The International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association


Founded in 1974 by the initiative of nineteen Nations, the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) which aims are:

to encourage the use of the subsurface for the benefit of public, environment and sustainable development and

to promote advances in planning, design, construction, maintenance and safety of tunnels and underground space, by bringing together information thereon and by studying questions related thereto.


Since then, ITA has considerably developed. Any independant nation, may through the medium of a National Organization become an ITA “Member Nation”. Presently, ITA gathers 71 Member Nations.

Corporations and individuals (as far as they fulfill the conditions) can participate in the activities of the Association by becoming an “Affiliate member”. ITA gathers 300 Corporate or Individual Affiliate Members.

Among the Corportae members some are more involved inside ITA being Prime Sponsors or Supporters.

The General Assembly, which met annually, resolves all questions concerning the organisation and conducts of the affairs of the Association; it shall approve the budget of receipts and expenditure, and appoint and organise all Committees of the Association; it shall decide on the admission of new adhering national Organisation and of the new affiliate member.

The General Assembly is host by a Member Nation at the occasion of the yearly World Tunnel Congress.


Briefly, some of the current goals of ITA include:

To encourage new uses of underground space for the benefit of the public, environment, and sustainable development.

To encourage studies of underground alternatives to surface construction, not only considering construction costs but also indirect life-cycle costs and savings as well as social and environmental advantages.

To stimulate the development of guidelines for a positive public strategy to take advantage of subsurface potential.

To encourage the development of better and cheaper methods for planning, geo-investigation, design, construction, operation, maintenance and safety of underground structures by using improved methods such as new technical developments and risk management principles.

To improve training of everyone, especially young professionals, by conducting workshops, by improving and coordinating academic programs worldwide, and by improved on-the-job training.

To bring together engineers, owners and others involved in the development of underground space, such as architects, planners, authorities, economists, lawyers, insurers, financers and politicians.

To arrange international exchange on developments in underground technology and experience from its use.


To reach its objectives, ITA has set up international working groups (WG) to study and report on specific topics. Today, 13 working groups are active.

ITA has 4 committees:

ITA-COSUF, Committee on Operational Safety in Underground facilities with the cooperation of the World Road Association-PIARC and all the major European fire research organizations.

ITA-CET, Committee on Education and Training, nicknamed « University Network »

ITA-CUS, Committee on Underground Space

ITAtech, Committee on New Technologies

President : Mr. Soren Eskesen

 ITA-AITES Secrétariat

c/o EPFL

GC D 1 402 (Bât. GC)

Station 18

CH 1015 Lausanne

Tel: + 41 21 693 23 10

[email protected]