Ben van den Horn

Ben van den Horn

The ITA COSUF award is granted annually to a student, young professional or researcher (less than 35 years old at the deadline of the application) who has recently completed an outstanding research work in theory and / or practice in the area of operational safety or security of underground facilities. If the research work belongs to a group of young researchers, the group can apply under the condition that all applicants are less than 35 years old.

The award is ceremoniously presented and handed over by ITA COSUF chairman at an ITA COSUF event. The chairman outlines the reasons for the decision and congratulates the winner. The award consists of a certificate and 1000 € in cash. ITA COSUF also grants the travel and accommodation to attend the award ceremony. The award winner is invited to present his/her work at the same event. Additionally, he/she is asked to draft a 2‑page contribution for the ITA COSUF Newsletter and website. If the award winner is a team, only one team member (the team leader) is granted for travel and accommodation by ITA COSUF.

The winner of the award is selected by the ITA COSUF steering board. Eligible for the award are those works that are specifically aimed at safety or security of underground facilities in operation, preferably reflecting an interdisciplinary approach. Among other criteria, the selected works should:

  • describe new aspects in the area of safety in operation and/or security in underground facilities,
  • have been completed for no more than two years before the time of the application,
  • be of outstanding quality, including clear and concise descriptions of the objectives, scientific basis, work steps, results achieved and their relation to the current state of the art,
  • be significant and represent a unique contribution.Candidates need not be ITA COSUF members. Applications for the award must be sent to the ITA secretariat. They shall include:
  •  curriculum vitae (in English),
  • description of work done in the field of safety in operation and/or security of underground facilities (in English),
  • documents and publications produced by the applicant,
  • any other document, certificate, etc. deemed useful to support the application.


 The deadline for application is 30 June 2018 (receipt of the application file by the ITA secretariat). The selection of the winner will be made by the ITA COSUF Steering Board by 15 September 2018. The award will be handed over during the ITA COSUF workshop which will take place during an ITA COSUF General Assembly in 2nd of October 2018, before the PIARC International Conference on Road Tunnel Operations and Safety Workshop, 3 -5 October 2018 in Lyon. The nominee will give a short presentation of his/her work during the General Assembly.

For registration download the pdf below. !

The last ITA COSUF Newsletter of 2017 is now available !  You can download the attachment to obtain the latest ITA COSUF Newsletter 26, December 2018.

ITA COSUF Workshop during AFTES 2017
19 Sep 2017

The contribution of ITA COSUF to AFTES 2017 is:

Technical Session & ITA COSUF Round Table

Designing, Operating and Upgrading Complex Underground Hubs


The round table will enhance discussions between you and other experts about complex underground hubs. Questions may be raised starting from design up to the operational phase including upgrading concerns. The goal is to exchange knowledge between all tunnel professionals: the asset owners, operators, rescue services, engineers, managers and consultants. Good practices, bad practices, needs for improvement and new solutions for these complex underground hubs will be addressed.

Please register for the ITA COSUF Workshop on 14 November 2017 in Paris (France). Download the preliminary programme via the button "Download attachment". In the leaflet there is a Registration Link.

ITA COSUF Honorary Sponsor of ISTSS 2018 in Borås, Sweden 14 – 16 March 2018
07 Sep 2017

ISTSS 2018 endorsed by ITA COSUF

The next International Symposium on Tunnel Safety and Security will be held in Borås, Sweden 14 – 16 March 2018 !

Safety and Security have been high on the scientific agenda for decades, no more so than after the tragic attacks of nine-eleven in New York. The success of the International Symposium on Tunnel Safety and Security (ISTSS) is a tribute to the pressing need for continued international research and dialogue on these issues, perhaps in particular connected to complex infrastructure such as tunnels and tunnel networks.

The focus has mainly been on fires and safety in tunnels, but it is shifting more and more towards security. The new terrorist threats and focus on how to solve these problems is increasing. The need for expertise in this area for underground infrastructure in general is continuously increasing. We urge scientists and practicing engineers in this field to consider ISTSS as good quality forum for presenting their results. The aim is to make ISTSS as a natural forum for scientists and practicing engineers to exchange information in the future.

