Members of the Board of Directors (2023-26)

Dimitris Kaliampakos

Director for Europe (Greece) & President

Dimitris Kaliampakos is a mining engineer and professor in Environmental Mining and the Director of the Laboratory of Mining and Environmental Technology (L.M.E.T) located at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). He is also a consultant Dean of the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering and Executive Vice-President of the Lavrion Technological and Cultural Park. Prof. Kaliampakos has been involved in the ACUUS conferences since the Torino Conference in 2002. In 2007, he chaired the Organizing Committee of the 11th International Conference, held in Lavrion and was elected Vice President of ACUUS. In 2013, he was elected President of ACUUS. In 2016 he was re-elected President of ACUUS.


Peng Fang Le

Director for Asia (China) & Vice-President

Dr. Peng is a Civil Engineer and Professor & Director, of the Research Center for Underground Space at the Tongji University in Shanghai. Prof. Peng have actively participated in most conferences or activities related to underground space in China and abroad, during which he promoted ACUUS to Chinese UUS academia and industry. He always acted as a bridge between ACUUS experts and Chinese fellows for sustainable underground space use in China, and arouse interest among undergraduates, postgraduates and young scholars to participate in UUS programs.


Sanja Zlatanic

Director for the Americas (USA) & Secretary General

Sanja Zlatanic has a master’s degree in structural engineering, tunnels, concrete and steel structures from the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia. Mrs. Zlatanic is based in New York as a senior vice president of HNTB firm. With over 30-year experience, she leaded the firm’s biggest tunneling and underground projects in the United States and abroad. She is a member of the International Tunneling Association, of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, of the North American Underground Association, of the American Concrete Institute, and of the American Society of Civil Engineers.


Zhou Yingxin

Director for Asia (China)

Dr. Zhou is a mining engineer, with his first degree in Mining Engineering from the Central South University in China, and a PhD in Mining Engineering from Virginia Tech in USA. Dr. Zhou is Head Engineering in charge of the Underground Facilities at the Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA). He is responsible for all rock engineering and technology development for underground projects in DSTA. He has been an ACUUS Director (Asia) and Board member since 2013 and served as our Vice President during 2013-2016. He was the organizing chair of the 13th World Conference of ACUUS in Singapore in 2012 and will be again the chair of the organizing committee of the next 18th ACUUS Conference in Singapore in 2023.


Takayuki Kishii

Director for Asia (Japan)

Dr. Kishii is a professor on City Planning at the Civil Engineering Department of the Nihon University. He acts now as the president of “The institute of Behavioral Sciences” and the representative of “The Urban Underground Space Center of Japan“ (USJ) since 2012. He has held many prominent positions including the presidencies of the City Planning Institute of Japan, of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Landscape Committee, of the “Urban design Center Japan” and is a member of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games Organizing Committee”. The Urban Underground Space Center of Japan (USJ) is a member of ACUUS since 1997 and Dr. Kishii supervise all their activities.


Mike A. Mooney

Director for the Americas (USA)

Dr. Mike Mooney is a civil geotechnical engineering from Northwestern University. A registered professional engineer and also Professor at the Colorado School of Mines. He brings 18 years of academic and consulting experience in heavy civil engineering and construction. Professor Mooney teaches courses in tunnel design and construction.



Lyesse Laloui

Director for Europe (Switzerland)

Dr. Lyesse Laloui is a world-leading scientist in geomechanics, sustainability, and geo-energy, with a distinguished career at EPFL since 1994, where he directs the Soil Mechanics Laboratory. He is the founder and Honorary Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier journal Geomechanics for Energy and the Environment and is recognized as a top global expert in his field, ranked among the Top 1000 Scientists in Engineering and Technology by (2022). Dr. Laloui is a full member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences and serves as the European Vice President of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). His significant contributions to geotechnical engineering have been acknowledged with two Honoris Causa degrees.




Jacques Besner

General Manager (Canada)

Jacques Besner is a consultant in urban underground space planning. With a background in architecture and urban planning, he worked 30 years as a municipal planner at the City of Montréal and was in charge of the Underground City development. He was one of the founding member of ACUUS and its Secretary General from 1997 to 2007. In 1997, he was President of the Organizing Committee of the 7th International Conference of ACUUS in Montreal. He is now acting as the General Manager of the organization, and as such he is the Secretary of the Board.



Andreas Benardos

Ass. General Manager (Greece)

Dr. Andreas Benardos is a Professor at the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).  His research interests are focused on the topics of underground space development and mine design, risk assessment in underground construction, ventilation, project cost estimation and management as well as on applications of artificial neural networks in geo-engineering. He is responsible for the ACUUS Newsletter service.