Curriculum Vitae :    Dr. Ian McFeat-Smith



PROFESSION: Civil and Geotechnical Engineering


Principal, IMS Tunnel Consultancy Ltd (launched April 1997 )

SPECIALISATIONS: TBMs, Water Inflow and Risk Management


BSc(Hons) Applied Geology
PhD Mining Engineering
Member of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
Registered Professional Engineer - Civil, Geotechnical


Ian is a consultant for civil and geotechnical aspects of tunnel, shaft and cavern works with substantial international experience in the design and construction for mass transit systems and highway projects, water, flood relief, sewage, drainage, utility, and HEP power projects including the Hong Kong MTR and KCR Guangzhou, Taipei and Athens Metro Systems and Singapore MRT.

His experience embraces civil and geotechnical aspects of a wide variety of tunnel and shaft forms in rock and soft ground for mined, TBM (hard rock, slurry, EPB, dual mode), pipejacking, roadheader and drill and blast tunnels.

He is an international specialist in tunnel machine applications and provides expert witness accounts of tunneling mishaps worldwide for Clients, Contractors and Insurers.


April 1997 - to present; Principal and Managing Director, IMS Tunnel Consultancy Ltd.

Independent Consultant for Risk Management Supervision of Kowloon South Link - KDB200

Involved in Risk Management for KCRC Underground Station and 4kms of deep shafts, cut and cover tunnels and slurry hard rock TBM for bored tunnels in mixed face conditions. Responsible at tender for Risk Assessment and Management Plan and detailed risk registers and risk mitigation measures for station, cut and cover, bored tunnel and engineering design and management aspects of these works; on-going role as Independent Consultant supervision of risk management process during construction in accordance with Statutory Requirements and Best International Practices.

Blasting expert services to Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corporation, South Island Line and West Island Line Extensions. Provision of blasting expert for quantified risk assessments for management of explosives, blasting practices and controlled blasting next to sensitive structures for about 10kms of twin bore railway tunnels and underground stations.

Technical Advisor and Director for Hydrotech Asia Ltd. Reviews of concrete technology and promotion of  electro-osmosis methodology for controlling groundwater inflows through concrete structures.

Tender Review for Brisbane Airport Link Highway Tunnels. Tender review, risk assessment and peer review for twin bore 2kms of twin 3-lane bored tunnels using roadheader or drill and blast excavation and 1.5 kms of twin bored EPB TBM driven tunnels in urban areas in Brisbane in hard rock and mixed face conditions. Project valued at A$3.6B

TBM Expert on �High Level Committee, Parbati, HEP Head Race Tunnel, Punjabi, India. Responsible for reviewing failure of TBM and Drill and Blast headings in severe tunneling conditions including high insitu stresses with rock bursts and silting up of TBM from major water inflows in Himalayas leading to potential abandonment of 800MW power station (HK4.8B). Committee includes Secretary for Power, Indian Government as Chairperson.   

Tunnel design consultant for Black and Veatch: Investigation and design work for two TBM tunnels in Hong Kong for WSD including a 7.5km long pipe tunnel for transference of potable water and a 3km long raw water tunnel.

Independent Consultant Reviewing tenders for  Leighton John Holland JV for Lai Chi Kok Tunnels and Shafts.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Risk Management Plan and Risk Registers including Mitigation Measures
  • Predicting Water Inflows and Site Management by means of Probing and Grouting

Independent Consultant Reviewing tenders for  Leighton John Holland JV for Tsuen Wan Tunnels and Shafts.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Risk Management Plan and Risk Registers including Mitigation Measures
  • Predicting Water Inflows and Site Management by means of Probing and Grouting
  • Reviewing TBM and Raise Bore Selection and predicting TBM Performance
  • Reviewing temporary support systems

Independent Consultant Reviewing tenders for Leighton John Holland JV for Hong Kong West DSD Tunnels and Shafts;

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Risk Management Plan and Risk Registers including Mitigation Measures
  • Predicting Water Inflows and Site Management by means of Probing and Grouting
  • Reviewing TBM and Raise Bore Selection and predicting TBM Performance
  • Reviewing temporary support systems

Expert Witness for Mediation, for  ETWB Hong Kong Government vs Gammon Skanska for tunnel lining design issues for Nam Wan Highway Tunnel Project (16m span).

