People Spotlight: Meet Giuseppe Gaspari
Our People Spotlight series gives you an inside look at our technical experts around the world. This week, we are highlighting our tunneling lead for Canada, U.S. East and Latin America region, providing an insight into his inspiration and work.
Giuseppe is based in Canada and has almost 20 years’ tunneling experience gained on transportation, water and power projects internationally. His expertise covers all project phases, from conceptual development and preliminary/detailed design, through to implementation under both traditional and alternative delivery procurement models. In 2018, Giuseppe was named ‘Tunneler of the Year’ by the International Tunneling Association in a global competition for professionals under 35. Earlier this year, he was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 10 Under 40 engineers in Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine.
Tell us about what inspired you to join the industry.
There’s a strong history of infrastructure design, operation and management in my family. My dad was the chief financial officer for a 1,000-kilometer, high speed rail program in Italy, my uncle served as the Italian minister of transport, and my great grandfather was the president of the first Italian Railway where he led the procurement of the first rail tunnel in Italy. Hence, as a child, I was very aware of the role infrastructure plays in elevating and connecting communities. I would spend hours at the beach trying to replicate tunnels and bridges out of sand. It’s through play that I initially explored the concept of stabilization, which ignited my passion for underground structures.
What is your favorite AECOM project that you’ve worked on and why?
Since our tunnel practice spans primarily across our Water and Transportation businesses, I’ve picked a favorite for each of these two business lines.
The Panama Metro tunnel is my favorite transportation project so far as it’s a great example of infrastructure creating opportunities for people to thrive.
When the Panama Canal was completed in the early 1900s, it became a crucial facilitator of global trade — the whole world benefited from the faster and cheaper shipment of goods between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Despite this major progress in trade, there was a stakeholder group that lost out — the communities separated by the canal, namely those living in Arraiján District to the east of the canal and those living in Panama City on the west.
The vehicular bridge constructed to reconnect the two sides is heavily congested during peak commuting times, resulting in Arraiján residents spending hours in traffic traveling to their workplaces in Panama City. The new tunnel system will be built with all available technologies, including sequential excavation method (SEM), cut and cover and tunnel boring machine (TBM). It will be a 70-meter section under the Panama Canal that will connect Panama City and Arraiján with a monorail metro line, significantly reducing commute times and improving the quality of life for Arraiján residents by giving them back time in their days to dedicate to their families.
The project is currently in the design phase, with our team providing detailed design services for the underground sections.
My favorite water project in recent years has been the Pawtucket Tunnel Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) in Rhode Island in the U.S. for which we provided the detailed design to a consortium of specialized contractors introducing several exciting innovations.
The 3.5 kilometer-long, 8 meter-wide tunnel is designed to store excess water during a storm event before it can be pumped out and treated. Comprising deep shafts excavated in challenging ground conditions, and multiple mined connections between the shafts and the main CSO tunnel, it’s a technically complex project.
Without this storage tunnel, storm-related sewage overflows would be discharged into waterways untreated. There is immense social value gained from this project — the cleaner waters will result in a cleaner ocean and the return of shell fishing. It will also create green spaces for the local communities and tourists to enjoy.
It will be a 70-meter section under the Panama Canal that will connect Panama City and Arraiján with a monorail metro line, significantly reducing commute times and improving the quality of life for Arraiján residents by giving them back time in their days to dedicate to their families.”
Tell us a story of how your work positively impacted the community.
I’ve been involved in the Ontario Line metro project in Toronto for several years, initially providing conceptual design before progressing onto tender design for the contractor. We’re currently working with the contractor who was awarded the South Civil contract providing detailed design for two fully mined stations and all tunnels, including the pre-cast segmental lining.
The project aims to connect underserviced neighborhoods to the central business district and provide affordable, faster and reliable transportation for the people.”
The Ontario Line, originally known as the Relief Line, is designed to reduce congestion on the existing two subway lines in Toronto. At concept design stage, we engaged the local communities to understand their daily routines and how they may be impacted during construction and operation of the metro line. To mitigate traffic disruption during the construction phase, we’ve reduced the excavation footprint and the impacts on traffic and utilities diversions by stipulating fully-mined stations.
The project aims to connect underserviced neighborhoods to the central business district and provide affordable, faster and reliable transportation for the people. It will also create huge economic and social value in a city that is witnessing its population growing at a much faster pace than its infrastructure.
Share a piece of career advice.
Grasp opportunities when they arise and be open minded. Opportunities may not come in the form you hope for or at the perfect time, but be flexible and embrace them as a way to learn and develop. Push the boundaries of your knowledge and jump outside of your comfort zone. Your team will have your back, so have faith in your skills!