First of all, I would like to make a quick apology for the late delivery of this issue, I hope it made it to you in time to get in your suitcase and you’re now sat on a beach reading this, enjoying your summer holidays. We’re running a week behind on this issue as we’ve been trekking all over the place to take part in the busy spring conference season.

From the World Tunnelling Congress in Helsinki to the Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference in San Francisco and the Underground Construction exhibition in London, it has been a busy season. And, in many hotel lobbies and bars over the past months there has been a begrudging of all the events for crowding the diary, but enough has been said about that over a glass or two and I’ve already blogged on it too (this is where I plug the newly launched blog on, so check that out along with my twitter feed @TunnelsEditor).

But there is no denying that some great papers were delivered, useful knowledge transferred and new contacts made – and that is why these events are held.

And this brings me to my second comment. T&TI has long been a trusted source of reliable technical content. It has kept the industry informed of long lasting papers that get reprinted round the globe and advance tunnelling None more so than the O’Reily-New paper first announced in the May 1982 issue of T&TI and which led to the widely used New-Bowers paper. It has also brought the most in-depth reports of the greatest tunnelling projects, achievements and hallenges through regular news coverage and reports.

And it continues to do all these things (Bowers is in this issue on page 42, O’Reily is scheduled for the September issue of T&TI and rumours have it New is working on a new paper, which we’ll publish as soon as we have it).

As we move into the second half of 2011 it becomes time to start planning for next year. We’d like to hear from you. As we develop the plans for 2012 we’d like to feature the project you are working on, the system you are trialing, the method you are testing or the research you are carrying out. T&TI remains the best method for disseminating new ideas, breakthroughs, successes and lessons learnt. I hope you enjoy this month’s installment over a beer by the barbecue or with your feet up by the pool!

Jon Young