Students tasked with naming tunnel boring machine

Warburton Primary School students listening in on the presentation.

By Jed Lanyon

Warburton Primary School had visitors from engineering contractor John Holland and Melbourne Water visit the school on Monday 29 July to give a presentation on works to upgrade the O’Shannassy Reservoir.

As part of the presentation, senior students were given the opportunity to create a name for the new tunnel boring machine (TBM) that will be used for the project.

The tradition for naming the TBM is that it has been named after prominent Australian women and the students plan on naming it after an engineer or scientist.

Other TBM’s used by John Holland have been named after Victoria’s first female premier Joan Kirner, Australian cricket captain Meg Lanning, wartime medical hero Alice Appleford and Victoria’s first female MP Millie Peacock.

Those TBM’s are currently in use on other major projects in Melbourne such as the West Gate Tunnel, Melbourne Metro and the Epping Sewer Upgrade.

John Holland community stakeholder manager Robyn Brown and project manager Kyle joined Jason Brown from Melbourne Water to give the presentation.

Principal Damian Marley said, “This has been a rich and fantastic learning opportunity for our students, and one that creates new links between our school and the local environment and community.

“Some very interesting questions were posed by our students and the presentation opened their eyes to an exciting engineering project that is close to their school and homes.”

From January, works have been undertaken to upgrade the O’Shannassy Reservoir, a crucial part of Melbourne’s storage reservoirs system.

The primary purpose of the project is to address the age and condition of the existing outlet pipe.

The existing outlet pipework at the reservoir is 89 years old and without upstream control. The potential failure of the outlet pipe would represent an unacceptable risk, according to Melbourne Water.

With a high annual yield of 60 gigalitres, the O’Shannassy Reservoir provides Melbourne homes and businesses with clean drinking water.

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