UCA Awards

UCA awards shine the spotlight on leaders, innovators and excellence in the tunneling and underground construction field.

These awards and their recipients represent the highest levels of commitment and expertise that symbolize the vitality of UCA as a professional society.

Now is the time to recognize a remarkable colleague or mentor who represents the best of the best in all stages of career development.
We’re building on a legacy of excellence. Who will you recognize?

Make a nomination:

  • Review the awards and guidelines (below)
  • Access the nomination portal by selecting the Nominate option under desired award
  • Login to the nomination portal using member credentials
  • Complete the nomination form as indicated in the portal
  • Nomination Deadline: November 14


The UCA Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals with outstanding achievements in the underground design and construction industry accomplished through design and/or construction of civil underground facilities. The recipient must have contributed significantly to the education, planning, design, construction or rehabilitation of tunnels and underground facilities. This includes seeking advances in new methods, materials, and advancing the public understanding and concurrence with the beneficial uses of underground space. The recipient must have a minimum of 20 years professional experience anywhere in the world and have spent most of his/her career in underground construction. The recipient should be an UCA member in good standing at the time of the Award and shall be selected without regard to age, gender, race, religion, or nationality.

The Muddy Boots Award is presented to a field supervisor who has excelled in the following areas for underground projects: forward thinking and communication to clear the way for work progress, creative problem solving in the field, assigning team members in accordance with their strengths for an efficient work operation, mentoring future leaders, ethic to provide high quality work, cognizance of the project schedule and budget, and a record of fostering a strong safety culture. Leads by example.

The UCA's Outstanding Educator Award is presented to professors and teachers who have had an exception career in academia and the education in the area of underground design and construction. These individuals also have had significant contributions to the industry through they academic interests, as well as the introduction of many student graduates into the industry. These individuals are nominated by their industry peers and bestowed the award by the UCA Executive Committee.

The UCA Person of the Year Award recognizes those individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of tunneling and underground construction and to UCA during the last two to five years as well as sustained involvement in UCA activities.

The UCA Project of the Year Award is presented to an individual or a group that has shown insight and understanding of underground construction in a significant project, which may include practices, developing concepts, theories, or technologies to overcome unusual problems within a project, resulting in little to no outstanding issues. The UCA Project of the Year Award has three (3) categories: Projects below $50M, Projects between $50M to $500M Projects greater than $500M.

Nominations for this category of UCA Awards are innovations that have been implemented in tunneling or underground space use projects one (1) year prior to the close of nominations. An application, process or technology that significantly advanced the capabilities of the underground construction industry to deliver safe, efficient, and sustainable underground solutions. Technical innovations come in many forms that move forward the current “state of the art” to improve: design, application, processes, etc. and permit improved, safer and more cost- effective projects. • Increased safety for projects or application of a process • New or unique use of solutions for an innovative project or process • Development of design process or construction method to achieve new functions • Reduces the use of materials or energy and increasing sustainability • Entries may also be supported by successful use in the laboratory and / or field

The UCA Young Member Award is presented to a Member who is age 35 or under (not 36 until January 1 in the year following the conference in which the Award is given) and has excelled, in one or more of, the following areas: technical accomplishment; development of innovative ideas, initiatives and approaches; challenging and improving industry practices, lead or contributed significantly to major technically complex operations through contributions to the tunneling and underground construction profession and/or UCA.

About UCA Awards

The UCA administers and presents seven recognition awards for outstanding individual and group achievements in the tunneling and underground construction industries. The UCA Executive Committee reviews the awards nominations during the January UCA Executive Committee meeting. The committee will vote and approve award nominees. The recipients’ will appear in the March issue of Tunneling & Underground Construction magazine.