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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N03435X/1
Title: Newton Fund - Shaking Tunnel Vision
Principal Investigator: Fuentes, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Knappett, Professor JA Brown, Professor MJ Fingerhuth, Dr S
Rodriguez, Ms P Nikitas, Professor N McLernon, Dr D
Anastasopoulos, Professor I Peña Fritz, Dr A Alcaino, Mr P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Metro Santiago Ministry of Public Works (Chile)
Department: Civil Engineering
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Newton Fund
Starts: 01 February 2016 Ends: 08 May 2018 Value (£): 253,758
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Geohazards Ground Engineering
Structural Engineering Survey & Monitoring
Transport Ops & Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Vision - In Shaking Tunnel Vision we want to develop novel disaster management strategies for tunnels under repeated seismic loading through innovative monitoring and analysis of a new World Class Case Study.


Tunnels are one of cities' and nations' critical lifelines in the modern World, transporting people, water, electricity, minerals and energy. They are an essential part of the infrastructure that serves people and therefore, are critical to their wealth and well-being. The impacts of global urbanisation and Climate Change are forcing nations to look towards underground space for their future infrastructure. Internationally, tunnel construction is increasing and Chile is no exception. Multiple tunnelling projects are in the country's pipeline or being currently designed and / or built (e.g. the Andean tunnel to connect Argentina and Chile, multiple underground mine tunnels, like the 1,000 km projected in the Chuquicamata mine and Hydraulic power plants, to name but a few).

Their behaviour under repeated seismic loading is not precisely understood and therefore, current designs and disaster risk management strategies could be greatly improved. This is, partly, due to the lack of performance data from real tunnels. Accidents are rare but they do occur, and when they do, have significant consequences (e.g. the Pedro Galleguillos tunnel in Tocopilla, 2007).

The purpose of this project is to design and install a monitoring system in ttwo tunnels (La Polvora, Valparaiso, and Metro Santiago) with the intention of: (1) fundamentally (re-)defining our understanding of the behaviour of tunnels under repeated seismic loading; (2) developing an engineering-risk-based disaster management approach for tunnels in seismic areas; (3) creating a case study that will become an internationally recognised reference and will be used widely in years to come for the validation of future improved numerical and analytical design approaches.
Key Findings
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk