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Plenary Keynote Presentations

Thursday, November 8 – Steve Skelhorn, McNally Construction Inc.
Considerations for Increasingly Higher Pressure EPB Tunnelling in Challenging Ground

Over the past 30 years, pressurized face tunnelling has progressed leaps and bounds and has enabled tunnelling in some extremely challenging ground. As the technology progresses, so does the demand for pressurized tunnels, which in many cases is pushing the envelope of possibilities.

Conventional wisdom considers two types of pressurized tunnelling – EPB and Slurry – with EPB used for ground conditions with high fines, and Slurry employed for granular material and areas of high hydrostatic heads. However, today's technology has narrowed, if not eliminated, the differences between these two technologies. Tunnelling at pressures over 6 bar and mining through low fines ground is not only possible with EPB machines, but in some cases is more desirable.

Steve Skelhorn has been working in soft ground tunnelling for over 30 years with specific experience in EPB tunnelling for over 25 years. This keynote based on his experiences and observations of TBM behaviours through the development of earth pressure machines and will discuss some of the key elements surrounding Earth Pressure Balance tunnelling from a practical viewpoint with case studies, and also weigh the balance with respect to TBM selection of EPB TBMs versus Slurry Machines.

Steve Skelhorn is a Project Sponsor with McNally Construction Inc and is also the Vice President, East of the Tunnelling Association of Canada.

Graduating in Mining Engineering in the UK in 1984, Steve has over 30 years' experience in soft ground segmental lined tunnels and has worked on various projects in the UK, USA and Canada. Recent projects have included the Toronto Sheppard Subway, the South Edmonton LRT, the Spadina Subway Tunnels, Big Walnut Creek in Columbus Ohio, the Coxwell Trunk Emergency Bypass in Toronto and most recently the Port Mann Water Tunnel in Vancouver - a high pressure EPB tunnel beneath the Fraser River.


Friday, November 9 – Guy Boston, City of Edmonton
Transforming Edmonton with Urban LRT

The vision for the City of Edmonton of the future is being catalyzed with a significant investment in LRT infrastructure. The 13 kilometer south east leg portion of the 27 kilometer Valley Line is now under construction with much more of the LRT network poised to be built in the not too distant future. The portfolio of urban LRT projects is designed to not only move people but also intended to spur on transit-oriented development supporting the City vision of redeveloping in a denser urban form. This presentation will touch on the planning, engagement, design and procurement processes of the entire LRT network, and provide construction updates on the Valley Line Southeast project.

In his new role as Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Manager, Guy Boston will be actively working to promote the investment and development opportunities that the LRT corridors have to offer with the goal of supporting Council's vision for the City of Edmonton. The role is essential to realizing Edmonton's Urban Transformation vision by leveraging the City's significant investment in LRT as a catalyst for change. Previously Guy was responsible for the development and delivery of the City's LRT expansion program, body of knowledge on Public-Private-Partnership (P3), and the delivery of one of the largest capital programs in Canada and the largest in the City's history.

Guy has a wide breadth of senior management experience in both the public and private sectors, has regional experience in economic development, and brings a deep appreciation and understanding of the critical business success factors required for City building. This combination positions him with the knowledge and expertise development partners and investors need to be able to successfully implement TOD.