Harry Asche is one of Aurecon’s Design Directors, one of an elite group of our leading practitioners representing the pinnacle of our technical mastery. Design Directors have key roles in our most technically complex projects for our most important clients. Harry represents our expertise in tunnelling.
Beginning his career in heavy civil structures, Harry became first interested in, and then hooked on tunnelling, because it involves the greatest need for expertise, risk management and teamwork during design and construction. However, Harry also found, as a design manager and a construction manager of a range of heavy civil structures, that broad understanding of all aspects of projects leads to the maximum innovation potential for clients.
Harry has spent over 35 years in the design and construction of public sector infrastructure, with experience in road, rail, water and tunnel design and construction management. In the last fifteen years Harry has led multidisciplinary teams in Australia and New Zealand, as well as providing specialist advice for tunnels in Australia, New Zealand and SE Asia.
Harry’s greatest challenges have involved two key issues in tunnelling – successful tunnelling with low cover in weak rock, and the control of groundwater in tunnelling. Examples of wide spans in low cover and sensitive cast iron services above include the crossing of Cleveland Street for the New Southern Railway in Sydney and the 25m Y-junction in Vulture Street in Brisbane. These two projects were designed by Harry and conclusions from these tunnels were included in his PhD awarded in 2003. More recent tunnelling projects with challenging groundwater control issues include the EastLink tunnel in Melbourne and the North-South Bypass Tunnel in Brisbane.
From being involved in many engineering studies, Harry has learnt the secret to teamwork in multi-disciplinary teams is communication in all directions and selection of the design standards appropriate for the particular project. Understanding the context for projects in the broad sense allows for cost effective matching of capacity instead of over-design, and is a key to innovation.