UCA Volunteer Opportunities

Share Your Passion for the Industry

Get the most out of your Underground Construction Association (UCA) membership by volunteering. While volunteering helps UCA, it also benefits you as a volunteer:

  • Get to know other UCA members as you build your professional network.
  • Enhance your professional competencies through the development of leadership, project management and other skills.
  • Showcase your skills and work style, as you plan and implement activities and projects for UCA members.
  • Give back to the underground construction community through UCA’s programs and services.

Volunteering is important, rewarding and enjoyable. Volunteers are the heart of a membership organization like UCA. It’s a good feeling to know that what you’re doing helps the organization and your colleagues in the industry. Best of all, volunteering can be a lot of fun.

To get started, review the opportunities below and fill out the Volunteer Interest Form.

Participation in volunteer opportunities is a benefit of membership in UCA. If you are not already a member, please join or renew your membership today.

See who’s on the UCA Executive Committee and view a list of all UCA committees and chairs.

Special Interest & Outreach Groups

Who: These groups are open to all UCA members.

What: Join the activities of these groups to meet like-minded professionals while serving the industry.

Where: Virtual and in-person opportunities.

How: Use the Volunteer Interest Form to indicate interest.

  • Women in Tunneling
    • A networking and outreach group focused on women in tunneling.
  • Young Members in Tunneling
    • A networking and outreach group focused on UCA members age thirty-five and younger.
  • Down for That Committee
    • The efforts of this committee aim to bring engineering students into the tunneling industry.
    • Learn more at www.undergroundcareers.org.
  • Mentoring Committee
    • This group plans and manages a program to match interested members with mentors and mentees in the industry.

Technical Working Groups

Who: These groups are open to all UCA members; please only choose one technical working group.

What: Working groups are collaborative teams that meet regularity to move industry efforts forward. The groups provide opportunities to work on projects that bring value to the U.S. market, UCA members, and align with the International Tunneling Association (ITA) Working Groups.

Where: Meetings are mostly virtual with two in-person meetings at the SME Annual Conference and the SME Mid-Year meeting.

How: Use the Volunteer Interest Form to indicate interest (please choose one technical interest group only).

Working Group Topic Objective
2 Research Investigate and assemble knowledge on emerging state-of-the-art or state of-the-practices in tunneling.
3 Contract Practices in Underground Construction Update ITA contractual pronouncements addressing the most serious issues in underground construction and the appropriate responses contractually.
5 Health and Safety Provide guidelines for better safety during tunneling works.
6 Maintenance and Repair of Underground Structures Provide guidelines on the maintenance and repair of underground structures.
9 Seismic Effects Advocate that tunnels are a safe alternative to other forms of infrastructure in highly seismic regions of the world.
11 Immersed and Floating Tunnels Provide a searchable database of immersed tunnels worldwide.
12 Sprayed Concrete Use Increase knowledge of sprayed concrete and its use for permanent lining purposes, particularly to document mix design and application related issues, as well as ground loading, climatic, hydrogeological and geochemical exposure conditions which are of importance for the long term function and durability.
14 Mechanization of Excavation Promote mechanized tunneling and to inform about the current state of development in this flexible technology. It shall support public and private clients, planners and contractors with general and technical information during the preparation for tunneling projects.
15 Underground and Environment Prepare guidelines and recommendations on environmental aspects related to underground facilities.
17 Long Tunnels at Great Depth Elaborate on the unique challenges associated with long and deep tunnels through detailed case studies. These in-depth studies allow WG 17 to draw conclusions on specialized tunnels and create reports every three to four years. The group’s most recent report was published in 2017 on the topic of “TBM Excavation in Difficult Rock Conditions”. Current work focuses on the logistical challenges presented in long and deep tunnels.
19 Conventional Tunnels Develop guidelines for the design and construction of conventional tunneling in an urban setting.
20 Urban Problems - Underground Solutions Discover typical challenges of urban city environment and its planning and arrive at solutions by deploying sustainable approaches to the underground space utilization.
21 Life Cycle Asset Management Elevate and improve the standards and practices involved in assessing the cost and duration of long-term assets involved in maintaining the viability of tunneling projects over time.
22 Information Modelling in Tunneling Develop Building Information Modelling (BIM) guidelines for the betterment of the tunneling community .
23 Design and Construction of Shafts Develop guidelines for the design and construction of shafts.

SME Committees (UCA liaisons needed)

Who: UCA members who have demonstrated their leadership ability in the above volunteer opportunities are nominated (including self-nomination) to these positions.

What: 3-year leadership terms

Where: Mandatory meetings are virtual and in-person.

How: Email volunteer@smenet.org to find out how to submit nominations (including self-nominations).

Committees include:

  • SME MINEXCHANGE

    The SME MINEXCHANGE Committee plans the technical programs for the Society’s annual conference.

