Remembering Mr Terry Hulme
Tunnelling and Underground Construction Society (Singapore)

        D138 meitu 2

Terry W. Hulme
Founding Member & Past President
Tunnelling and Underground Construction Society (Singapore), (TUCSS)

Terry Hulme passed away peacefully on Wednesday 15th March 2017 at Southbroom - near Port Shepstone - on the Lower South Coast of KwaZuluNatal, South Africa. He was not only a founding member of TUCSS but also played a key role in pioneering the development of the tunnelling and the tunnel group at the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the local tunnelling construction industry.

The Hulme Prize was set up by TUCSS in 1999 to honour Terry for his outstanding contribution to TUCSS and Tunnelling in Singapore. It is an annual competition for the best technical papers from young engineers or students below the age of 35yrs on any subject related to tunnelling and underground construction.

Rest in Peace

Click Here for News Article extracted from "THE STRAITS TIMES, published on 30th March 2017"

Tributes from members:

"Terry was very much at home in Singapore, where he had many friends, both local and foreign residents. When the first Singapore MRT was built, he was instrumental in the initial studies to lay the groundwork for the implementation and development effort.

He inspired many with his indefatigable energy over the years and his commitment and dedication to the project. Those who came after him and those who worked with him together on the project carried on the good work that he instituted and the tunnel engineers and civil works professionals benefited much from his legacy.

When the building known as the Hotel New World collapsed, he immediately gathered his group of engineers to aid the rescue effort working tirelessly with the Singapore Civil Defence Force to save the many survivors and thus went beyond the call of duty personifying the man he was – upright and sterling in resolve.  

He is much respected and much loved by many in Singapore and his outstanding career in Singapore together with his close nexus with the MRT system in Singapore will be remembered by all who came to know this English gentleman who came to the East a long time ago."

- Mr TS Low, TUCSS Hon. Member -

"For all the engineers who joined the then Mass Rapid Transit Corporation in the early and mid -eighties, Terry Hulme has been the key person who introduced them to the world of tunnelling and underground construction. It was then that Singapore had embarked on the first phase of the construction of a mass rapid transit system, and to many engineers including myself, it was the first exposure to major rail civil infrastructure work. To all of us, Terry Hulme was a true and dedicated guide, friend and guru. He mentored so many of us over the years and never failed to continue to provide advice and engineering support over the many years since. He was also instrumental in setting up the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Society, which today has grown to be one of the most successful and reputable organisations in Singapore. Many have since benefitted from the many technical conferences, courses and seminars this Society has organised. 

The tremendous growth Singapore has seen over the years in the transport infrastructure is a testimony to the planning and development work Terry Hulme had contributed over the years. He will always be remembered as a gentleman- engineer, who’s quiet, kind and yet firm way has nurtured so many engineers and projects. He has left indelible fond memories in all who had the fortune to work with him.

The best tribute we can offer for all the contribution he has done is to continue the path of excellence he had set and to always guide and lend a helping hand to all the younger engineers."

- Mr Rajan Krishnan, TUCSS Hon. Member & Past President -

"I have known Terry since 1984 when I first went to Singapore. Terry was the Project Manager of the metro and I soon felt tremendous admiration for him. In his quiet way, he commanded incredible respect. A brilliant but self- effacing engineer. Completely honest, always insisting on doing the right thing even if it brought the wrath of the powers that be.  He always made time to discuss and advise on issues. A really iconic figure in civil engineering. He will be missed but his legacy lives after him in all the projects he has delivered for the benefit of mankind and personally for me in all the words of wisdom and the example he set as an engineer that have influenced my own life so very much. A truly great man."

Mr Tony Burchell, TUCSS Past President -

"I have known Terry since the early eighties. We came through the same professional root of having worked and served Transport for London in our earlier career. He had been my truth mentor and friend over the last 30 years. A man who is kind, thoughtful and patient with young professionals.

