71 International Underground Construction Projects And Young Engineers In Competition For The Ita Tunnelling Awards

Geneva, 12th July 2018 -- Global demographic growth leads cities to rethink their urban planning in order to free space in surface. Recently, Han Admiraal and Antonia Cornaro, co-chairs of ITACUS committee have expressed a survival warning "The only way is down!" to alert public authorities on the benefits of using underground spaces. Throughout the world, innovative projects and technologies are emerging to take up this challenge, such as underground farms, underground pedestrian highways, sustainable lightning solutions...Since 2015, the international competition "the ITA Tunnelling Awards" seeks to reward the most ground-breaking innovations and outstanding projects in tunnelling and underground space use.

The 2019 edition will take place on 18-20 November, in Miami at the occasion of the 8th Cutting Edge conference organized by UCA of SME together with Tunnelling Journal.

A High-Skilled And International Competition

The ITA Tunnelling Awards is a high-skilled competition, receiving entries from all over the world through 8 categories covering all the activities of the global tunnelling industry and rewarding one young tunneller under 30 years old. One Lifetime Achievement.

71 candidacies have been submitted from 24 countries.


  • Major Project of the Year - over 500€ million : 8 entries
  • Project of the Year - between €50 million and €500 million : 18 entries
  • Project of the Year including renovation - (up to €50 million) : 8 entries
  • Technical Project Innovation of the Year : 8 entries
  • Technical Product or Equipment innovation of the Year : 8 entries
  • Innovative Underground Space Concept of the Year : 4 entries
  • Safety Initiative of the Year : 6 entries
  • Young Tunneller of the Year : 10 candidates


  • China : 22 entries
  • USA : 13 entries
  • India : 5 entries
  • Europe : 15 entries
  • Asia (without China and India) : 7 entries
  • Australia: 3 entries

6 other candidacies were also received from Russia, Egypt, Algeria or Mexico.

2018 Ita Tunnelling And Underground Space Awards Winners

Last year in Chuzhou, China, the winners were :  

· Major Project of the Year - over 500€ million: The Immersed Tunnel of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge

  • Project of the Year - between €50 million and €500 million: The Queershan Tunnel on National Road 317
  • Project of the Year including renovation - (up to €50 million): Zarbalizadeh Shallow Tunnel Construction underneath the Operating Railways
  •  Technical Project Innovation of the Year: A Mechanized Method with Large Section Horseshoe Shape EPB-TBM First Applied in Loess Mountain Tunnel
  • Technical Product or Equipment innovation of the Year: Multifunctional Energy-Storage and Luminescent Material for Sustainable and Energy-saving Lighting
  • Innovative Underground Space Concept of the Year : Norwegian Rock Blasting Museum


  • Safety Initiative of the Year : ROBY 850 - Semi-Automatic Drilling Robot
  • Young Tunneller of the Year : Giuseppe M. Gaspari

About the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association:

The International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) is a non -profit and non-governmental international organization, which aims at promoting the use of underground space as a solution to sustainable development. Founded in 1974 and operating out of Lausanne, Switzerland, ITA currently has 75 Member Nations, 300 affiliated members, 18 Prime Sponsors and 60 supporters.


Diane LOTH 
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