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Welcome to the Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference, sponsored by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration.


RETC is the only conference with a dedicated focus on the developments, technology, trends, and innovations that directly affect the tunneling and underground construction industry. Featuring a wide variety of technical sessions and speakers combined with our expansive exhibit hall, RETC will be a professional event you will truly enjoy and remember.

The Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference (RETC) is sponsored by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME). Held every two years, RETC is the renowned international forum for the exchange and dissemination of developments and advances in underground construction. The RETC advances the engineering and scientific knowledge of rapid underground excavation and tunneling through interdisciplinary meetings, publications, technical-educational exhibitions and encouragement of research. It also provides innovative solutions to the unique engineering challenges associated with the tunneling industry.

The committee will consider all abstracts covering any/all aspects of the tunneling/underground construction industry including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Contracting Practices and Cost
  • Design and Planning
  • Design/Build Projects
  • Difficult Ground
  • Drill and Blast
  • Environment, Health and Safety
  • Tunnel Rehabilitation
  • Water and Gas Control
  • Future Projects
  • Geotechnical Considerations
  • Ground Support and Final Lining
  • Grouting and Ground Modification
  • Hard Rock TBMs
  • Large Span Tunnels and Caverns
  • Microtunneling and Trenchless Tunneling
  • International Projects
  • New and Innovative Technologies
  • Pressure Face TBM Case Histories
  • Pressure Face TBM Technology
  • Risk Management
  • SEM/NATM
  • Shafts and Mining
  • Tunneling for Sustainability

Dates & Deadlines


Please read the following information carefully and mark your calendar with important dates and deadlines.

Prospective authors are asked to submit a 100-word abstract. For detailed guidelines for submitting a successful abstract, please visit Abstract Submission. Submitters will be notified in September 2018 of acceptance or otherwise.

Key Dates

May 1, 2018 Abstract Submission Open
June 30, 2018 Abstracts Due for Consideration
September, 2018 Notice of Acceptance
December 15, 2018 Manuscripts Due