Chief Technical Principal – Tunnels and Underground

With over 30 years of experience in the design and construction of tunnels and underground works, Alex Gomes has played a key role in shaping and transforming our communities through delivering major underground infrastructure projects both in Australian and overseas. Alex has worked on a diverse range of iconic projects, including Snowy 2.0, Sydney Metro, Inland Rail, Melbourne Metro, Santiago Metro, London Underground, Singapore Metro, Bangkok Metro, Taipei Metro, and multiple major hydro and mining tunnel projects across the globe.


Alex’s expertise encompasses a wide range of ground conditions and construction methods, including mechanized tunnelling (EPB/ Slurry/ Hard-rock TBMs, Pipe-jacking), conventional tunnelling (SEM/ NATM/ Drill and Blast), cut-and-cover techniques, shaft sinking, and raise boring. He also has extensive experience in the construction of large caverns in both soft ground and deep-seated hard rock conditions.


In addition to his technical expertise, Alex provides clients with executive-level advice on forensic and contractual matters, from early studies to tender document preparation and construction stages. He is also an expert in developing risk-sharing mechanisms for underground works based on the use of Geotechnical Baseline Reports (GBR), including the preparation of GBRs for Snowy 2.0 and Inland Rail, among others.


As our Chief Technical Principal and Global Subject Matter Expert for tunnels and underground works, Alex provides technical leadership on complex underground civil infrastructure projects, applying his expert knowledge to generate innovative, economical, and practical engineering solutions for our clients across all project stages.


“I am passionate about the field of tunnelling, and I actively endeavour to raise the awareness of its benefits and advocate the use of the underground space to promote sustainable solutions for modern societies”, shared Alex.


Alex is highly engaged in industry forums, academic and scientific institutions, having served as a Vice-President of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA-AITES), founder and past president of the Chilean Tunnel Society, member of the Australian Tunnels Society, engaged with university teaching and research. Alex has published a large number of technical papers and articles and finds time to regularly deliver lectures and training for engineers worldwide.

“My time at SMEC has been remarkably fulfilling, I have the privilege of providing technical leadership and advice on a wide range of high-profile and high-impact projects. Being a mentor to future tunnelling specialists has been a privilege and I am proud to play a role in the company's continuous growth and technical excellence.”