TUCSS Event-Details Page

TUCSS Monthly Seminar 217

TUCSS Monthly Seminar 217

19 February

  • 19 February 2020, Wednesday
  • 18:30 To 20:30
  • Singapore Management University, Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium

  • Tunnelling and Underground Design and Construction & The Lower Thames Crossing
Registration Closed

Event details

In light of the latest developments regarding the Novel Coronavirus, we wish to inform you that the TUCSS Monthly Seminar 217 on Wednesday, 19 February 2020 will be cancelled. This is as per the Ministry of Health advisory on 8 February 2020.


We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Your well-being is our priority and we seek your kind understanding in this.


Thank you.

Tunnelling and Underground Design and Construction

by Asim Gaba



The High Speed 2 (HS2) project is the most innovative & ambitious regeneration programme to be undertaken in the UK for over 150 years.  It is much more than a high speed railway system – it will provide social, economic & financial benefit to the people of the UK for the next century & more, resulting in a more balanced economy & decarbonising the UK transport system.  HS2 is also a hugely complex & technically challenging project – the largest civil engineering project in Europe – and draws together the lessons learnt from major infrastructure programmes such as Crossrail, HS1 & Thames Tideway.  However, HS2 is an order of magnitude larger & more complex than any of these previous programmes.

 This presentation will focus on Area South of Phase 1 of the project, which essentially comprises tunnels, shafts & underground design and construction – highlighting how key technical challenges are being overcome adopting innovative approaches, automation of settlement & impact assessments & how significantly better health, safety & wellbeing outcomes are being achieved using leading edge digital design, BIM & an integrated highly collaborative project leadership approach.


Asim Gaba is a Director, Trustee, & Fellow of Arup with more than 35 years of design, commercial & project leadership experience on major multi-disciplinary international infrastructure projects across the UK; Europe; the Middle & Far East; Central, South & East Asia; & North America.  He is Arup’s Global Skills Leader in Ground Engineering & Leader of the international design JV delivering the civil works design for HS2 Area South between London & Birmingham, UK.

Asim graduated from the University of Oxford with first class honours & holds a Master of Science degree in Geotechnical Engineering with distinction from Imperial College, University of London, and a first class honours degree in Law from the University of London.  He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London; a Fellow of the Geological Society, London; and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  Asim is Lead Author of CIRIA’s best-selling design guides (C580 & C760) & section editor of the ICE Manual of Geotechnical Engineering & more than 30 other peer reviewed publications.  He currently serves on technical standards, engineering, professional accreditation & legal committees & boards internationally.

The Lower Thames Crossing

by Keith Bowers



This presentation will introduce Highways England and the planned Lower Thames Crossing project and will focus on the tunnelled part of the scheme and the plan ensure successful delivery of a safe and high availability asset.

 The project consists of a 23km long highway connecting M2 in Kent with the M25 north of the Thames. The tunnels themselves will be around 4.25km long twin bores each carrying three lane carriageways. These will be the longest and largest diameter road tunnels on the UK network by a considerable margin. The tunnel works will also include portal structures, cross passages and the associated operational systems in the tunnel. 

The tunnelling will take place in a range of ground conditions starting in former marshes and landfill and then moving into chalk with the potential for high water pressure under the river. Once across the river the tunnels will also pass under an area of environmentally sensitive wetlands adjacent to the river which require particular attention during the construction phase. 

The presentation will discuss the approaches envisaged to overcome the technical challenges for the tunnelling and will explain the next steps Highways England is talking to develop the scheme.


Keith Bowers is the Tunnels and Systems Director for the Lower Thames Crossing project. He has over thirty years' experience in the delivery, operation and maintenance of major transportation tunnels and associated infrastructure. Prior to joining the Lower Thames Crossing project, he was Head of Civil Engineering and Built Environment in Transport for London where his responsibilities included the tunnels of the London Underground network. Keith is a Fellow of the UK's Royal Academy of Engineering and also the Institution of Civil Engineers and was awarded a PhD for his work on early applications of sprayed concrete in UK road and rail tunnel construction.  

NOTE: Seats are on a first-come, first-served basis, limited to the first 280 valid TUCSS members. To register, please login to your account on the TUCSS Website or TUCSS

 Mobile App.