【Domestic News】China to Host the World Tunnel Conference Again
On June 30, the 47th Member Nation Session of the International Tunnelling Association (ITA) was held via video conference. Voting by all 78 Members, Shenzhen has successfully been elected as the host city of the 2024 World Tunnel Conference and the 50th Member Nation Session.
According to the plan, the world's top tunnel and underground space engineers will gather in Shenzhen to convene a grand meeting of the industrial from April 19 to April 25 in 2024.
With the interval of 34 years, Chinese city become for the second time the host city of WTC, after Chengdu being the first Chinese city to host WTC in 1990 since the establishment of ITA.
Founded in 1974 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, ITA is a leading organization in the global tunnel and underground space industry with 78 member nations. Its purpose is to promote the application and development of tunnels and underground space around the world through knowledge sharing, technological progress and emphasis on professional ethics. Since its establishment, ITA has elected 16 executive committee chairmen. The current chairman, Yan Jinxiu, was elected in 2019. It is the first time that a Chinese tunnel expert was elected as the chairman of ITA, and it is also the first female chairman in the history of ITA.
China joined the ITA in 1979, and the China Civil Engineering Society (CCES) participates in activities on behalf of the industry of the country. In general, the CCES entrusts Tunnel and Underground Works Branch of the CCES to be responsible for the specific work.
Since 2002, Tunnel and Underground Works Branch of the CCES has been basing in China Railway Tunnel Group which represents the brand of China tunnel construction. The bid to host the 2024 World Tunnel Conference is led by CCES, and the Tunnel and Underground Works branch of the CCES and China Railway Tunnel Group and other parties undertake the specific application works.
In addition to supporting member nations' academic activities, organizing international training and seminars, ITA also organizes major events every year, including the World Tunnel Conference, Member Nation Conference and the ITA Tunnel Engineering Awards Conference. Among them, The World Tunnel Conference is an annual major academic activity of the ITA. Member nations need to apply three years in advance and determine the host country via voting by all members.
Since 2015, in order to commend the outstanding projects and individuals that bring breakthrough and innovation for the development of tunnels and underground space around the world of the year, ITA will nominate about 30 representative projects and outstanding individuals and finally selected 7 or 8 award the “ITA Tunnel Engineering Awards". So far, six annual awards sessions has been held, by which thousands of tunnel experts around the world has been attracted and thousands of well-known tunnel and underground projects has been gathered. The annual award is recognized as the "Oscar Award" of the world tunnel industry.
Statistics show that 189 projects and individuals have been nominated and 52 awards have been conferred in accumulation, among which Chinese tunnel projects and experts been nominated 46 times and awarded 14 times, equalling a quarter of the total.