SMEC’s Chief Technical Principal for Tunnels and Underground Alexandre Gomes, alongside renowned Professors Mark Diederichs, Erik Eberhardt, and Brendan Fisher, conducted a comprehensive workshop on Rock Mechanics Challenges and Tools for Deep Tunnelling at the 15th International ISRM Congress and 72nd Geomechanics Colloquium 2023 in Salzburg, Austria.
Typically, rock mechanics data is collected and analysed in a similar manner for most tunnelling and underground construction works, independent of the critical engineering geology and associated instability modes that are anticipated for the project.
The workshop presented a mechanistic-based approach to manage rock mechanics risk in tunnelling and underground engineering, where consideration of the anticipated behaviours (and associated engineering choices and analysis options) directs detailed site investigation, formal definition of contractual predictions, and subsequent analyses and monitoring prior to and during construction.
“It was a privilege to conduct this workshop alongside such a line-up of international academic and industry experts. I am happy have been back to the place where I started my career and whose history is tightly intertwined with the development of tunnelling and rock mechanics. The event provided a valuable platform for professionals to connect and exchange insights on tunnelling and rock mechanics” stated Alexandre Gomes.