Professor Martin Herrenknecht
Founder and CEO
BTS 50th Anniversary – Innovations in mechanized tunnelling since 1971
Tunnelling is, without a doubt, one of the most innovative disciplines. Focused on innovative and cooperative development, the collaboration amongst researchers, owners, designers, construction contractors, machine manufacturers and suppliers, is surely a significant reason for this. The second factor is the market dynamics in tunnelling, driven by a globalized world and increasing urbanization. Around the globe, emerging economies are expanding infrastructures in their urban and regional centers, promoting the interlinking of individual economic hubs by means of new traffic, supply and disposal systems. The general worldwide trend in industry towards mechanization and automation clearly demands a similar development in tunnelling. There are challenges ahead and we need to improve our excavation methods to overcome them – always learning from our past tunnelling experiences. This lecture considers the past, present, future of mechanized tunnelling with a focus on the innovations developed since the 70s and what lies ahead in mechanized tunnelling.