Rock engineering for tunnels (drill-and-blast and TBM), pre-grouting, caverns, dam abutments, rock slopes and rockfill


(All these topics to be addressed with relevant parts of the Q-system, QTBM, QSLOPE and the Barton-Bandis strength criterion)

Zagreb, Croatia,  June 02-04, 2011

Lecturer: Dr. Nick Barton

Dr. Nick Barton was educated in the University of London from 1963 to 1970, and has a B.Sc. in civil engineering from King’s College, and a Ph.D. on rock slope stability from Imperial College. He worked for two periods in the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Oslo, eventually as Division Director, then Technical Advisor, and was also four years in the USA, becoming Manager of Geomechanics in Terra Tek, now Schlumberger. Since 2001 he has had his own international rock engineering consultancy, registered as Nick Barton & Associates in Oslo, and also has an office in São Paulo. He has consulted on projects in 34 countries, and published widely (260 papers, and two text books). He has five international awards and was elected a Doctor honoris causa in Argentina. Recently he was selected for the 6th Mueller Award of ISRM, a lecture to be given in Beijing 2011.

This two and half-days short course will cover some key elements of the lecturer’s internationally applied developments in rock mechanics and rock engineering. The course will start with a thorough treatment of the Q-system of rock mass classification and its many site-interpretation and tunnel-design aspects.


International experiences will be reflected in numerous case record examples using rock joint characterization techniques and rock mass Q-system application, for site investigation, for preliminary support design of tunnels and large caverns, and for follow-up and support modification during construction. The links between Q and seismic velocity will be explained. Mapping techniques, core logging interpretation, and so-called 'histogram-logging' will be emphasized.

Fundamentals of rock joint characterization, coupled behaviour involving permeability, shear strength, stiffness, and links to the strength of rockfill will also be covered, and a new Q-slope method will also be introduced, for estimating safe slope angles in jointed rock masses. Reinforcement of slopes in relation to shear strength will be emphasised. Most recently the shear strength of rock masses has also been linked to Q, and modelling using ‘c then tan φ’ degradation /mobilization is suggested as a more realistic method than conventional practice.

Programme of the course and the Nonveiller Lecture >>>

Location: RGN, Pierottijeva 6 >>>  

Registration form >>>

List of participants >>>

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