A three-day tunneling short course titled “Breakthroughs in Tunneling” was held Sept. 10-12 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. The course was held in conjunction with Microtunneling Inc. and TBM: Tunnel Business Magazine. The event sponsor was Brierley Associates. Additional sponsors included Atlas Copco, Kiewit, Herrenknecht and Ruen Drilling.

The course attracted strong attendance with close to 150 participants. The lead course director for the event was Levent Ozdemir, Professor of Mining and Director of the Tunneling and Earth Mechanics Institute at the Colorado School of Mines. Supporting Ozdemir was Tim Coss, President of Microtunneling Inc.

Course material covered all aspects of tunneling, including soft ground tunneling, earth pressure balance machines, hard rock tunneling, NATM design and construction, drill-and-blast tunneling and roadheader tunneling. The closing banquet featured speakers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. They talked about the underground construction associated with the Yucca Mountain project, a proposed nuclear waste repository in Nevada. Also at the banquet, Gary Brierley of Brierley Associates read passages from a tunneling book published in 1878, which illustrated that the basics of tunneling are still relatively similar today. The book was authored by Henry S. Drinker of Lehigh University.
Considering the tremendous success of this tunneling short course, Ozdemir announced that the next short course will be held Sept. 23-25, 2009, again at CSM’s facilities in Golden. There is already a waiting list for the 2009 course, so attendees are encouraged to sign up early. Registration is available online though www.tunneling.com or the Colorado School of Mines Office of Special Programs and Continuing Education Web site at: www.mines.edu/outreach/cont_ed/tunneling.html.

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