The STS was established in 1973 by a group of far-sighted specialists who all worked on the committee to set up the SIA 198 standard (underground engineering, 1975).
At the first general meeting chaired by Dr Lombardi on September 12, 1973, the first President of the STS, Dr R. Ruckli, was elected –a former director of the Swiss Federal Roads Office.
From these modest beginnings and kitted out, on the one hand, with the experiences acquired from the previous construction of numerous tunnels and caverns for hydroelectric power plants in the Alps and, on the other hand, with the experiences of using the “new" standard, many large road tunnels were built, in particular the classic Alpine Gotthard road tunnel (17 km) and the Seelisberg road tunnel (9.3 km).
In subsequent years, which saw the gradual completion of the national motorway network for which numerous tunnels were built, the STS worked to continue developing existing and new standards which had to be adapted or re-written in line with new requirements. At the same time, the STS supported scientific and applied research.
Today, the completion of the Alp Transit base tunnel through the Swiss Alps is one of the major challenges facing the Swiss tunnel construction industry. The STS endeavors to publicize outstanding achievements both in Switzerland and abroad and thus to strengthen the image and degree of recognition of the Swiss tunnel builders.