Werner Bilfinger is a civil engineer graduated from the University of São Paulo, where he also got his Master and PhD degrees.
He works with design and consultancy since graduation mainly in infrastructure projects in Brazil, the Americas, Europe and Africa.
He is the Brazilian representative in Working Group 19 - Conventional Tunnelling - of the ITA, and TC 207 - Soil-Structure Interaction - of the ISSMGE.
United Arab Emirates
MSc, MBA, BEng
Nick is a mining engineer with 30 years’ experience in the global underground construction industry. He qualified as a Mining Engineer from Cardiff University before taking an MBA with the Open University and then an MSc in Tunnelling at the Polytechnico Torino.
He is a specialist in the rock support technologies of sprayed concrete, injection and waterproofing.
He is the current chair of the International Tunnelling Association’s (ITA) ITATech committee and an EFNARC Sprayed Concrete Nozzleman Trainer and Assessor.
For the past 12 years Nick has been employed by Master Builders Construction Chemicals Group in Dubai as Regional Manager for Underground Construction, Middle East and Africa.
Prof. Hehua Zhu is now the Distinguished Professor in Geotechnical Engineering of Tongji University, China.
He is the chair of Joint Technical Committee 2 under FedIGS (2017-present) and vice president of Committee of Tunnel and Underground Engineering of CCES.
He created an International Journal “Underground Space”.
His research interests are in Rock Failure Mechanics and Numerical Methods in Geo-engineering, Infrastructure Smart Service System(iS3) Construction, Fire Disaster Prevention and Reduction for Underground Space.
He was awarded with Humboldt Research Prize in 2015 and the T.H.H. medal at ICCES’13 in 2013.
United States of America
Mike Rispin, P.Eng., is Vice President – Tunneling for Strata Worldwide. He is also currently serving a two-year term as Chair of the Underground Construction Association of SME, the Member Nation organization of ITA in the USA.
He has over 35 years’ experience in tunneling and mining on a global level and has relevant expertise in disciplines such as explosives and blasting, ground control, heavy equipment, and mechanized tunneling applications.
He has worked in the past for companies such as Master Builders / BASF, Normet and Dyno Nobel. Originally Canadian, he has also resided in Switzerland and now calls the USA home.
Participating once again as the Media Chair Judge, Shani is a professional journalist and has been reporting on projects and developments in the tunnelling and underground space industry for many years.
After studying newspaper journalism in the USA, she began her career in the underground construction industry in 1982 and has visited many of the most influential and important projects of the period worldwide including undersea road and rail links; hydro, metro and water management projects; and the development of modern TBMs, drill and blast techniques and NATM/SCL/SEM excavation methods through the years.
Shani is Owner and Publisher of the web magazine TunnelTalk and was ITA Awards Media Chair Judge in 2015 and 2018.