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Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

WTC2023 Keynote Speakers

A significant number of distinguished keynote speakers have been invited. Information about names and lectures are gradually announced on this section.


Professor Marc Panet

WTC2023 Muir Wood Lecturer
The Convergence – Confinement Method
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Professor Kyriazis Pitilakis

Seismic design and risk assessment of tunnels and underground structures
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Muir Wood Lecturer

Since Sir Alan Muir Wood passed away in 2009, ITA has established the “Muir Wood Lecture” that is delivered once a year at the occasion of the World Tunnel Congress (WTC). The first “Muir Wood Lecture” was delivered during WTC2010 and has continued every year since.

The list of Muir Wood lecturers is presented below:  

WTC 2010 (Vancouver)

Prof. Einar Broch

Former ITA President

WTC 2011 (Helsinki)

Prof. Robert Mair

Civil Engineering chair at Cambridge University (UK)

WTC 2012 (Bangkok)

Prof. Fritz Grübl

Managing Partner of PSP Consulting Engineers GmbH and Professor for Tunnelling at University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart (Germany)

WTC 2013 (Geneva)

Mr. Richard J. Robbins

President of The Robbins Group LLC (USA)

WTC 2014 (Iguassu)

Prof. Georgios Anagnostou

Head of the Institute for Geotechnical Engineering of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (Switzerland)

WTC 2015 (Dubrovnik)

Prof. Eng. Pietro Lunardi

Founder and CEO of Rocksoil and former Italian Minister for Infrastructures and Transport (2001-2006)

WTC 2016 (San Francisco)

Em. Prof. Peter Kaiser

Bharti School of Engineering, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

WTC 2017 (Bergen)

Em. Prof. Hakan Stille

Royal Institute of Technology – Stockholm, Sweden

WTC 2018 (Dubai)

Em. Prof. Edward Cording

University of Illinois (USA)

WTC 2019 (Naples)

Dr. Ing. E.h. Martin Herrenknecht

Founder and CEO of Herrenknecht AG

Due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of the WTC in 2020 and 2021 there was no presentation for these two years.

WTC 2022 (Copenhagen)

Mr. Tom Melbye

Consultant and Member of Board of Directors of Normet Group

Professor Marc Panet

The 12th Muir Wood lecture will be delivered by Professor Marc Panet during the WTC2023 in Athens. His nomination being a Muir Wood lecturer was proposed by the French Tunnelling & Underground Space Association (AFTES) as per ITA’s Statues and By-laws.

Marc Panet graduated in Civil Engineering at the École des Mines de Paris and obtained a Master degree at the University of California at Berkeley. He started his career in 1965 at the Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées, in Paris, where he was a Research Engineer, Head of the Geotechnical Department and Technical Director. In 1982 he joined the SHP Group, in Paris, as Scientific Director. From 1984 to 1996 he was the President and CEO of SIMECSOL; and from 1996 to 2000 President and CEO of FC International SA. Since then he has been working as a consultant. He taught at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, at the École des Mines and at the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, in Paris.

Marc has been in charge of numerous studies in geotechnical engineering for underground works, highways, bridges, and natural hazards. Among the main projects are: the Mont Blanc Tunnel (11.6km), the Frejus Road Tunnel (12.9 km), the Large Electron–Positron Collider (CERN in Geneva), the Channel Tunnel (from 1967 to the end of the construction), the Millau Bridge, the Loetschberg Base Tunnel (43 km), subways in Paris, Rennes, Caracas, Athens and Algiers, the slides of the city of Constantine (Algeria), the project of the suspended bridge on the Straits of Messina (Italy) and the project of the cable-stayed bridge on the Golden Horn (Turkey). He is presently involved in a large number of geotechnical projects.

He is the author of a large number of publications in professional journals and international conferences and of the well-known book “Calculation of tunnels using the convergence-confinement method”.

Marc Panet is a Honorary Member of the French Academy of Technology, Knight of the National Order of Merit and Knight of the Order of Academic Palms.

Professor Kyriazis Pitilakis

Professor Emeritus, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
Vice-President of the European Association of Earthquake Engineering

Professor Kyriazis Pitilakis has more than forty years of intensive academic, research and professional experience in civil, earthquake and geotechnical engineering. Vice-President of the European Association of Earthquake Engineering (EAEE) (, ex- Chairman of the Technical Committee “Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering andAssociated Problems” (TC203) of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), and past President of the Greek Society of Earthquake Engineering. He is presently Professor Emeritus in Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece and since 2019 visiting Professor in Tongji University, International Laboratory of earthquake Engineering (ILEE), Shanghai, China.

Coordinator and scientific responsible of numerous European research projects, namely EUROSEISTEST ( and SYNER-G (, he has a long experience in European research activities in earthquake engineering, geotechnical engineering, vulnerability and risk assessment of civil engineering structures, infrastructures and lifelines. According to the recent Stanford classification he is among the top 10 leading researchers in Civil Engineering in Greece, and among the top 10 leading international researchers in specific topics like Soil Dynamics, Engineering Seismology and Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering.

Chairman of several international conferences including the 16th European Conference of Earthquake Engineering, Thessaloniki 2018 and invited keynote lecturer in many International Conferences. Author of more than 650 scientific papers (h-factor 57) published in peer review scientific journals, and conference proceedings, author and co-author in several books, editor of four books published in Springer Editions, all in relevant subjects of earthquake engineering, seismic risk and geotechnical earthquake engineering. Professor Kyriazis Pitilakis is founder and coordinator of EUROSEISTEST, a large scale experimental facility in earthquake engineering, soil dynamics and engineering seismology that is unique in Europe and worldwide. He supervised more that 30 PhD thesis and numerous of his students hold academic positions in Greece and worldwide.

Professor Kyriazis Pitilakis is strongly involved in the ongoing revision of EC8 (Part 1-Seismic Actions and Part 5-Seismic design of foundations, retaining structures, soilstructure interaction, liquefaction, slope stability and underground structures), while he has been international expert for the revision of other seismic codes worldwide.

He is member of the editorial advisory board in Springer editions (Geotechnical, Geological and Earthquake Engineering), member of the editorial board and reviewer of numerous scientific journals and member of many international societies in earthquake and geotechnical engineering.

Honors: Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques, French Republic.
Thessaloniki 06.06.2022