Delve into tunnelling technology at world congress in May

Dr Ooi (extreme right) displaying the ITA-AITES flag at the handover ceremony while (from left) IEM president 2018/2019 David Lai Kong Phooi, SIG Italy president Andrea Pigorini and Honorary Consul of Malaysia to Italy Anna Ceppaluni hold the Jalur Gemilang in support of WTC 2020 during last year’s congress in Naples, Italy.

CALLING all tunnel enthusiasts including engineers, architects, planners, surveyors and those who want to learn more about how cities make the most of their underground space – save the date for the World Tunnel Congress 2020 (WTC).

The event will be taking place from May 15 to 21 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

It will be a perfect opportunity to meet with the who’s who in the tunnelling industry and find out how these experts tackle all sorts of challenges to come up with groundbreaking technologies to make cities better.

Organised by the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM), the ITA-AITES World Tunnel Congress is expecting over 2,000 participants.

“Exhibition spaces are now fully booked, and more than 150 companies from all over the world are ready to welcome all tunnellers, ’’ WTC 2020 organising chairman Dr Ooi Teik Aun said.

“Anyone interested in learning about how underground spaces are made into a conducive environment os invited, ’’ said Ooi, adding that exhibitors from all over the world will be there.

“I always believe that a developed nation is one that has many tunnels because the future is about utilising that space underneath for the benefit of all, ’’ he said.

“Let’s take the Penchala tunnel as an example; those days it would take one-and-a-half hours to get from Kuala Lumpur city centre to Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

“You had to pass through Section 17 Petaling Jaya to get there, but building the tunnel shortened the distance to a mere 10 minutes; that’s why property prices in the area are high, ’’ he said.

Ooi added that from the environmental perspective too, building tunnels is a lot kinder on Mother Nature than the conventional way of building roads, as the former does not cause landslides.

“The future is that more and more people will live in cities, hence maximising the space underneath the city and integrating an underground network of traffic, ’’ Ooi said.

Throughout the conference there will be events like technical dialogues, open sessions, presentations, working group committee meetings and networking sessions.

There will be various site and technical visits during and after the congress.

Some of the notable places worth visiting include SMART Tunnel, Tunneling Training Academy, underground works of the KVMRT Line 2 construction sites. East Coast Rail Link project and Pahang-Selangor Raw Water Transfer Tunnel.

For details, visit

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