Cutting Edge Conference 2023 heads to Austin, TX in November

The Cutting Edge Conference was established in 2012 and has grown in the past decade thanks in part to a reputation for presentations about cutting edge technology and practices in the industry.

The 2023 Cutting Edge Conference will take place Nov. 13-15 in Austin, TX where some of the most important topics in the tunneling and underground construction industry will be discussed. The theme of this year’s conference is Advances in Tunneling Technology and the conference will kick off with a keynote session that includes three talks. The first will focus on one of the largest projects in the world, the Lower Thames Crossing in the United Kingdom. Keith Bowers of COWI will discuss the efforts taking place to explore carbon neutral construction at that site. The discussion will then move to the Southern Hemisphere with a talk from Brian Minhinick of Mott MacDonald discussing Australia’s Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project, the first project of its kind in Australia in more than 40 years. The project aims to utilize an abandoned gold mine to generate store and dispatch renewable energy on demand. The third talk will be from John Bednarski of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He will discuss a new sustainable and reliable source of high-quality water for Southern California.

The Cutting Edge Conference, which is jointly presented by UCA and the Tunnelling Journal has established itself as one of the premiere technical conferences each year. This year’s conference includes sessions on tunnel rehabilitation and sustainability; renewable energy and water security; research, development and advances in material and equipment’ developments in digital technologies and artificial intelligence; a look at major projects; panel discussions and a number of networking opportunities including a field trip to the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority (BCRUA) Phase 2 Raw Water Delivery System.

The BCRUA was formed in 2006 to withdraw, treat, and deliver water to the cities of Cedar Park, Round Rock, and Leander, TX. Phase 1 of the system consists of a 17 MGD floating pump station and a water treatment plant. The Phase 2 Raw Water Delivery System consists of a new deep water intake and conveyance system at Lake Travis. The Phase 2 system will have an ultimate capacity of 145 MGD and will provide a reliable long-term water supply system for the continued growth of the three partner cities while reducing vulnerability to prolonged droughts.

The $215 million project includes two lake taps; an 8,800 LF gravity intake tunnel; an underground suction chamber with six pump well shafts; a 35-ft diameter, 300-ft deep access shaft; a 2,600 LF transmission pipeline tunnel; a shaft for the transmission pipeline at the end of the transmission tunnel; a 145 MGD pump station; and a maintenance building. The tunnels are being excavated using an 11.5-ft diameter TBM. A roadheader is being used for the suction chamber and starter and tail tunnels for the TBM launch. The underground work is in limestone of the Glen Rose formation. Significant planning and staging are required due to the limited site area, marine work for the lake taps, and the need to TBM mine and walk back for two dead-end tunnels at the intake and transmission shafts.

To register for the 2023 Cutting Edge Conference and for more information

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