Tuesday, June 25, 2013

KVMRT underground engineers

The world’s first variable density tunnel boring machine (TBM) is running silently beneath Kuala Lumpur’s streets, ready to lay off the 9.3km-long tunnel for Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit.

All ready to do Malaysia proud, but more importantly, this is the beginning of the creation of a pool of talent conversant in underground work, especially in bored tunneling. This is MMC-Gamuda’s underground team inside the Cochrane launch shaft, where four TBMs will eventually be launched.

To handle the tunneling project of the Line 1, MMC-Gamuda take on approx. 500 engineers and technicians, which comprised a large pool of Malaysians.

Quick facts:
10 TBMs will be used to complete one pair of 9.3km-long tunnels. These TBMs were custom-made by German and Chinese contractors, and could be reused for subsequent lines.

The first (and last) rail tunnel done using TBMs was in the 1990s, when a pair of 5km tunnels was excavated for the Putra line (now called Kelana Jaya line) to serve five underground stations (Masjid Jamek-Dang Wangi-Kampung Baru-KLCC-Ampang Park).

Among them are:

Freshies like Lim Hui Yan, a Universiti Putra Malaysia graduate in mechanical engineering, are instrumental in overseeing the introduction of a new method of concrete segment fabrication.

“I am indeed lucky to be posted here as tunnel engineer, as tunnelling works rarely involve female engineers. And I discovered that mechanical works play a big part in the success of tunnelling,” said the Johorean, 23.

Fellow female tunnel engineer Mandy Ang Yian Yong, 26, is entrusted with the full gamut of construction tasks ranging from tendering and design to procurement and construction. “I am very grateful for this opportunity. Being a tunnel engineer for almost three years now, I have gained vast technical knowledge and planning strategies,” said the Sarawakian.

Ng Hau Wei MMC-Gamuda KVMRT’s senior construction manager
Lim Hui Yan
Mandy Ang Yian Yong
Female tunnel engineer
Mazuki Mohamad Salleh tunnel manager based at the Cochrane launch shaft
Ruslan Mohamed TBM electrical superintendent
Azlan Marzuki Shah Julaihi tunnel engineer