultants
  • David Girard, J.F. Shea
  • Daniele Nebbia, Salini Imprigilo
  • Cody Painter, WSP
  • Tony Stirbys, Tutor Perini

Single Bore Transit Tunnels

Session Chair: Matthew Preedy, Sound Transit

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm

With a number of upcoming tunnel projects on the West Coast considering the choice between single and twin bore tunnel alternatives, this session will look at challenges and risk to Owners and Operators of single bore tunnels, as well as a contractor’s perspective using project case histories.

Sound Transit’s Ballard West Seattle Line
Cathal Ridge, Sound Transit | 3:00pm – 3:10pm

Single vs Twin Bore: Owner and Operators’ Challenges and Risk
Krishna Davey, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority | 3:10pm – 3:30pm

Single vs Twin Bore: A Contractors’ Perspective
Enrique Fernández, Dragados | 3:30pm – 3:50pm

Q&A | 3:50pm – 4:00pm

West Coast Projects Update

Session Chair: Matthew Crow, LA Metro

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | 4:00pm – 4:45pm

This session will provide an overview of the current status of tunnel projects on the West Coast, including those that gained funding through successful ballot measures in November 2016. In addition, dedicated progress updates will be provided by California WaterFix and California High Speed Rail.

West Coast Projects Update: Where the Money is Being Spent
Bill Hansmire, WSP | 4:00pm – 4:20pm

Progress & Procurement Update on California’s WaterFix
John Bednarski, California WaterFix | 4:20pm – 4:35pm

Q&A | 4:35pm – 4:45pm

Closing Remarks

Conference Chair: Joe O’Carroll, Mott MacDonald

4:45pm – 5:00pm

*Technical sessions are subject to change.