Practical Rock Engineering 1 - Introduction

Practical Rock Engineering 1 - Introduction

Areas of Study: Geotechnics

Qualifies for Certification

A course for mining and geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists that introduces the principles of modern rock engineering theory and practice. This course is the first in a suite of five Practical Rock Engineering courses.


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  • Audience Level:
  • Professional
  • Enrollment:
  • Required
  • Duration:
  • 12 hours

Course Summary


This course for mining and geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists introduces the principles of modern rock engineering theory and practice. It traces the historical development of rock engineering, discusses the selection of appropriate design criteria, and presents the concepts and application of rock mass classification schemes. The course includes numerous practical examples of the application of rock engineering principles.

This course is the first in a suite of five Practical Rock Engineering courses. Other titles in the suite include Structural Analysis, Slope Stability and Rockfalls, Stress Analysis, and Excavation and Support.

The entire suite of courses has been upgraded and enhanced by the author to reflect advances in theory and practice that have occurred in recent years. Enhancements include the provision of many new figures and images.

Course Content

Practical Rock Engineering 1 - Introduction consists of 14 viewing sessions of 30 - 60 minutes each with supporting figures, examples, design tables and an extensive author reference, plus interactive course reviews. Course duration is equivalent to approximately 14 hours of viewing content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the development of modern rock engineering practice.
  • Assess the significance of rock strength and stress, rock mass classification, analytical models and rock reinforcement.
  • Evaluate rock engineering conditions for selection of appropriate design criteria and factors of safety.

Recommended Background

  • A degree in civil, mining or geotechnical engineering, engineering geology, or related discipline

Dr. Evert Hoek

Dr Hoek was born in Zimbabwe and graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Cape Town in South Africa in 1955. For his post-graduate work he specialised in experimental stress analysis and obtained a master's degree for his work on three-dimensional photoelastic techniques. In 1958 he joined the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and became involved in the application of stress analysis techniques to the study of rock stress problems in deep level gold mines. He was awarded a PhD in 1965 by the University of Cape Town for a thesis on brittle fracture in rock.

In 1966 he accepted an invitation from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, one of the colleges of the University of London, to establish an interdepartmental centre of research and teaching in rock mechanics. He was appointed Professor of Rock Mechanics in 1970 and awarded a DSc in Engineering by London University in 1975.

In 1975 he moved to Canada as a Principal of Golder Associates, an international geotechnical consulting firm. In 1987 he accepted the post of Industrial Research Professor of Rock Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto.

Dr Hoek returned to a full time consulting practice in Vancouver in 1993. He is now an independent consultant and is a member of a number of consulting boards and a technical review consultant on several major civil and mining engineering projects. He has recently worked on projects in Canada, Greece, India, Venezuela, Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines.

He has published numerous technical papers and three books. His most recent book on rock support for hard rock excavations, co-authored with Professors P.K. Kaiser and W.F. Bawden, was published in January 1995. Amongst the awards which he has received are the E. Burwell Award from the Geological Society of America (1979), Elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK (1982), Rankine Lecturer, British Geotechnical Society. (1983), The Gold Medal of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, UK, (1985), The Mueller Award, International Society of Rock Mechanics (1991), William Smith Medal, Geological Society of London, (1993), the award of an honorary DSc in Engineering by the University of Waterloo, Canada (1994) and presentation of the Glossop Lecture to the Geological Society in London (1998).