Thesis defence M. Leijten: underground infrastructure

15 September 2017 12:30 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: Webredactie

What lies beneath. Bounded manageability in complex underground infrastructure projects. Promotor: J.A. de Bruijn (TBM).

Complex underground infrastructure construction projects tend to develop in a state of “bounded manageability”. Various types of uncertainties are inherent to these projects and put the project manager in front of serious challenges, risking budget overruns, delays and sometimes even technical failure. Managing such a project is a matter of considering the options to keep ambitions and means in balance, without losing control.

In practice this means that project managers, when confronted with these uncertainties in their projects, have to make trade-offs that have strong “double-bind” characteristics. With every advantage come serious downsides. This disables them to make optimal decisions. Moreover, a chosen path pre-defines conditions for later trade-offs that were often not considered explicitly when choosing this path.


This research provides a new framework for understanding uncertainty in the management of projects. It maps out the typical manageability dilemmas that evolve in complex underground infrastructure projects and comes with suggestions to improve this manageability.

More information?
For access to theses by the PhD students you can have a look in TU Delft Repository, the digital storage of publications of TU Delft. Theses will be available within a few weeks after the actual thesis defence.