Axel Nitschke has been named a tunnel practice leader and will be based in the Washington, D.C. office of WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. 

In his new position, Dr. Nitschke will be a member of the firm’s geotechnical and tunnel technical excellence center and will work on tunnel projects and lead the firm’s practice on the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM).

Dr. Nitschke has more than 20 years of experience in tunneling, including design, management, quality assurance/quality control, safety and construction. During his career, he has gained particular experience in conventional tunneling and NATM (also referred to as the sequential excavation method, as well as tunneling with tunnel boring machines. Prior to joining WSP, he worked on numerous tunneling and mining projects across Europe and the Americas as project manager, designer, construction manager, risk manager, contract manager, and consultant. Noteworthy NATM projects in the U.S. include the Beacon Hill station tunnel in Seattle, Washington; the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project (Phase I) in Virginia; the Devil’s Slide tunnel in San Mateo County on the California coast; and the Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore project in Oakland, California.

“Axel brings critical expertise to WSP with his extensive NATM and tunnel design and construction experience. His skills, combined with our existing expert staff and global experience, will allow our team to continue to serve our clients and solve their underground and tunnel engineering challenges,” said Frank Pepe, vice president and director of the firm’s geotechnical and tunneling technical excellence center.

A licensed professional engineer in Virginia; California; Maryland; Washington; Washington, D.C.; and New Jersey, Dr. Nitschke received Ph.D. and MSc degrees in civil engineering from Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. He is a member of the board of directors and chair of the underground committee of the American Shotcrete Association. He is also a member of the committees for shotcrete and fiber-reinforced concrete of the American Concrete Institute; the American Society of Civil Engineers; and the Underground Construction Association of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration.

WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, is the U.S. operating company of one of the world's leading engineering and professional services firms—WSP. Dedicated to serving local communities, we are engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals. WSP USA designs lasting solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water and environment sectors. With nearly 7,000 people in 100 offices across the U.S., we partner with our clients to help communities prosper.