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EFUC - A Forum for Europe's Tunnel Builders and Specialist Civil Engineers

Dipl.-Ing. Rolf Bielecki, Ph.D., Hamburg
Chairman of WSDTI (German-Czech Scientific Foundation)
and EFUC (European Forum on Underground Construction)

Europe is currently engaged in a rapid process of closer coordination. Joint political institutions and economic links are becoming more important, and international cooperation is also needed at technical and scientific level. That applies increasingly to the Central and Eastern European countries which acceded to the European Union. There are tremendous opportunities in many areas of engineering, the economy and the environment, with new developments in all areas of underground construction, such as pipeline construction and the building of transport tunnels, power generating and storage, and subterranean architecture with underground storage facilities, shops, and cultural spaces such as concert halls, theatres and cinemas. These potentials can be optimally used only if engineers, architects and scientists, city planners, business representatives and political decision makers work together in close coordination and combine their resources both at national and international level, to become a driving force for new developments in an economically strong Europe.

The EFUC is an open and interdisciplinary forum for all European organisations involved in underground construction. It helps to arrange contacts with specialists, and specifically helps the new members with access to and dissemination of information, organises conferences and international discussion events, and working groups covering specific engineering, environmental and economic aspects. The major goals of the EFUC also include joint European developments for the underground construction space, opening up new construction areas for the industry. The EFUC aims to help avoid repetition of mistakes and the economic losses involved. A key factor in that effort is to provide a forum for both large companies and SMEs and consulting organisations in the various specialist fields of tunnelling and underground construction, promoting the exchange of ideas, and giving clear signals to the educational institutions training the next generation of engineers. The existing national and international associations have therefore been invited to participate in the exchange of ideas in this Forum, and not to keep to themselves in their individual niches, as often happens in some areas of engineering.

The aim of the European Forum on Underground Construction (EFUC) is increasingly to become a community of European solidarity in engineering.