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Re-thinking tunnelling underground engineering, adjusting our current practices to new norms

Event organised by The British Tunnelling Society

03 November 2022

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The increase in world population and the development of metropolises and megacities have imposed the underground space's exploitation, contributing to emerging underground space development. Especially during the last decade in the underground and tunnelling industry world market, there has been a 5-7% annual increase with mainly China and India, governing more than 50% of the market share. As a result, engineers, geoscientists are constantly confronted with new problems and challenges they must overcome (or avoid). Due to this market increase, there is an urgent need for design optimisation of such structures to reduce construction costs while targeting the projects' sustainability. Thus, it is necessary to redefine the design boundaries of current practices. The presentation discusses specific challenges, such as long-term (time-dependent) behaviour, uncertainty, sustainability etc., which are currently more and more common in tunnelling. Finally, it proposes solutions utilising the acquired knowledge from empirical methods and combining it with numerical analysis techniques.


Dr Chrysothemis Paraskevopoulou MBA PhD MSc MEng

Dr Chrysothemis Paraskevopoulou MBA PhD MSc MEng

University of Leeds

assistant professor

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Dr Chrysothemis Paraskevopoulou MBA PhD MSc MEng

Chrysothemis is a Mining Engineer (MEng) with post-graduate studies (MSc) in Tunnelling & Geological Engineering from NTUA (GR). In 2016, she completed her PhD in tunnelling, which involved working on a joint Research Project between Queen’s University and ETH Zurich. In 2017 she was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Leeds (UK) to teach rock mechanics, tunnelling and geotechnical-related courses, where in 2019 she got her tenure (permanent chair).

She has also been appointed as visiting Lecturer at Warwick University in the UK and Adjunct Professor at Queen’s University in Canada. Her research deals with geo-engineering innovative design for resilient and sustainable geo-structures and their societal impact. She has published more than 50 papers in international journals and conferences. In 2020 she completed her MBA at Leeds University Business School as she is a strong believer in life-long training. She also works as a Consultant and in the past as a Geotechnical/Tunnel Engineer. In September 2022 Chrysothemis became the Director of the prestigious MSc Engineering Geology at the University of Leeds.


For more information please contact:

Shelly-Ann Russell