Sure wanna be: Tunnelling Engineer
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«… wriggle yourself through its innards carrying TBM dentures…»

Ever since cavemen used to fight over caves that had an entrance at both the front and the back, people have had the urge to dig into the earth with the intention to surface again somewhere else. Nowadays, it's usually a mountain or a river lying in the way of our travelling needs. That and the odd prison wall, of course.


People who dig tunnels professionally are using the most impressive machinery known to man. Tunnel boring machines (or TBMs) are actually the largest vehicles on the planet, up to 15 metres in diameter, 160 metres long and weighing up to 4000 tonnes. Most are not as big, but all are awe-inspiring and ugly enough to play in an 'Alien' film. Imagine controlling a monster like that and guiding it through earth and rock using lasers to ensure pinpoint accuracy.


Mind you, this is a tough job. You'd have to keep up with the pace of the machine. Also you have to make sure the tunnels don't collapse, for instance by spraying unstable portions of the tunnel walls with "shotcrete". It's messy. And each time the machine breaks off one of its many teeth, you'll have to wriggle yourself through its innards carrying TBM dentures weighing up to 80 kilogrammes. Ok, not with your bare hands, but still.

 

That said: whether you're in danger of blowing yourself up operating a rocket boomer, or being blinded by the dust working a road header, you'd still be king or queen of the underground. But in a legal way.



For proper tunneling jobs near you, take a look here:

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