The Gotthard Base Tunnel below the Swiss Alps will be the longest, deepest tunnel in the world. It will allow passenger trains and shuttles carrying lorries to cross the Alps, reducing energy use, pollution and congestion on the roads above. The tunnel is being built in phases and electronic systems are used to ensure the sections meet up to within 25cm. The engineers explain how they have developed a way to use the rubble from the excavations to produce high quality concrete to line the tunnel walls.
This clip could be used to illustrate electronics and control systems in civil engineering and to give an example of new developments in materials.This could generate discussions on recycling of waste material. Students could be encouraged to pay close attention to any examples of sustainability shown throughout the clip.
Students should be encouraged to consider the six ‘R’s: ‘rethink, reuse, recycle, repair, reduce, and refuse’, and a circular economy approach when making design and manufacturing decisions. Class discussion could centre on the extent to which the Gotthart Base Rail Tunnel team approached project with these six ‘R’s in mind.