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EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Skills support for young professionals in the USA 31 Jan 2019

UCA News Release

As the underground construction and tunneling industry in the United States continues to grow, more skilled personnel are needed to bring complex and influential projects to fruition. In the past ten years, large underground projects for combined sewer overflow control, vehicular and rail transit routes, and specialty facilities such as nuclear waste repositories and superconducting super colliders, have been completed.

Colorado School of Mines Scholarship Recipients at NAT 2018
Colorado School of Mines Scholarship Recipients at NAT 2018

With more large-scale projects planned, the Young Member Committee of the UCA - Underground Construction Association will encourage students and young professionals to gain technical knowledge and leadership skills via support of its members by providing networking opportunities, specialist seminars and links between universities and industry. At the start of 2019, the UCA Young Members presented a webinar by Steven Kramer, Senior Vice President of COWI North America, who shared his personal experiences and discussed current trends in procurement and delivery of major tunnel projects in the USA.

Current executives of the UCA Young Member Committee
Current executives of the UCA Young Member Committee

Members are also encouraged to attend the RETC - Rapid Excavation & Tunneling Conference in Chicago, Illinois on June 16 – 19, 2019 where the UCA will host a UCA Young Members networking event and a scholarship orientation for students who have won bursaries to attend the conference. Sponsorship opportunities are available to attend.

A series of educational webinars held in 2018 included a presentation by Jason Edberg of NTH Consultants titled A Revolutionary Approach to Large Diameter Pipe Repair based on a case study of the Oakland Macomb interceptor drain rehabilitation program that involved the installation of about 26,000ft of 10ft diameter polymer mortar pipe in conditions never before encountered for this type of construction. Another presentation by Verya Nasri from AECOM on Design of Final Liner for Underground Structures discussed the fundamentals of design and construction for final liners.

The UCA Young Member Executive Committee of Everett Litton, Demetrio Criscuolo, Ritika Kundu, and Luis Avila welcomed students and young professionals to the NAT - North American Tunneling Conference in Washington DC in June 2018 and introduced them to the world of underground construction through a presentation and panel discussion. Throughout the conference, the committee helped the students with networking and social events where students met young professionals and made new friendships and connections across projects and generations.

Networking event of the UCA Young Members
Networking event of the UCA Young Members

At the end of 2018, the UCA Young Members presented a well attended webinar by Dr Gabriel Walton, Assistant Professor at the Colorado School of Mines, who discussed why geology matters for tunneling and presented various case studies that developed topics including in-situ stress, rock mass heterogeneity and the consequences of insufficient site investigation.

At the Cutting Edge Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in October 2018, the UCA Young Member Committee hosted a session on innovative uses of underground space, emerging tunneling trends and technology, new techniques for renovation and repair projects, and current developments in digital technology and 3D imaging.

The UCA Young Member Committee was founded in June 2014 and new members are always welcome. Contact can be made via its website.

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