  • Information Publishing

    The Information Publishing Committee makes recommendations to the SME Board of Directors regarding individual publishing proposals submitted to the Society and serves as a "watch dog" over accepted proposals to ensure that the final product adheres to quality standards. The Committee also makes recommendations for policy, long‐range planning, and development for the Society’s information publishing programs.

  • Journal Oversight

    The Journal Oversight Committee provides input and feedback on the strategic direction of the Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (MME) journal, the quality of the journal and inclusivity of authors and topics, and ensures the journal represents the breadth of SME. Committee members act as ambassadors for the journal and help solicit authors and nominate reviewers, and can nominate future members of the Editorial Board.

  • Government & Public Affairs

    The Government Relations and Public Affairs Committee (GPAC) provides relevant, non‐partisan, fact‐based professional and technical information to government officials and others involved in public policy, regulatory and other issues that impact the practice of mining, geology, and related industries. The Committee is responsible for providing factual information related to timely regulatory or political issues facing the mining industry that can be used by government decision-makers.

  • Research

    The Research Committee reports to the Council of Education with a goal to identify the national needs of research in the mining and minerals community and coordinate technology efforts with appropriate entities.

  • Robert E. Murray Innovation Award

    The Robert E. Murray Innovation Award was established in 2017 to recognize individuals or organizations who advance the mining industry through the implementation of technical innovation. Its primary focus is to award operations or organizations that are changing the mining industry through the inclusion or adaptation of innovative technologies and innovative processes.

  • Inclusion & Diversity

    The Inclusion & Diversity Committee promotes advancement and innovation in the mining community by strengthening inclusion and improving diversity in SME. Their goal is to provide structure, strategy, and programming guidance to the Society to enable advancement of I&D in the mining community.

Workforce Sustainability Committees

Who: UCA members who have demonstrated their leadership ability in the above volunteer opportunities are nominated (including self-nomination) to these positions.

What: Volunteer leadership terms vary.

Where: Mandatory meetings are virtual and in-person.

How: Email volunteer@smenet.org to submit nominations (including self-nominations).

Committees include:

  • Women in Tunneling Committee
  • Young Members Committee
  • Down for That Committee
  • Teach the Professors Committee

Industry Outreach Committees

Who: UCA members who have demonstrated their leadership ability in the above volunteer opportunities are nominated (including self-nomination) to these positions.

What: Terms vary.

Where: Mandatory meetings are virtual and in-person.

How: Email volunteer@smenet.org to submit nominations (including self-nominations).

Committees include:

  • Owners Forum Committee
  • Top 20 Projects

Professional Development Committees

Who: UCA members who have demonstrated their leadership ability in the above volunteer opportunities are nominated (including self-nomination) to these positions.

What: Terms vary.

Where: Mandatory meetings are virtual and in-person.

How: Email volunteer@smenet.org to submit nominations (including self-nominations).

Committees include:

  • Tunneling & Underground Construction Magazine Editorials
  • Webinars

UCA Conference Committees

Who: Members who have demonstrated their leadership ability in the above volunteer opportunities are nominated to these positions.

What: Terms vary.

Where: Mandatory meetings are virtual and in-person.

How: Email volunteer@smenet.org for more information.

  • North American Tunneling (NAT) Conference Planning Committee
  • Cutting Edge Conference Planning Committee
  • George A. Fox Conference Planning Committee
  • Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference Planning Committee

Association Liaisons

Who: Members who have demonstrated their commitment to UCA in the above volunteer opportunities and with close ties to other Associations are nominated to these positions.

What: Terms vary.

Where: Mandatory meetings are virtual and in-person.

How: Email volunteer@smenet.org for more information.

Liaisons are appointed to manage relationships with these Associations:

  • ACEC
  • AEG
  • APTA
  • ARMA
  • ASA
  • ASCE
  • AWWA
  • Beavers
  • CMAA
  • DBIA
  • DFI
  • DRBF
  • Moles
  • NACWA
  • NASTT
  • TRB
  • WEF

UCA Executive Committee

Who: Owners, contractors, engineers, suppliers and other members-at-large. These members have demonstrated the highest level of leadership ability in the above volunteer opportunities. Members are nominated to these positions.

What: Multi-year commitment to provide leadership to UCA.

Where: Mandatory virtual and in-person meetings throughout the year.

How: Email Genny Homyack (Homyack@smenet.org) to submit nominations (including self-nominations) by December 1 each year. Please include a resume, brief bio and head shot.

The UCA Executive Committee has two open positions as of November 15, 2021:

  • Member-at-Large 2022-2026: Owner
  • Member-at-Large 2022-2026: Contractor

Volunteer Interest Form

Complete this form to tell UCA what opportunities are of interest to you.

Volunteer Interest Form