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7th Munich Tunnelling Symposium: Good things come to those who wait

The relief was written all over the organisers' faces when, after a delay of more than two years, the 7th Munich Tunnelling Symposium was finally able to open its doors at the University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich on 8 July 2022. The event had originally been planned for May 2020, but Corona and the pandemic-related contact restrictions had put a spanner in the works.

Since its foundation in 2008, the Munich Tunnelling Symposium has had a fixed place in the diary of tunnelling specialists and has long since developed into a fixed meeting place for the industry in southern Germany. Every two years between the STUVA conferences, this is an opportunity to discuss current topics with an expert audience. After all, the planning, construction and maintenance of tunnel structures are highly complex tasks that require multidisciplinary cooperation. Regular exchange among colleagues from the various disciplines is therefore absolutely essential and the compact one-day event in Munich offers the best conditions for this. No wonder, then, that after the long Corona break, almost 300 experts were again welcomed to the symposium.

This year's event was organised by Professors Thomas Braml, Philip Sander, Conrad Boley and Manfred Keuser of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences together with the Studiengesellschaft für Tunnel und Verkehrsanlagen - STUVA e.V. - and dealt with a total of four different key topics: Tunnels in Bavaria, Digitalisation - BIM - Research, Contract Models and Risk, and Major International Projects.

In the first thematic block, which dealt with tunnels in Bavaria, Dipl.-Ing. Frank Frischeisen (City of Munich) presented the current projects of the city of Munich under the title "Public transport offensive of the state capital: Subway construction in Munich picks up speed again". In addition, Dipl.-Ing. Albert Wimmer (DB Netz AG) presented the current status of the planning and construction of the 2nd S-Bahn main line in Munich. Finally, Dipl.-Ing. Martin Zeindl (Bavarian State Ministry for Housing, Construction and Transport, Munich) gave an up-to-date overview of other tunnel projects in Bavaria.

In the second block of topics, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Günther Meschke (Ruhr University Bochum), Dipl.-Ing. Gereon Behnen (Büchting + Streit AG), Fabian Rauch (TU Munich) and Dipl.-Ing. Stephan Frodl (Ed. Züblin AG) gave an insight into current research topics in the field of tunnel construction. Furthermore, Frodl presented the new developments in the modelling of tunnel projects with Building Information Modelling (BIM).

After the lunch break, Dr.-Ing. Peter Hoffmann (Schüßler Plan), Dipl.-Ing. Frank Ruopp (Munich Re) and Dipl.-Ing. Heinz Ehrbar (Heinz Ehrbar Partners) provided information on the latest developments in cost calculations and risk management for tunnel projects as part of the "Contract model and risk" block of topics and presented the currently published recommendations for project risk management in underground construction to the auditorium.

The last block of topics dealt with "International large-scale projects". Here, Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Neumaier and Dipl.-Ing. Manuel Gotthalmseder (both DB Netz AG) gave exciting insights into the project "Northern Approach to the Brenner Base Tunnel". Afterwards, Dr.-Ing. Karin Bäppler (Herrenknecht AG) spoke in her lecture about the challenges of a tunnel boring machine in very difficult ground (major project Lyon). At the end of the symposium, Prof. Dr. mult. Konrad Bergmeister (University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna and Honorary Doctor of the University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich) gave an impressive lecture on the topic "Overview of long base tunnels and their challenges".

In the foyer in front of the Audimax, a large exhibition was held to accompany the conference, where engineering firms and construction manufacturers were able to present themselves to the conference participants; it provided the setting for stimulating and interesting discussions among the tunnel builders until the early evening.

The 8th Munich Tunnelling Symposium is planned for summer 2024. An exact date is yet to be announced.

The organisers of the conference (from left to right): Prof. Philip Sander, Prof. Thomas Braml, Prof. Conrad Boley, Prof. Manfred Keuser and the Managing Director of STUVA e.V., Prof. Roland Leucker (© Universität der Bundeswehr München)
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