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Obituary

Andy Miller – 1945 – Oct 2015
Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk, David Donaldson, Donaldson Associates, Steve Woodrow, Aecom

Andy was always delighted to see his friends and colleagues and it was a delight to see Andy in return. With a long and dedicated career in tunnelling, and with a wide circle of friends and colleagues, Andy was always in-the-know and would delight in sharing the news saying, “now that is all I can say. The rest is for you to find out.” Andy was approaching his 70th birthday when he died in October, but he never quite retired, always maintaining his keen interest in all things tunnelling and especially in the people involved. He learned his craft at the tunnel face, not behind a desk, and, like those who taught him, he became the master craftsman himself.

Andy Miller pictured at a BTS event
Andy Miller pictured at a BTS event

Miller started his tunnelling career in the late 1960s, working on the Victoria Line extension from Stockwell to Brixton for the tunnelling contractor Waddingtons (now long gone). After a spell there, he joined C V Buchan in 1970, working for the next few years on numerous tunnelling projects around the country, water and sewer projects in Coventry, Wolverhampton, Bournemouth amongst them, all in compressed air, as was usual as slurry shields and EPBMs had not yet been invented. He worked for many notable tunnellers, including Malcolm Coates, John Belman, Oliver Bevan, Douglas Parkes, and at Miller Buckley for Tommy Talbott. In 1997/98 he moved to ‘the other side’ and joined consultants Fawcetts as Assistant Resident Engineer on the Falconbrook Relief Sewer. Fawcetts was the designer for Wandsworth Council, long before Thames Water came into existence and at a time when every council had its own engineering design department.

Miller eventually moved into Thames Water working initially as Resident Engineer on main drainage tunnel contracts, among them Effra, Earl, Western Deep and Darenth Valley. When the critically important London Water Ring Main began he was in at the start. As the representative of Thames Water on site, together with the contractors, he was influential in machine selection and methodology. This saw the introduction on the scheme of Lovat TBMs and the early development of EPBM technology. He saw the Ring Main through to completion and moved then on to Brighton as Resident Engineer for the Hyder/Southern Water on the challenging 6m diameter interceptor sewer. For the first time in his working life, he could go home at night.

Latterly he worked for Maunsell, initially with Anthony Umney developing a strong tunnelling division worldwide. Maunsell became AECOM and Miller's skills were in demand around the world and he became a frequent traveller to countless projects in destinations as far and wide as Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, India and the USA where his worked in particular on the Pittsburgh LRT runnings tunnels under the Allegheny River.

Of particular current relevance was Miller’s recent involvement in the feasibility and concept designs for Thames Tideway, the mega CSO and retention supersewer tunnelling project for Thames Water in London.

Many tunnelling friends and colleagues joined Andy’s family for his memorial service on 19 Oct 2015 in Shoreham by Sea, close to his home in south England.

           

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