lunes, 15 de abril de 2019

Interview with Giuseppe Gaspari, Young Tunneller of the Year at the ITA Awards 2018 PPAN editorial staff.

A degree in civil engineering, two master degrees (Geotechnics at La Sapienza, Tunnelling and
TBM at the Politecnico di Torino) and over ten years of experience working around the world,
at the early age of 35 Giuseppe Gaspari boasts a particularly extensive international curriculum, making him one of the youngest Italian experts in underground construction.

Confirming this propensity towards the global context, on November 7 th this year he was named "Young Tunneller of the Year" by the jury of the "ITA-AIT ES Tunnelling and Underground Space Awards" contest.

His skills, knowledge and contacts led him to become a member of the Organizing Committee of the
World Tunnel Congress 2019 (Naples, from May 3rd to 9th).

Giuseppe Gaspari, Young Tunneller of the Year 2018 «It was totally unexpected – says Gaspari –especially given the elevated level of the other participants in the competition. This year, my last on thesteering board of the Young Members section of the ITA-AITES association, I decided to give it atry and I was successful.

What helped was that I have travelled the world extensively in my work and have been involved in important projects in our industry and in other fields as well. The jury assesses the progress of the candidates over the years and their capacity to change their approach every time they address problems arising in very different situations, from a cultural perspective as well. In my opinion these are the fundamental characteristics for anyone in the business of underground construction: flexibility and significant technical capacity».

His interest in underground infrastructure dates back to his university years.

His thesis
project, with which he graduated in 2008, was a three-dimensional analysis of urban tunnels with particular attention to the effects of surface subsidence caused by excavation. His first job took him to Geodata Engineering in Turin. From the very start he was involved in a variety of projects in Europe, South America, Asia and more recently in Canada and the United States.

Among them the Relief Line South, the Eglinton Line and the York Spadina Subway Extension in Toronto, as well as hydraulic tunnels such as the West Vaughan Sewage System in the York Region, the Jarry Tunnel in Montreal, the Deer Creek Tunnel in Missouri and the Bergen Points Outfall in New York. Since 2018 he has worked at Arup where he is responsible for supporting the growth of the local infrastructure group.

Arup’s underground works in Canada © «The Toronto Downtown Relief Line is a vital project for the Canadian city. I always like to think about the positive repercussions –underscores Gaspari – from a social point of view.

Underground urban infrastructures have a strong impact on the development of a city. Connecting areas populated by diverse social groups contributes not only to the utilization of the urban fabric, but also to aggregation. Anyone who rides public transportation such as a subway, for example, shares the same situation in the same conditions with the other passengers. I have written papers drawn from my own experiences on this subject.

For example? During a project in the area of Bangalore, at a certain point we came across a Buddhist temple and an Islamic cemetery, which we were able to protect without creating social unrest. It takes a certain skill to handle highly delicate situations, the outcome of which changes depending on the feasibility and impact on existing structures. I have to say that Italy's experience in defending and enhancing its ancient heritage is a key factor. Different countries have different regulations and technical standards, which are important factors in assessing project schedules and estimates.

Furthermore, each reality has its own specific outlook in terms of contracts and economic conditions».
The relationship of underground construction projects with the context and their appearance as a "non-place" are themes of growing interest in research studies. A virtuous solution was adopted in Naples where the decision was made to consider the stations as a public space and, as such, worthy of being cared for and enriched. «The choice of Naples as the city to host the next World Tunnel Congress makes sense – underscores Gaspari – especially if we wish to showcase Italy's capabilities today and in the past. Works of this type have been part of our culture since ancient Rome, which built sewage networks, tunnels and aqueducts that in some cases remain in use after thousands of years. The configuration of our territory in some cases has made it a necessity, proving a challenge to engineers of every era to our very day. The Art Stations represent an excellent synthesis of technical and artistic capacities, involving a range of very different actors».

The Cloaca Maxima, in Rome, is one of the world’s earliest sewage systems ever constructed
The tunnelling and underground infrastructure sector has considerable impact, but remains relatively unknown to the general public.

It does not come into the spotlight except in the cases of major projects such as the recently-opened connection between Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao (China), a route 55 km long consisting that counts a number of bridges and underground tunnels. «Great technical capacities are not sufficient in and of
themselves, it is also important to be able to communicate one's capacities. As a category – explains Gaspari – we must be aware that the only way we can create a network is to make
people understand that underground construction projects must be integrated with the disciplines related to the urban environment. The construction industry, including tunnelling, suffers a gap in terms of communication and innovation. Compared to other sectors, new technologies have not had the expected impact on the production process because, in my opinion, there is a scarce inclination to take risks, certainly not because there are no new elements. The ITA Awards selected special systems such as the square-shaped TBM, or cutting-edge materials and techniques. This is an inevitable process however, that will reward those who have the courage to pioneer new approaches. One example? Ric
hard Branson's Hyperloop and Elon Musk's Boring Company».

The Hyperloop project ©

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