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Laurence Delplace (Amberg - Belgium) finalist Young Tunneller of the Year - NEWS


The sixth edition of the ITA Tunnelling and Underground Space Awards have been declared with John Holland CPB Ghella joint venture walking away with the Major Project of 2020 (over €500 million) honours for Tunnelling and Station Excavation Works for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest Project – Australia, while Israel won the top spot for its 'Tunneling in the service of archaeology' work in the Oddities of the Underground category.

Israel emerged as the only finalist from the Mena region, finally going on to win the coveted award beating Norway's The Spiral Tunnel (Drammen) project.

The other major awards announced were:

  • Project of the Year (between €50 and €500 million) - Chinatown Station of the Central Subway Program – US.

  • Project of the Year incl. renovation (up to €50 m) - Fedro’s Tunnel Renovation Method – renovation of a non-reinforced primary lining using night shifts while keeping all traffic lanes open during the day Switzerland Lower Otta Hydropower Project – Norway

  • Technical Innovation of the Year - An Innovative Automated Geological Forward-prospecting Technique Mounted on Hard-rock TBM - China

  • Overcoming the challenges - Chengdu-Guiyang High-speed Railway-Yujingshan & Mountain Tunnel Crossing Giant Karst Cave and Underground River - China

  • Innovative and Contributing Underground Spaces - Union Square Market Street Station - Battered Drilled Shafts as Permanent Ground Support - US.

The Young Tunneller of the Year award was a hotly contested one with Dimitrios Litsas from Greece; Laurence Delplace (Belgium); Qingfang Liu (China) and Sandeep Singh Nirmal (India) vying for the top honours with the award finally going to Josh Barry from Australia.

Since 2015, the international competition "the ITA Tunnelling and Underground Space Awards" has been recognising the most ground-breaking innovation and outstanding projects in tunnelling and underground space use.

After a challenging year, especially on safety issues, the event went digital and awarded the best achievements in the industry, through 8 categories.

After editions in Switzerland, Singapore, France, China and US, this virtual edition this year allowed to gather more than 700 attendees during the first 2 days and revealed that even through digital, tunnelling industry is still powerful. The event will be available until December 18.

"Although it has been a very challenging year, ITA Tunnelling Awards has received 52 entries from 23 countries," said the organisers.


Once again, we would like to congratulate Laurence Delplace on her contribution to the Belgian tunnel world.