Sanja Zlatanic, PE

Zlatanic has a wealth of knowledge in the arena of tunnels and complex underground structures, including all phases of mega multimodal transportation facilities; large-span caverns, tunnels and shafts in rock, soft ground and mixed-face conditions; tunnel rehabilitation, transit underground stations, ventilation and associated supporting facilities.

She has extensive experience managing multidisciplinary joint venture staff, from feasibility and conceptual engineering through final design and construction. Known for promoting sustainable underground space use, she is respected among industry colleagues and project owners nationally and internationally.

Her work includes the No. 7 Subway Line Extension, the East Side Access Project, and the rehabilitation of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel in New York City; the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement project in Seattle, and the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line for LA Metro.

Professional affiliations:
● State Specialist Examination for Structural Engineering: Yugoslavia
● Associated research Centers for Urban Underground Space, board member and secretary general
● International Tunneling Association Committee for Underground Space
● ITACUS ambassador for the Americas
● International Tunneling Association
● The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Inc.
● North American Underground Association
● American Concrete Institute
● American Society of Civil Engineers

30 seconds with Sanja Zlatanic …

Q. Why is it important to consider the sustainable use of underground space?
A. "We’re running out of room in cities around the world. Yet the ground beneath us provides massive potential. It can provide many benefits, from its ability to protect infrastructure from natural disasters and earthquakes to its low impacts on a region’s ecology and aesthetics. It can make nearly impossible projects not only possible, but feasible."

Q. When considering a tunnel project, what are the most critical aspects for owners?
A. "Managing risks. When owners study and identify the risks in a project's early stages and take prudent steps to mitigate, assign/or insure against them, they are making a wise investment. They're much more likely to successfully deliver the project on time, on budget and within scope."

Q. How safe are modern tunnels?
A. "Very, but that’s not by accident. Today’s complex underground structures and tunnels must account for probable incidents affecting tunnel services, especially tunnel fires. Through proven best practices and the use of innovative material and construction techniques, engineers are making today’s tunnels safer than ever before."

Awards and recognition:
● 2011 Gold Award for Engineering Excellence, NY American Council of Engineering Companies, East River Ventilation Shafts Project
● 2006 Outstanding Underground Project, American Shotcrete Association, Weehawken Tunnel and Bergenline Avenue Station
● 2001 Grand Conceptor Award, ACEC, 63rd Street Connection Project
● 1998 Gold Award for Engineering Excellence in Transportation and Mega Projects Category, NY ACEC, Rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel

● Executive Education for Women, Smith College
● Master’s degree in structural engineering, tunnels, concrete and steel structures, University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia