Office Hours | Register for Membership Online

  • Membership

  • Training Center

  • Expert Evaluation

  • Arbitration Centre

  • Magazine & Journal
  • SOE Library

News Details
30 June 2015
The ITA Young Members’ Magazine - BREAKTHROUGH
2nd Arabian Tunnelling Conference
ym conference Report
Young Engineers Forum | 9-10 December 2014 | ADNEC, Abu Dhabi

The Arabian Tunnelling Conference & Exhibition (ATC) was held on the 9-10 December 2014, in Abu Dhabi, UAE and was inaugurated by His Excellency Essa Al Maidoor(Chairman of the United ArabEmirates Society of Engineers).

As part of the conference, Maged Farouck Hanna (General Manager of the UAE Society of Engineers,introduced the Young Engineers Forum, an initiative to present the challenges involved in tunnelling and underground space projects to young engineers and students.The programme also dealt with the importance of continuing professional development, as well as how best to forge a career in the tunnelling industry.

The forum was one of the highlights of the ATC2014 and generated a high level of interest from more than 100 students from various universities in the region. They listened enthusiastically to presentations by leading international speakers and participated in a lively Q&A panel discussion.  The forum began with a presentation by ITA President, Søren Degn Eskesen, followed by Professor Edgar Small (American University in Dubai), Jonathan Cottam (Managing Director of Gulf Rock), Karin Bappler (Head of Geotechnics at Herrenknecht),Nick Chittenden (Regional Manager of BASF) and Olivier Vion (ITA Executive Director).

The panel discussion was chaired by Professor Small, and consisted of Zenah Mattar (Junior Project Manager at Furgo), Jurij Karlovsek (Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Queensland) and Petr Salak (Senior Tunnel Engineer with Dr. Sauer & Partners).  The questions asked of the panelists covered a broad range of topics; from the specific nature of how each of the young engineers got into tunnelling, to outlining their understanding of management and leadership in the industry, and their vision of what it really meanswhen we speak of sustainable impacts in tunnelling.

The panelists were required to reflect on whether or not their undergraduate education prepared them for the demands of industry and the expectations of their bosses.  The liveliness of the discussion also came from the fact that the panelists asked questions of the students in the audience, in order to glean what their future intentions were. All in all, the panel discussion was an informative, frank and successful undertaking and brought together a diverse group of young engineers who were able to impart some of their experience, vision and insight into the tunnelling industry.  It is hoped that the Young Engineers Forum will once again take place at the next Arabian Tunnelling Conference, which will be held in Dubai on the 23-25 November 2015.

More information about this conference can be found at

As an incentive for students to come and attend the YoungEngineers Forum in Dubai this year, it should be pointed out that the price of registration is four times lower for students than the regular registration fee.  This is an example that should be taken up by other conferences and the ITAYM Group is looking forward to future cooperation with the UAE Society of Engineers.