Expert Witness for Dragages Hong Kong Ltd for Pacific Place / Queensway Subway Tunnel Lining Issues.

Expert Witness for Commercial Claim for Subansiri HEP Head Race tunnels, Assam India. Claim for non-performance of eight road header tunneling machines in soft sandstones.


Independent Tunnel Consultant for SMEC  for SMART  (Stormwater Management and Road Transportation) Tunnel Malaysia - reviewing causes for 37 collapse incidents above 10km of 14.5m diameter slurry hard rock TBM  in Kuala Lumpur.

Tunnel Advisory Consultancy Services for head race tunnels for 4 no. (privitised) HEP projects in SIKKIM Province India.

Tender Review for Brisbane N-S Bypass Tunnel. Tender review, risk assessment and peer review for twin bore 4kms of bored tunnels using double shielded TBMs and 4 no. roadheader tunnels below river and urban areas in Brisbane's hard metamorphic rocks.

Engineering Manager Eagles Nest Highway Tunnels. Leighton Kumai JV

Series of ground related services provided to contractor including risk assessment and management, special grouting and blasting services, geological face mapping and temporary support selection, design of temporary support systems and commercial support for these twin bore, 2km long, 18m span tunnels in mixed face and hard rock conditions.

Advisory / Design - 500m long access tunnel for BP's proposed rock cavern oil storage facility at Zhuhai, China

Consultant - Two DSD Flood Relief Tunnels projects, HK.    Responsible to Hyder Consultants for the planning, preliminary design, costing and programming for 5kms hard rock tunnels for Lai Chi Kok and to Binnie Black and Veatch for same for 10.6kms of 8m diam. tunnels for flood relief system on HK Island.


Tunnel Design Team Leader and TBM Consultant , KCRC Lok Ma Chau Extension � Responsible to Leighton Kumagai JV for bid design of segmentally lined tunnels, all geological / geotechnical and risk assessments for 3.3km 9m diam. tunnels for extreme mixed face conditions of soils and volcanic tuffs. 

Consultant - Middle Marsyangdi HEP Tunnel , Nepal for Diwidag for long tunnel in highly fractured metamorphic rocks with high insitu stresses and water inflows. Study of TBM and drill and blast options.

Expert Tunnel Services - Pak Shing Kok Tunnels, MTR TKO Extension specialist report to insurance loss adjuster on causes and recovery due to leakages in 2,300m of insitu lined undrained tunnel and cross-over caverns with waterproof membrane for 12kms of drill and blast tunnels..

Tunnel Consultant - Parammatta Rail Linkfor Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd for 14 kms twin railway tunnels with 6 no. new stations caverns. The 20m wide shotcrete lined cavern stations to be excavated using roadheaders in an area with high horizontal stresses.  Responsible for design and construct issues including geotechnical evaluation, excavation and support systems, waterproofing and  for plant selection.

Tunnel Consultant - Kaohshiung Metro Contract 1, Taipei for Shimizu Corporation. Review of tender , geology, TBM performance and risks  for 3kms of twin bored tunnels using segmental linings in soft ground using EPBMs.  

Consultant - Bakun 2 Water Transfer Tunnel, Philippines, for Leighton Contractors on site engineering geological advisory role for 10km BOT,  TBM tunnel in area of potentially high water inflows, earthquakes and insitu stresses.


Consultant - Singapore Cable Tunnel to NCC / ENCON for tender for 5.2km long subaqueous cable tunnel and shafts in marine and alluvial deposits, sedimentary rocks, karst Jurong limestones and 11 no. mixed face interfaces. Services include geological evaluation, bid-design, management of water inflows and selection of appropriate tunnelling methods. 

Expert Tunnel Services - Advisor to Bilfinger + Berger for claims regarding obstructions to pipejacking works on Aberdeen Sewage Tunnels, Hong Kong using Herrenknecht hard rock slurry TBM in Fill, alluvium, weathered tuffs, mixed face conditions and 300Mpa hard rock

Expert Tunnel Services -  Casecnan Hydropower Scheme, specialist report to insurance loss adjuster  on causes and recovery following a major collapse of a raise bore, 270m deep surge shaft in Philippines during construction.

