SMEC technical specialist in Tunnels and Underground conducted an insightful workshop at the 15th International ISRM Congress and Geomechanics Colloquium 2023.

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.

Alexandre Gomes, Chief Technical Principal – Tunnels and Underground

Alexandre Gomes is a civil engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the design and construction of tunnel and underground works and applied geotechnical and geomechanical engineering. Alex has provided notable contributions to major international tunnel projects for transportation, mining, water and energy across all continents, including multiple long and deep tunnels and caverns in rock.

He worked for 25 years with Geoconsult Austria, becoming the managing Director of Geoconsult Latinoamerica, with HQs in Chile. Since 2017 he joined SMEC, in Sydney, where he provides technical leadership and advice on technical and contractual aspects of underground works for many of SMEC’s tunnel projects in Australia and in the world. He is a past Vice-President of the International Tunnelling & Underground Space Association ITAAITES, ITA-CET lecturer, former adjunct professor of tunnelling at the University of Chile. Alex published several technical papers and articles and delivered lectures and training activities for engineers worldwide.

Read more info on Alexandre’s incredible career