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Tunnelling titans

NCE concludes its countdown to the first International Tunnelling Awards next week with the projects shortlisted for the tunnel advisor and tunneller of the year categories.

Tunneller of the year shortlist

Dr James Monsees, Parsons Brinckerhoff

In a career that has spanned a half-century, James Monsees has contributed his vast expertise to several of the most significant tunnelling projects completed or under way in the United States. As technical director for tunnelling for Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), he has participated in every significant tunnelling project undertaken by PB since January 2009 and has been with the company for 27 years.
From the beginning of his career, Monsees has dedicated himself to the development and advancement of the underground engineering industry. He has designed for shield tunnelling machines for soft-ground sewers in Mexico City’s difficult quick-clay conditions; reviewed and evaluated contractors’ submissions for six EPT tunnelling machines for Singapore’s Deep Tunnel Sewerage System project; and prepared EPB soft-ground TBM specifications for Los Angeles’ East Central Sewer Interceptor project.
He has also developed and applied specialised techniques, materials and designs for underground infrastructure in seismic areas and through gassy and contaminated ground. Monsees is responsible for the technical quality and consistency of all PB underground projects and his contributions to the advancement of tunnelling professionals have benefited the many engineers he has mentored.

Martin Baughurst, Costain

As project manager for the Tesco Tunnel Reconstruction at Gerrards Cross, Martin Baughurst has been involved with the project since the tunnel collapsed onto the live railway in 2005.
Costain took over from the previous team and, since 2006, Baughurst has led the team that has investigated, developed, reviewed and now delivered the whole project to a successful conclusion.
His key achievement has been to deliver the reconstructed tunnel to time, safety and budget targets and with zero reportable accidents over four and a half years of reconstruction. He also developed a solution for the tunnel that was robust enough to ensure that it passed rigorous third party reviews
Great effort was put in by Baughurst and his team to reduce the impact of the works and to ensure that all site workers behaved responsibly. He counts this as one of the greatest successes of the scheme and the community now supports the project and acknowledges Costain’s endeavours.
The Considerate Constructors scheme assessed the project over the last four years and all its audits have scored over 36 out of 40.

Tunnel Advisor of the Year Shortlist

Heath Lambert Group ,Crossrail and Lee Tunnel

Heath Lambert has provided risk and insurance advisory services to the Crossrail project since May 2008 and advised, procured and placed the project insurance programme from January 2010. This made history by becoming the first policy to be placed in the global insurance market with a continuous, non-break clause wording for the full length of the project - an amazing nine years.
The group has also provided risk and insurance advisory services on the London Tideway Tunnels - Lee Tunnel since August 2009 and procured and placed the project insurance programme in April 2010. As the deepest tunnel in the UK, the risk had to be presented to insurers to show that works were feasible and achievable. For both projects, no insurance would have meant no project.


Various projects

Arup was the lead designer for the integration and station upgrade of the Kings Cross redevelopment. This milestone was the last piece of the High Speed 1 (HS1) jigsaw and marks the culmination of Arup’s 20 year involvement in the scheme.
This was a fitting way to finish the project, contrasting the magnitude of the main tunnelling contracts for HS1 with the complexity and coordination required to deliver the Kings Cross element of the project.
In the United States, the Line 7 subway caverns in New York saw one of Arup’s teams create huge caverns right in the heart of Manhattan. They were delivered months ahead of programme and under budget.
Back in the UK, Arup provided project management services for the Power Lines Underground project for the Lower Lea Valley Cable tunnel. This was a major tunnelling scheme that was under unusually high programme constraints being on the critical path for the Olympic site.



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