Dr Nicola Della Valle after gaining an extensive experience in underground construction with leading general contractors is now starting as a freelance consultant ready to provide services to authorities, designers and contractors. A graduated mining engineer, he has worked in Italy, Chile, Mexico, Indonesia, China, Argentina, Singapore and Greece being involved in major underground projects with traditional and mechanized tunnelling with hard rock TBM and EPB shields. Now he is available to support and advise the parties involved in tunnel activities around the world. Visit www.nicdv.it for more information.

The transport safety team of UK consultant WS Atkins has been boosted by the recruitment of four new specialists and the return of two experts from the company’s office in Hong Kong. Of the four new faces, Kevin Thompson joins as principal safety consultant, responsible for railway safety, safety management systems and human factors. Nick Taylor joins as senior safety consultant, Oluyomi Ajibola as safety engineer responsible for safety management systems and quantified risk assessment and Gullam Valli takes up the role as safety, reliability and risk engineer. Meanwhile following a year long deployment in Hong Kong working on East Rail and West Rail projects, Derek Burn and Douglas Forbes return to new roles within the group. Burn will be responsible for underground railway system safety, safety management systems, quality assurance and hazard and operability studies. Forbes is currently working on safety audits for London Underground Ltd but is due to transfer to the US to work on oil and gas projects.

US tunnelling consultant, HNTB Corporation has announced the appointment of Hugh P. Caspe, P.E, as associate vice president, national director of tunnel services. Caspe, a veteran of 35 years in engineering design and the construction industry, will be based in the Boston office. He has led major multidiscipline tunnelling, transportation and water/wastewater projects nationwide. His expertise covers soft ground and rock tunnels, shafts, micro-tunnelling, slurry walls, cofferdams, utility relations and protection of existing structures. Previously, Caspe served as principle and owner of Caspe Consulting Co, in Massachusetts and prior to that led the national tunnels practice for Svedrup Corp.

The UK’s Transport Research Foundation, which owns TRL Limited, the UK’s leading center for transport research and consultancy, has appointed Dr Susan Sharland as chief executive. She joins from AEA Technology plc where she led a number of businesses including consulting and engineering software areas. Sharland has accumulated 20 years experience in research, development and deployment of science and engineering.

US firm GEI Consultants has appointed Aydin Tlabar as senior structural and hydraulic engineer and Joseph Green-Heffern as senior project manager. Tlabar has a range of experience in major dam, hydroelectric, and transportation projects. Green-Heffern brings 24 years experience of geotechnical engineering including design and construction for civil and geo-environmental projects. Gerald Ridzon has also been recruited as vice president of business development and Margaret Edwards as corporate marketing manager. GEI provide environmental, geotechnical, water and civils services to private sector clients, utilities, federal, state, and local government agencies.