Tribhuwan University has started postgraduate level study of rock and tunnel engineering from this year at Institute of Engineering’s Western Campus in Pokhara, reported by the Onlinekhabar today.
This program aims to produce skilled manpower required for tunnel engineering in the country. It focuses on geographical location studies, rock exploration, exploration technology, and construction technology.
Campus Chief Engineer Ram Prasad Poudel said that 20 students, including three women, were selected in the first year on the basis of a merit list out of 100 students who passed the entrance examination conducted by the Institute of Engineering after graduating in Civil Engineering.
He added due to the risk of the COVID-19, teaching through the virtual method has been started from Monday. The program will be two years course. The practical class will start in the coming September, October, and November after concluding the theoretical class.
Campus Chief Poudel informed that tunnel engineer has been starting recognizing the demand as there is no alternative to tunnel construction for rapid infrastructure development in a country with hilly geography.
The campus plans to collaborate with various organizations including Nepal Tunneling Association, Hydro Lab, NEA Engineering, and use their resources for practical classes. The study of this program is more practical than theoretical.
The campus plans to invite Nepali experts currently in abroad for theoretical and experimental classes. The campus has stated that Nepali experts living abroad have also expressed their commitment to come for teaching. In addition, about 200 experts affiliated to the Nepal Tunneling Association will also take theoretical and practical classes.
The Gandaki state government has assisted in the study of tunnel engineering. The government has provided Rs 10 lakh for the preparation of the curriculum and has allocated Rs 20 lakh for the operation of the program this year.
Dr. Shashidhar Ram Joshi, Dean of the Institute of Engineering Studies said the demand for rock and tunnel engineering manpower is high in the country now. No matter how many tunnel construction projects there are, they have not progressed as expected due to a lack of manpower. This education will help in producing skilled manpower for tunnel construction in the country.
The Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology (NTNU) will provide technical assistance for the teaching of this course on the Western Campus.