Tunnel Consultant - Meinhardt / MEIMS responsible as tunnel team leader for  KCRC's SCL 300 feasibility study for 12kms of tunnel and 6 underground stations ( including two rock caverns) and a fourth harbour crossing study by Immersed Tube or TBM. Tunnelling works in difficult mixed face conditions (alluvial /weathered granite / 300Mpa granite) using large diameter (7.5 & 13.8m) hard rock multi-mode TBMs below dense urban areas, adjacent structures and railways.

 Expert Tunnel Services- Singapore MRT, Contract 710 NE Line to Shimizu for commercial claims regarding performance of four no. EPBMs  in soft ground, rock and mixed face geological conditions.

Tunnel Consultant - Singapore MRT, Marina Line for Hyder Consultants. Preliminary Design and Tender Review of 6 kms of EPBM driven tunnel for Contracts 824 & 825 , in soft ground, mixed face conditions and sub-aqueous crossing. NATM elements of these works include twin tunnel over � run tunnels and a station cavern in soft ground.

Tunnel Consultant - Bakun Water Transfer Tunnel, Philippines, for Leighton Contractors. Planning, feasibility studies and advisory studies for tender for 10km BOT tunnel in area of potentially high water inflows, earthquakes and insitu stresses.

Tunnel Design Consultant for Mott McDonald for detailed design for Route 10 Highway Tunnels for 2km, 12m diam. twin bored cavern sized tunnels by drill and blast excavation.

Tunnel Consultant Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme. Evaluation of TBM performance and probing and grouting  for 10kms of subaqueous tunnels for Paul Y SELIs successful tender. Later engaged on Contract DC/96/18 on method statements, TBM performance, management of water inflows including grouting options and commercial aspects.

Tunnel Consultant - New Wu Chieh Power Diversion Tunnel, Taiwan, for Kumagai Gumi . Design of temporary support systems for 6.5m diameter hard rock TBM drive in highly cleated slates and sedimentary rocks including  studies for 7km tunnel in area of potentially high water inflows, earthquakes and insitu stresses.

Tunnel Consultant - Kai Tak Sewage Scheme, Tender design, plant selection and method statements for AMEC tender for this 1.5 km long, 4m diam. EPBM or Slurry TBM in extreme Hong Kong  mixed face conditions.

Tunnel Consultant - El Madiq aqueduct tunnel in Lebanon, 4km of  driven tunnel in Karst Limestones. Responsible for Design and Construction VE Reviews and then Tender  Analysis for local consultant BTD.

Tunnel Consultant - Subaqueous crossing of Bosphorous, Istanbul, Turkey. Tender design of  9.6km , 5.5m diam. TBM, EPBM and drill & blast tunnels partly below Urban Areas in soft ground, mixed faces  and karst limestones

Tunnel Consultant - Guangzhou Metro Line 2 to Guangzhou Municiple Institute. Design of segmental linings, EPBM performance and plant selection for 8kms of tunnels in soft ground and mixed face for this successful bid.

Tunnel Consultant - Contract T-03, Singapore Deep Tunnel Sewerage System. Tunnel advisory services for successful bid for 5.7kms of EPBM tunnel in soft ground. Plant selection, method statements. and TBM performance

Tunnel Design Consultant for Parsons Brinkerhoff Asia-for 800m long 3.8m diam hard rock cable tunnel to Cyberport by drill & blast for Hong Kong Electric Co Ltd.

Advisor\Reviewer for Tunnelling Projects, Philippines.

 A.TBM tunnelling works at Casecnan Power Scheme, Philippines :assessment of advance rates, plant and risks.

B.Review of Contractors performance on 13km long, 4.88m diameter Umiray Angat water tunnel using a  double shielded TBM with hexagonal segmental lining, water inflows up to 600l\s, high insitu stress and face collapses.

Tunnel Design Consultant for Atkins China Ltd for detailed design for Central Kowloon Route Highway Tunnels for 2km, 12m diam. twin bored drill and blast tunnels.

