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University Programme in NATM (New Austrian Tunnelling Method) Engineering

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’ at TU Graz and the Montanuniversität Leoben (MU Leoben) offers an opportunity to study geotechnical engineering and tunnelling at an advanced level and to learn about the New Austrian Tunnelling Method. 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 gain an all-round understanding of geotechnical engineering and tunnelling.
  • You will learn the New Austrian Tunnelling Method.
  • 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 MU 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 layout
  • Construction operations, site organisation
  • Construction contract
  • Risk analyses
  • Tunnel safety
  • Monitoring, data analysis and  interpretation
  • Instrumentation
  • Final paper and examination

Additionally, for the Master of Engineering programme:

  • Conventional and mechanical excavation methods
  • Ground improvement measures 

Here you can find full details of the programme contents.

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 or
  • A certificate from a higher level professional school (e.g. Austrian Higher Technical Institute) and at least five years of professional experience in a relevant subject area in a management capacity (with this qualification you are only eligible to take the course leading to the certificate as an ‘Academic NATM Engineer’).

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

Source: Schubert – TU Graz

Dates and Deadlines

Next programme: 2019 to 2021

  • Start date: September 2019
  • Application: until 31 July 2019
  • Programme dates:

    • Module 1: 9-27 September 2019, Graz
    • Module 2: April 2020, Graz
    • Module 3: September 2020, Leoben
    • Module 4: April 2021, Leoben
    • Module 5: September 2021, Graz

Programme 2017 to 2019

Programme dates:

  • Module 3: 10-28 September 2018, Leoben
  • Module 4: 23 April-10 May 2019, Leoben
  • Module 5: 9-27 September 2019, Graz
Source: MUL Leoben


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 MU Leoben.

Video on the university programme

Quick Facts

  • Final degree and duration:

    • Academic NATM Engineer: 4 semesters part-time
    • Master of Engineering (MEng): 6 semesters part-time

  • ECTS credits:

    • Academic NATM Engineer: 61
    • Master of Engineering (MEng): 90

  • Language of instruction: English
  • Course fees:

    • Academic NATM Engineer: 13,900 €
    • Master of Engineering (MEng): 18,900 €
    • These fees do not cover any travel, accommodation or meals
      Possible subsidies and details

  • Structure: The programme is divided into

    • 4 modules (Academic NATM Engineer) or
    • 5 modules (Master of Engineering).

      In each semester, you complete one module in a block of three weeks. In the sixth semester, students for the Master of Engineering write a master's thesis

  • Number of course participants: max. 30
  • Locations: TU Graz and MU Leoben
  • Curricula

Source: Opernfoto
Wulf Schubert, programme director, TU Graz

The growing worldwide demand for underground constructions and the concentration of tunnelling expertise in Austria inspired TU Graz and the Montanuniversität Leoben to offer this programme, which is organized in blocks so that participants can combine it with their work. That the programme has been taken by 65 students from 32 countries has confirmed the strong demand for engineers with specialist knowledge in this area.

Source: Galler
Robert Galler, programme director, Montanuniversität Leoben

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).

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.

Teaching Staff

  • Manfred BLÜMEL
    Ass.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
  • Robert GALLER
    Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont.
  • Johann GOLSER
  • Andreas GORICKI
    Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
  • Christoph HABERLAND
  • Hans-Olav HOGNESTAD
  • Karl Gunnar HOLTER
  • Daniel Scott KIEFFER
    Univ.-Prof. B.A. M.S. Ph.D.
  • Kurt KLIMA
    Ass.Prof. Dr.phil.
  • Gerhard PITTINO
    Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont.
    O.Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont.
    Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

Here you can find detailed information on the teachers taking part in this programme.


Next start date: 9 September 2019
Deadline for applications: 31 July 2019 

Required application documents:

  • application form, filled out and signed: separate forms for Academic NATM Engineer or Master of Engineering
  • 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:

TU Graz
Life Long Learning
c/o Mag. Vera POSCHAUKO
Rechbauerstraße 12
8010 Graz, 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

TU Graz Life Long Learning
Phone: +43 316 873 4932

Programme Direction

TU Graz

O.Univ.-Prof. DI Dr.mont.
Phone: +43 316 873 8114

MU Leoben

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

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