Who should attend?
Tunnels are an increasingly important part of the infrastructure network. They create challenges for traffic and emergency management, fire safety and security against attacks or sabotage. This Symposium will offer an excellent opportunity for experts working with transport, emergency management, risk analysis, infrastructure security, tunnel consultants, system providers, tunnel operation and research to exchange their experiences in an international forum.

How to attend and more information




ITA COSUF Newsletter 25, July 2017
18 Jul 2017

The latest ITA COSUF Newsletter of 2017 is now available !  You can download the attachment to obtain the latest ITA COSUF Newsletter 25, July 2017.


Norwegian Tunnel Safety Conference, 7-8 September 2017, Stavanger, Norway
05 Jul 2017

ITA COSUF would like to draw your attention to the the Norwegian Tunnel Safety Conference (NTSC). NTSC brings together tunnel operators and owners, policy makers, fire and rescue services with researchers and the tunneling industry to spark innovative solutions to improve tunnel safety. It is a two-day event with the theme Personal safety in tunnels on day 1 and ITS support on day 2. There will be various site visits and there is an exhibition. More information can be found on

On the 13th of June 2017 the ITA COSUF Workshop on New Security Challenges for Design and Operation took place. This workshop was organised as part of the World Tunnelling Congress 2017. The audience consisted of about 25 ITA COSUF members and many other delegates from WC 2017.

ITA COSUF Chairman Roland Leucker underlined in his opening word that the security aspects in the design and operation of underground facilities have become increasingly important in recent years. The need for underground space use in society makes them potential for new security threats. Therefore, here is a need of new knowledge by designers and operators how these threats should be assessed and mitigated.

Various internationally leading experts enlightened the audience with insight on how different threats for the underground facilities can be identified and on the impact of human factors in case of disaster and terror. Michael Faber from the Aalborg University explained that there is a growing public concern for the occurrences of terrorist attacks. Tunnels are part of society’s critical infrastructure. Nowadays, there is a tendency that successful terrorist attacks may be categorized as “low tech” (e.g. improvised explosive devises), or “lone wolf/small cell”  (planned and conducted), or uncoordinated and random targets and times of attacks. In this presentation it became clear that world-wide expenditures for managing terrorist attack risks are sky high and generally out of proportion with their effect. Therefore, risk-based decision making is needed which consistently and transparently balances risk reductions with committed expenditures. A systems approach for risk modelling was presented.

Another example was Christian Thienert from Stuva who presented a research project on protection of traffic, tunnel and public transport control centres against cyber-attacks. The exemplary scenarios for attack can be an aimed blocking of tunnel, demolition of technical equipment or trying to let safety systems malfunction. The audiance learned that counter measures can be of a technical (periodical updates, deactivation of critical interfaces, secured remote access), organisational (hard & software management, system of rules for external supplier, evaluation of status messages) or personnel nature (awareness training for employees, regular advanced training, redundant system of administrators).

Terje Andreassen from the Norwegian Coastal Administration impressed the audience with the security issues of a mega project the Stad Ship Tunnel in Norway that has been decided upon earlier this year. The ship tunnel will reduce the risk of accidents at sea, reduce waiting time, lead to more efficient transport of people and freight which has a positive effect on the environment and economy. Terje Andreassen also addressed how to prevent actions of terror connected to the Stad Ship tunnel.

Benjamin Truchot of Ineris presented information on the impact of hazardous goods in tunnels The passage of hazardous goods through road tunnels was assessed to improve security management planning. Last but not least Götz Vollmann of Ruhr University of Bochum went into explosions and fires in tunnels to identify structural threats and possible mitigation measures.

Before the workshop the Activity Group Meetings took place.

At the end we could look back at another successful day with good lectures, discussions and networking possibilities.

ITA COSUF Newsletter December 2016
25 Dec 2016

The last ITA COSUF Newsletter of 2016 is now available ! It brings a short look back to the last year and a view on the activities of ITA COSUF in the coming year. You can download the attachment to obtain the latest ITA COSUF Newsletter December 2016.



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