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BAM Nuttall supports Warwick University in Not-a- Boring-Competition

09 September, 2021

BAM Nuttall is Gold Sponsor of the Warwick Boring Team in the largest tunnelling competition in the world. Our team is competing against eleven other groups from around the world.

Run by Elon Musk’s latest venture The Boring Company, this competition challenges teams to come up with tunnelling solutions and answer the question, “Can you beat the snail?” – a challenge set by Elon Musk in 2018 (the snail, called Gary, is 14 times faster than current boring solutions and is The Boring Company’s mascot).


With BAM Nuttall’s extensive experience in tunnelling, the Warwick university team cited the use of digital construction and net zero carbon approach to engineering as the reasons behind their decision to collaborate, aligning perfectly with their roots, ethos and what they’re hoping to achieve.

The final 12 teams, known as The Digging Dozen beat over 400 applicants to make the finals during which they will compete to bore a 30-meter tunnel with a cross-sectional area of 0.2 square meters (equivalent to a circle with a 0.5-meter diameter).

Winning categories will include:

  • Fastest to complete tunnel
  • Fastest to complete tunnel and a driving surface (we will drive a Tesla remote controlled car through the tunnel)
  • Most accurate guidance system – how far away is the tunnel from its target?

The Warwick Boring Team consists of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students from The University of Warwick. The team is the only U.K university who have made it to the final in Nevada.

The team started work on the preliminary designs in November of 2020 with just 13 members. They upped the team to 31 members at the start of the year in preparation for assembly which began in February 2021 when the team learned they’d made the finals in California.

The solution, named Silk-Worm 1, aims to be:

Cost effective

The system is modelled for cost efficiency by using less components (compared to traditional boring machines) that are also easy-to-assemble.


The product is developed via the "Design for Manufacturing" approach which ensures successful scalability in future commercial projects worldwide.

You can see the latest progress here:

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