Program > Global Young Scholar Forum

During the First International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of Underground Space (EUUS 2019), ACUUS YG (Youth Group of the Associated research Centers for the Urban Underground Space) and YES (Young Earth Scientists Network) will co-organize the:

First Global Young Scholar Forum on “Collaborative Exploration of Underground Space for our Next Generations”

1. Themes cover the following research and application areas:

A: Inclusive Urban underground space planning for next generations
B: Disaster mitigation of Underground space development
C: Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering issues in underground space development
D: Advanced disposal of radioactive waste (nuclear waste)
E: Smart city design and underground space integration in ancient architectural area
F: Geothermal energy development and utilization
G: New technologies and methods in geophysical exploration for underground space

(detail information to follow, other related themes are welcomed to propose and convene, please feel free to contact us via

Forum committee members:
Zhenhao XU (Chair, ACUUS YG Asia, China)
Meng WANG (President, YES, China)
Amy Huanqing LI (Secretary, ACUUS, Canada)
Feng LIANG (President, YES China, China)
Adam C. Roberts (Senior Research Fellow, NTU, Singapore)
Nehemia Beyene (Senior Geotechnical Engineer, COFFEY, Australia)
Bin Liu (Professor, SDU, China)
(more members to come)


The Human Factor in Underground Workspaces

Dr. Adam Roberts (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

Senior Research Fellow at School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in NTU


2. Special Seminar reserved to committee members – UNESCO publication initiative

3. Urban Lab sessions during the UN-Habitat Urban Thinkers Campus 4.0

4. Training course from the China Geological Survey

Sponsored by

Organized by

Supported by

Co-organized by

© 2019 EUUS. All Rights Reserved.

The Human Factor in Underground Workspaces

Dr. Adam Roberts (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)


Dr. Adam Roberts is a Human Factors psychologist with specialisation in neuro-ergonomics. For the past four years, he has been examining how environmental factors affect work performance. In the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NTU Singapore, he studied how underground spaces could affect workers. Prior to NTU, Adam was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology & Phonetics, University of Oxford and worked in the Babylab in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. Adam received his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Sheffield in 2009, and his Masters in Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 2004.

Adam has worked on projects relating to environmental effects on the brain and behaviour, speech and language perception, and brain-controlled adaptive automation. He has over 10 years of experience with psycho-physiological recording, including eyetracking, EEG brain responses, and cardiovascular measures.


In recent years, engineering aspects of underground spaces (UGS) have been constantly improving, with many innovations leading to UGS that are comparable to, or improve upon, aboveground spaces. However, the human aspect has lagged behind. This means that attitudes towards UGS tend to be negative, and potential workers worry about possible health and psychological effects. As population density in cities increases, underground space use will need to take a more prominent role. This means going beyond traditional underground facilities such as water treatment plants and MRT stations, into diversified uses such as underground offices and data centres. We need to take a human centric approach to ensure that workers are happy and healthy, and UGS is utilized effectively.

In this talk Adam Roberts will present an overview of the results of the latest and largest systematic interdisciplinary research examining psychological, social and health parameters of workers in UGS. Beginning with the general public's perceptions of and attitudes towards UGS, he will move on to discuss case studies of existing UGS around the world, a large scale Singapore workplace study comparing aboveground and underground spaces, and laboratory tests in simulated work environments. Adam will demonstrate that this research has wide-reaching implications beyond UGS into general indoor space design, where minor cost-effective solutions could dramatically improve worker performance.