TU Graz/ Studying and Teaching/ Degree and Certificate Programmes/ Continuing Education/

University Programme in NATM Engineering: Construction, Rehabilitation and Operation of NATM- and TBM-Tunnels

What do the subways in Washington, São Paulo, Seoul, Athens, Munich and Vienna all have in common? They were all built using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM)! This flexible and versatile tunnelling method has become a standard approach worldwide, and this means that there is strong and growing demand for engineers with qualifications in this field.

The university programme NATM Engineering: Construction, Rehabilitation and Operation of NATM- and TBM-Tunnels at TU Graz and the Montanuniversität Leoben offers an opportunity to deepen your knowledge in tunnelling, especially in the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) and tunnel boring machines (TBM). When you have completed this programme, you will be able to design and build tunnels in accordance with the NATM principles or to provide engineering supervision for building such tunnels.


  • You will learn the New Austrian Tunnelling Method.
  • You will be provided with in-depth knowledge about tunnel boring machines (TBM).
  • Experience on rehabilitation, maintenance (repair) of existing tunnels and aspects of safety and risk analysis will be shared.
  • You will learn how to design and execute tunnel projects in accordance with the principles of the New Austrian Tunnelling Method with regard to geotechnical, structural, organisational, contractual and economic aspects.
  • The course is taught by internationally respected teachers from TU Graz and Montanuniversität Leoben as well as experts from industry.
  • During the course field trips to tunnel construction sites allow observing current practices and approaches.
  • You will take part in practical training units and carry out projects in a team.
  • You will write a final paper and take an examination at the end of the course.

The programme includes the following components:

  • Introduction to the New Austrian Tunnelling Method
  • Exploration and engineering geology field work
  • Testing
  • Characterisation and classification
  • Geotechnical design
  • Analytical and numerical calculations
  • Tunnel design & layout, analytics
  • Construction operations, site organisation
  • Construction contract
  • Risk analyses
  • Tunnel safety
  • Monitoring, data analysis and  interpretation
  • Instrumentation
  • Conventional and mechanical excavation methods
  • Ground improvement measures 
  • Final paper and examination

Target Groups

The university programme is designed for
  • Engineers with qualifications in construction or mining,
  • Geotechnical engineers and geological engineers
who want to specialize in tunnel construction and the New Austrian Tunnelling Method in particular.

Admission Requirements

To register for this programme you must have one of the following qualifications:

  • A master's or Diplom degree at an Austrian university or
  • An equivalent degree at a third-level educational institution in Austria or a different country or
  • A bachelor's degree in a relevant subject and at least three years of professional experience in a relevant subject area.

Since all parts of the programme will be held in English as the language of instruction, you also need good competence in English.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Start date: 11 September 2023
  • Timetable:
    • Module 1: 11 to 29 September 2023 (TU Graz)
    • Module 2: April 2024 (online)
    • Module 3: September 2024 (excursions)
    • Module 4: April 2025 (online)
    • Module 5: September 2025 (online)
    • Module 6: April 2026 (MU Leoben)

Early Bird Bonus: Applications received by 31 March 2023 are entitled to an early bird bonus on the tuition fee. This means that the tuition fee is € 18,900 instead of € 20,900. No further discounts are possible.
This fee does not include travel, lodging or food expenses.


The university programme in NATM Engineering is a cooperation between the Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling at  TU Graz and the Institute for Subsurface Engineering at Montanuniversität Leoben.

Quick Facts

  • Final degree and duration: 6 semesters part-time
  • ECTS credits: 90
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Course fees: 18,900 €
    These fees do not cover any travel, accommodation or meals
    Possible subsidies and details
  • Structure: The programme is divided into 6 modules. In each semester, you complete one module in a block of three weeks. In the sixth semester, you write a master's thesis.
  • Number of course participants: max. 30
  • Locations: TU Graz and Montanuniversität Leoben
  • Curriculum: NATM Master of Engineering (MEng)

Video on the university programme

Career Options and Qualifications

Alumni of the programme work in the following fields:

  • in construction planning, consulting and supervision of construction,
  • in construction management for construction companies
  • in positions of responsibility for owners and public authorities.

The university programme NATM Engineering is well established and worldwide known. With 2019 the teaching program will be complemented by additional topics. It is my goal to provide the participants with in-depth knowledge in tunnelling (especially in NATM but also with a critical examination of different sequential excavation methods worldwide) for shallow and deep tunnel depths in urban and intercity highspeed connections).

The participants shall understand the application of cyclical and continuous excavation methods from an economic point of view as well as feasibility aspects, including also discussions on risks and opportunities. Tunnelling is currently undergoing extreme development, both in terms of machine technology and in terms of measurement technology and digitalisation. I would like to give the participants an insight into the latest developments in tunnel design and construction.

The spezialised University Programm "NATM-Engineer" was created by the two universities Graz University of Technology and Montanuniversität Leoben to satisfy the continuously increasing worldwide demand for qualified tunnel engineers and aim at increasing the skills of the participants in the fields of geotechnical engineering and tunnelling, with an emphasis on the "New Austrian Tunnelling Method" (NATM).

The NATM engineering programme provides practical insight into all aspects of deep tunnelling from geological investigations, rock mechanics to scheduling, construction and risk management. Being a geotechnical engineer who is largely involved in surface and underground mining, the NATM programme was very useful as the design aspects use systematic approaches for modelling ground conditions and conceptually understanding ground behaviour for tunnels that are designed to remain serviceable for over 100 years, rather than say 5 to 10 years as is usually the case for mining. These approaches greatly supplement methods commonly used in the mining industry.


Next start date: 11 September 2023
Deadline for applications: 15 June 2023

Required application documents:

  • application form, filled out and signed
  • proof of an academic degree or school graduation, depending on the requirements
  • letters of recommendation and certificates
  • copy of passport or identity card

Please send your complete application documents by e-mail or post to:

Montanuniversität Leoben
Subsurface Engineering
z. H. Patrizia Gäbler
Franz-Josef Straße 18
8700 Leoben, Austria

After we have checked your application documents, you may be required to come for an interview or take a test before you can be admitted to the programme.

Places to Stay in Graz and Leoben

Special offers are available for the programme participants in a number of hotels and other accommodations: Accomodations in Graz and Leoben.

Contact Us

Programme Administration

Patrizia GÄBLER
Subsurface Engineering
Tel.: +43 3842 402 3416

Programme Direction

TU Graz

Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.-Ing.
Phone: +43 316 873 8114

Montanuniversität Leoben

Univ.-Prof. DI Dr.mont.
Phone: +43 3842 402 3400