• DFI Europe
  • DFI Trust

Tunneling and Underground

The purpose of this committee is to identify and facilitate the advancement of new methods and technologies for design, construction, inspection, maintenance and operation of tunnels and underground systems.

Committee Co-chair

James Morrison, P.E.
STV, Inc.

James Morrison is Vice President, Engineering Chief for STV Inc, and has 40 years of civil engineering experience. His career has covered a broad spectrum of large and complex underground and heavy construction working on bridges, dams, hydroelectric generating plants, highways, deep excavations, transportation, and water/sewer tunneling projects. He has participated on some of the largest tunneling projects in North America.  James has written numerous technical papers and served as a President for Deep Foundations Institute and both Cleveland OH Section and NW Michigan Branch of ASCE. Throughout his career, he has been recognized by his peers for his exceptional contributions to the industry.

Committee Co-chair

Robert Stier
Drill Tech Drilling & Shoring, Inc.

In 2018 Bob Stier joined Drill Tech Drilling & Shoring, Inc (DTDS) and brought with him with over 35 years of tunneling and underground experience, to oversee Drill Tech’s Eastern Region. DTDS is a leader in Specialty Geotechnical Construction Industry and performs tunneling operations throughout the United States.  In the three years Bob has been a part of DTDS he helped procure tunnel projects on both the West Coast and Eastern United States and has procured and managed Drill Techs first foundation projects in the eastern region.  Under his guidance Drill Tech procured their largest GC Design-Build Contract for National Parks Service and he is currently managing the project.

Prior to joining DTDS Bob worked as Area Manager for various Tunnel Construction Companies.  Bob has overseen various tunneling operations including conventional Drill-and-Blast tunnels, Pressurized Face operations, and hard rock tunnel boring machine (TBM) and microtunnel projects. Bob has both direct field supervision and project management experience on major underground projects across the nation. Starting his underground career as a laborer on the first hard rock TBM project in Southeast in 1980 he quickly moved to field engineer.  Upon graduating college, he has held positions as held positions as project engineer, project manager, chief estimator, general manager, and area manager.

Bob graduated in 1986 from Southern Polytechnic State University (Kennesaw State) in Marietta, GA with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Technology.


DFI Shotcrete Short Course

Jointly with ADSC-DFI Micropile Committee to define the state-of-practice for hollow bar elem2.75-day course covering shotcrete engineering, mix designs, materials, equipment, ACI Codes and specifications, construction, inspection, QA/QC, and field demonstrations used for civil and geotechnical, underground construction, shaft/tunnel, and mining projectsents and seek acceptance for use in highway projects.

GBR initiative – teaming with DFI Subsurface Characterization Committee

Geotechnical baseline reports are fundamental to all projects, but maybe all don’t see the benefits.  If you don’t know what type of soil you are building on, the potential for issues both during and after construction increases. The goal of this initiative is to raise the awareness and encourage the adoption of required geotechnical baseline reports to help promote timely, safer and more fiscally responsible projects by providing a clearer understanding of the soil conditions.

Tunnel Segment Book

Committee members writing book on tunnel segment design and state of practice

USACE Tunneling Specifications Review

Providing review and commentary on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ newly draft tunnel excavation specification

Support of Excavation State-of-Practice

White paper summary of the state-of-practice of excavation support methods and practices for tunnel construction


History of Tunneling in the United States

GeoConstructability – An Owner’s Guide to Obtaining Essential Geotechnical Information for Construction (documents the type of geotechnical information  that contractors need to estimate, plan and execute foundation projects)