Bid design work including conventional drill and blast excavation for tenderers for West Rail for  Leighton - Kumagai JV.

Independent Consultant to Leighton - Kumagai JV for Tai Po to Butterfly Valley Aqueducts including 13.2km of  TBM tunnels, pipejacking and Drill & Blast .Responsible for assisting with TBM selection , method statements for water control, geological matters and temporary support.

Discovery Bay North Link. Temporary works design for 400m long, 14m span bored drill and blast highway tunnel including excavation sequencing and temporary supports.

MTR Tseung Kwan O Extension. Preliminary Design for 13.3kms of Drill & Blast Bored Tunnels for Black Hill Tunnels, Pak Shing Kok Tunnels and Lam Tunnels for Hyder  Consulting \ MTRC.

Project Manager for MTR Chek Lap Kok Connection Study, including patronage, alignment, station planning, operational, and engineering studies. Including  two stations and 8 kms of bored tunnels for subaqueous crossing

Tunnel Team Leader for preliminary design of Route 16 Highway including 4kms of twin 16m span drill and blast rock cavern sized tunnels

Bid Design Manager for 4kms of TBM driven railway tunnel and station extension work for HK$2.5B Quarry Bay Extension for ACL.  Works including drill and blast, station caverns and two hard rock TBM drives.


1994 to 1997                                         Director Atkins Haswell, a member of the WS Atkins Group of Companies

West Rail, KCRC: Team Leader Bored Tunnels for preliminary design of bored tunnels for Central Section (TS 300) including 10km of 8m dia bored tunnels in soft ground and rock for major main line underground railway.

Central Kowloon Route: Director for Route Option Study for dual two lane bored tunnel crossing of Kowloon peninsular including full traffic, urban planning and environmental studies.

Project Director, Kennedy Town MTR Extension Feasibility Study (WIL) for patronage, operations, depots, engineering, costs, programme, station planning, and associated development studies. Works including 4km twin bored tunnel, 4 station underground extension of the Hong Kong Island Line.

Director responsible for Quantified Risk Assessment for several confidential geotechnical and structural projects: Clients including GEO, Hong Kong Housing Authority, Hong Kong Housing Society and Attika Metro (Greece).-

Athens Metro: Independent consultant responsible for VE review of design and construction aspects of this  metro system consisting of 12kms of bored softground/mixed face tunnelling and 20 station caverns. Appointment at ministerial level following series of major collapses of  9.8m diam  driven tunnels to street level.


1985 to 1994                                                                       Director Charles Haswell & Partners (Far East) Ltd

Planning, design and supervision of Hong Kong�s first four TBM projects :

  •          HK Electric cable tunnel- 5.5km long, 4.8m dia, shotcrete lined tunnel excavated by a   high performance Robbins TBM with a soft ground tunnel and extensive site formation works;
  •          DSD's Tolo Effluent Export Scheme;  - 7.5km long, 3.35m dia, segmentally lined    double shielded TBM driven tunnel, portals and shaft.
  •          HK & China Gas Co   -2.65km long, shotcrete lined TBM driven tunnel and associated site formation works for the. to house a 600mm gas main.
  •          Sui Ho Wan to Silvermine Bay WSD tunnel on Lantau subconsultancy services for a 7km long, 3.5m dia water excavated  by a double shielded TBM.

Jakarta MTR: Responsible for initiating private sector studies of a 40 km subway system including 37 stations and 28 km of tunnels.  Studies included layout of system, station locations, patronage/fare forecasts, costs & progm.

Sham Tseng Link : Co-Director for Feasibility Studies for a major bridge or 8km long tunnel road crossing linking Lantau Island to mainland.

Second Taiwan Freeway - Technical Audit for insurer for collapse of 120m long sections of twin bores for 3 lane highway tunnel in  soft sedimentary rocks using NATM supports. Expert advisor for Arbitration Proceedings.

Airport Rail Link : Investigations and detailed design of 5kms drill and blast tunnels for Lai King Tunnel/ Cavern Complex.

