Obituary 08 Oct 2015

Lorenz Nummsen – 1959 - 2015

It is with great sadness to report that Lorenz Nummsen died in late September 2015 as a result of a terrible road accident in Egypt on the highway between Cairo and Ismailia. He is sorely missed by his family and by his many friends and colleagues within the international tunnelling industry.

Lorenz Nummsen – 1959 - 2015
Lorenz Nummsen
1959 - 2015

Nummsen was an engineer and leading expert in the operation of slurry tunnelling systems and in particular with the setup and operation of their vital separation plants. He was a long-term employee of Wayss & Freytag, the tunnel construction contractor that pioneered the early days of slurry TBM development in Germany. More recently he was employed by Herrenknecht and based in Asia where he was engaged on the many Mixshield tunnelling projects in the region.

It was on the SMART stormwater and road tunnel project in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that TunnelTalk first met and worked with Nummsen to report on the sophisticated separation plants working with the two Herrenknecht Mixshields that completed excavation for that innovative project through the complex karst conditions of the limestone geology beneath the country’s capital city.

More recently, Nummsen ran the Herrenknecht support organization for the eight Herrenknecht machines – two EPBMs and six VDM variable density slurry TBMs - that worked on the first line of the Kuala Lumpur Metro.

On all occasions of interviewing Nummsen, he was dedicated to his task and determined to ensure that all the details were understood and well described. No amount of asking to have the same point explained again troubled him.

Gus Klados, a senior construction manager of the SMART tunnel and the KL Metro projects worked in close collaboration with Nummsen and said of him: “Lorenz, on secondment from W&F to the MMC-Gamuda JV, helped produce a miracle that is now the SAMRT Tunnel. For the KVMRT, without him it might have been a much more difficult project to complete with the success we achieved. I have lost a friend and an excellent colleague.”

Another friend and colleague in the UK described Nummsen as “a man of principle” saying “he will be sorely missed, not only for his great skill and knowledge, but probably more importantly for his humanity and principles.”

Lorenz is survived by his wife Heike and his children Christian and Katharina. His funeral took place recently near his home in northern Germany.


Add your comment

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and comments. You share in the wider tunnelling community, so please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language professional.
In case of an error submitting Feedback, copy and send the text to
Name :

Date :

Email :

Phone No :

   Security Image Refresh
Enter the security code :
No spaces, case-sensitive