He lead the early Singapore MRT construction programme and I was a young apprentice then. In later year, when I have the opportunity to lead the extension of Singapore MRT construction programme, Terry became my greatest advisor and strongest support. His untiring coaching and sharing have enabled me to succeed.  He is always there to push me along when I was in doubt. What a terrific spirited and wonderful man. Rest in peace, my dear friend and teacher. You will never be forgotten" 

- Mr TC Chew, President of Global Business & Operations, Samsung C&T Corporation -

"Terry Hulme was hugely influential in the design and construction of the Singapore MRT system. Often described as the ‘father of Singapore tunnelling’, his knowledge and influence were felt in many aspects of the development of the railway, not just underground construction. He brought a clear, simple and practical approach to all that he was involved in. In addition to Singapore, I also worked with him when was a consultant during the design of several lines of the Taipei MRT and then on the review of the design and construction of a line in Shanghai. His advice was greatly valued. He was always courteous and kind, although often visibly in pain from various physical problems. He encouraged the documentation and publication of technical papers summarising the experience gained during design and construction.  TUCSS and the work it does in documenting underground construction in Singapore and providing opportunities for Professional Developmenare part of his legacy."


Mr Nick Shirlaw, TUCSS Ex-Committee Member; Senior Consultants, Golder Associates (HK) -



"I learnt with great sadness today that my dear friend and former colleague Terry Hulme passed away in South Africa. It's so hard to come to terms with the loss of someone like Terry despite the fact that his years might have predicted this someday.

For those of us who knew Terry, it is not just his distinguished career that we remember, but the kind soul, the clever sense of humour, the unflappable temperament, and most of all, his deep humility that we shall miss the most.

Our MRT network bears the work of Terry's hand- as the foremost tunnelling expert of the day, he taught so many young engineers the art of tunnelling. These men, under Terry's tutelage, have become experts in their own right and in turn, lead the work that continues today.

When I joined the MRT Corporation back in 1983, as a young officer who knew nothing about rail work, I was both awed and privileged to have worked alongside this exceptional man who many came to call a Friend.

I am grateful he entered our lives and made us better for it."

Ms Tammei Loke, Pioneer PR Manager in MRTC -



"With great sadness, I wish to pass on my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Terry.

My years with Terry at LTA in Singapore have left lasting memories and fondness and appreciation for the mentoring and friendship Terry offered me.


The world has lost a truly great engineer and very genuine and thoroughly decent person. It will be a lesser place without him.


May he rest in peace."


Mr Guy Taylor, Samsung C & T Corporation -



"Mr Terry Hulme, with whom I worked in Singapore on the MTRC from 1985 - 1991. Terry was such a gentlemen as well as a great leader and colleague." 


Mr Paul Dixon, Melbourne Metro Rail Authority -

"I had the pleasure of working with Terry Hulme on some of the first MRTC contracts between 1984 and 1987. I cannot do better than echo the comments that appear on your Tribute page, particularly those of TS Low, T C Chew and Tony Burchell, colleagues from 33 years ago in Singapore. Terry Hulme, despite being very ill as a young man, had a long life and contributed so much during the huge growth of the tunnelling industry as modern methods of tunnelling made tunnelled solutions more viable. When Dr Steven Buttling and I needed assistance in advising on the feasibility of a subway system in Bangkok, we invited Terry to give a presentation to the Thai Senator and others who were actively promoting the venture. Subsequently,  approved the Bangkok subway continues to develop to rival others in South East Asia. I also worked with Terry in advising the Taipei MRTS on their plans for early lines of their metro system. I returned to Singapore for the DTSS project in 1998 and later assisted Meinhardt and Amberg, at all times keeping in touch with Terry.


Terry Hulme was a great engineer of the old school, truly independent, fair minded and at all times polite. Having been summoned to the  Scott’s Road / Orchard Road junction at 2am one morning after a tunnel machine mishap, Terry insisted he was first to go below the road surface through a small hole to inspect the 6 feet deep cavern left behind by an enthusiastic TBM. When he firmly told the authorities the road must be closed discussion ceased, the road was closed. I remember Terry as a leading engineer, highly respected and honoured in the UK, Singapore and many other places he had worked. He had the ability to quietly win the support of others, whether it be a tunnel miner or a politician, by sound reasoning and a polite manner. Like so many in our industry, I regard myself as being fortunate to have worked with and learned from Terry Hulme."

Mr David Stewart, Avrasya Consult -

"I first met Terry at the start of the North East Line and really started to work closely with him on the planning of what was then called the Marina Line. Despite his seniority within LTA and his extensive knowledge and experience of developing MRT systems he maintained a very polite and humble demeanour and was generous with his time with us youngsters! His infectious thirst for knowledge only made the job more interesting, particularly when he visited our sites on his low-key visits. I enjoyed and learnt from our conversations and I feel fortunate to have known him.

My Condolences to Terry's family."

Mr Blaise Pearce, TUCSS Individual Member -