Route 3 Tsing Yi : Detailed design of 1.5km of twin 17m wide (3 lane) drill and blast rock  tunnels

Bennelong Carpark Rock Cavern, Sydney. Design review for 17m span donought shaped cavern in Sandstone.

City Plaza : Pedestrian subway linking development with Tai Koo Station, part cut & cover part bored tunnel.

Southern District Railway: Hong Kong Island.  Responsible for initiating and studying a 12 km railway with 8 stations, 7 km of tunnels and 5 km elevated track for Swire Properties/Bougues for a BOT proposal to Government. 

Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme : Feasibility Study and Investigation for 65km of TBM driven partly subaqueous deep tunnels, shafts, cavern and outfalls. Preliminary design of 26kms of deep subaqueous tunnels, 12 shafts and outfall. (Subsequently worked on site on construction of TBM tunnels and shafts and outfall for Philip Holtsman and PaulY/SELI contract Contract DC/96/18 -  see above). 

Associate then Partner with input on the following of the firm's projects: a. Pedestrian Subway, Pacific Place to Admiralty MTR Station - planning, design and supervision for major subway beneath heavily trafficked Queensway. b. Route 3 Highway Project, Hong Kong.  Feasibility studies and preliminary design for this 30km highway which included options for immersed tubes, three lane twin bored cavern sized rock tunnels, various bridges and deep cut excavations.  c. Tate's Cairn Highway Tunnel, Hong Kong.  BOT design/construct franchise bid for this 3.9km highway tunnel project.  Subsequently involved as ICE on site.

Hongkong Electric Co., Power Cable Line.  Investigation, detailed design and construction supervision of this 3.1km long, drill and blast cable tunnel, site formation works and 2km of trough founded on caissons.

Singapore Mass Transit System (MRT).  Assessment of nine major insurance claims for loss adjuster Toplis and Harding (US$2-5M each) for slope collapses in stations; for settlement due to soft ground tunnelling, and failure of sheet pile walls; and heave of a major highway from jet grouting.

Pak Kong Water Transfer Facilities, Hong Kong.  Planning, investigations, design and supervision of a major water treatment works, 6km of bored drill and blast tunnels.

 Singapore Mass Rail Transit (MRT) Phase 1b. Geotechnical assessments of open cut station boxes and interconnecting bored tunnels in soft ground for 4 no, design and construct contracts.

1978-1984 Senior Engineer then Associate working on Island Line Section of Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway.  Studies, and design of 20km of railway works for running line stations, passenger adits, open-cut station concourses, shafts and associated works including Tai Koo rock cavern, 24m diameter, 300m long with only 11m cover

WSD Western Aqueduct Project:  Planning, design and supervision of 19km of tunnels, 6km of pipelines, 10km of roads and site formation works for a major pumping station and treatment works. 

Seconded for 8 months to the MTRC Design Management Team on bored tunnel works in soft ground (Contracts 301 and 302) and rock (Contracts 303 and 305) on the Tsuen Wan Extension .

1974-1978 Resident Engineering Geologist engaged on Kielder Water Scheme.  Responsible for all geological matters relating to the construction of 32km of hard rock TBM and roadheader driven transfer tunnels. Research work carried out on performance of failure of several roadheaders following failure of Tyssen Purat Roadheader to cut hard sandstone and withdrawal of machine from tunnel.   

1971-1974 Department of Mining Engineering, University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Working on National Coal Board sponsored project.  This included research in civil and mining engineering roadheader driven tunnels and resulted in the award of a PH.D in rock mechanics and excavation technology.



  • Mechanised Tunnelling for Asia, Published IMS Tunnel Consultancy, Hong Kong 1998, available from website
  • Water inflows in bored tunnels in Hong Kong: Prediction , construction methods and control methods ICE Conference on Urban Ground Engineering .Hong Kong Nov.1998. Risk Sharing Options for Rock Tunnelling Contracts, Asia Engineer, May 1997.
  • Design and Construction of Hong Kong's First Three Lane Highway Tunnels, IX Australian Tunnelling Conference, Sydney, Australia, August 1996.

And 60 others covering all aspects of tunnelling, TBM performance and tunnelling conditions.



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