Short Courses

Introduction to Tunnel Design and Construction

Develop your skills and knowledge on different tunnelling techniques, their applicability to various soils, and their constraints.

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Develop your skills and knowledge on different tunnelling techniques, their applicability to various soils, and their constraints.

Mostly invisible and out of sight, tunnels are a vital element of every nation’s infrastructure, indispensable in urban transportation, water, sewerage, hydro-electric power and many other sectors.

You’ll get an introduction to all forms of tunneling, with a particular emphasis on tunnelling techniques and their applicability in certain soils and taking into account various physical constraints. Mitigation of the inevitable risks involved in tunnelling will also form an important part of the course.

After completing this course, you’ll be better able to classify subsurface materials with relation to their excavation and support performance in tunnel in soils and rock. You’ll also be able to identify new trends in tunnelling, understand and better select the appropriate tunnelling method and tunnel lining system for a given situation, select and specify suitable investigation techniques and equipment for tunnelling, and a great deal more.

This course is run exclusively by The American Society of Civil Engineers with Engineering Education Australia.

EA members

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*1% credit card surcharge applies.

Any questions?

5 x 4.5-hour sessions
Location & dates

16 September - 20 September

Additional Information

This course will run on the following dates:

16 – 20 September 2024, 9am – 1:30 AEST


Registrations close three business days before the start of each session.

We can customise this course for groups of six or more.

You choose the time, place, duration and format.

Find out how we can help you and your team by clicking on the button below to request a quote or calling us directly on +61 3 9321 1700.

Is this course for you?

Is this course for you?

This course is for you if you’re in the construction industry and either looking for a grounding in modern tunneling techniques and practices or would like an update on current technical and contractual tunnel management techniques.

It will be particularly useful for construction and project managers, design and project engineers (both field and design office), construction supervisory personnel, construction cost estimators, graduate geotechnical engineers.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Topics we'll cover

Topics we'll cover


  • An introduction and review of tunnelling and other related trenchless technology methods covered by the course.

Sub surface site characterisation for tunnelling in soil and rock

  • Techniques for investigating and characterising subsurface conditions will be presented. Suitable scope and type of site investigation for various soft ground and rock tunnelling will be discussed as well as geotechnical parameters for tunnel design and soil classification and rock mass classification.
  • The review will include a discussion of how the geotechnical information should be included in any contract documents.

Methods of tunnel construction

  • The range of tunnel construction methods and practices available for both soft and hard ground conditions including both non-shielded and shielded excavation methods will be examined in some detail.

Pipe jacking and microtunnelling techniques

  • Tunnel construction methods using pipe jacking and microtunnelling techniques will be examined in some detail.

Methods of tunnel support

  • The various temporary and permanent tunnel support techniques available will be presented together with a review of their appropriate use.
  • Techniques associated with tunnelling such as dewatering and grouting and their applicability to soil types will be discussed.

Shaft construction for tunnelling

  • A discussion of shaft construction techniques and their merits in various ground conditions and shaft depths.

Potential problems and solutions when tunnelling in soft ground and hard rock

  • Problems encountered in the design and construction of the tunnels will be reviewed. The means for identifying potential problem areas and mitigation techniques will be described. Safety requirements will also be discussed.

Tunnel planning risk assessment and minimisation

  • Investigation and pre-planning, tunnelling method and equipment selection, contract document and specification preparation, contractor review and prequalification, and tunnel construction will be reviewed.
  • Particular emphasis will be placed upon both the identification of risk and its minimisation by technical and other means.

New trends and techniques in tunnelling

  • New trends in tunnelling and potential future developments will be discussed.
Andy Robinson
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