- Dr Nick Barton is selected as the recipient of the distinguished Müller Award, an award that honours the memory of Professor Leopold Müller, the founder of the ISRM (International Society of Rock Mechanics) and in recognition of distinguished contributions to the profession of rock mechanics and rock engineering.
- Barton is the sixth recipient of the Award that is made every four years and is selected in recognition of his outstanding career in engineering science and his talent for applying theoretical knowledge of rock mechanics to the practical field of rock engineering.
Nick Barton, winner of the
6th ISRM Müller Award
- Barton was selected during the ISRM Council Meeting in New Delhi in October 2010 and will receive the award and deliver the Müller lecture at the 12th ISRM Congress in Beijing, in October next year (2011).
- Nominated by the Colombian Geotechnical Society (Sociedad Colombiana de Geotecnia), Barton has contributed to projects in more 30 countries worldwide working from his native base in Britain and his adopted home countries of Norway and Brazil. Through the publication of more than 250 books and technical papers as author and co-author, he has advanced the science of rock mechanics through the development of rock quality tests and systems of rock categorisation that are applied to the design and successful construction of tunnels and underground caverns in wide-ranging rock types and conditions. He is well known for development of the Q-System and the QTBM prognosis modelling for characterisation of rock masses and rock joints, which is then applied to support and presupport needs for tunnels, large rock caverns, dam abutments, underground nuclear waste repositories, and other rock engineering projects. Two of his books most referred to are on TBM Tunnelling in Jointed and Faulted Rock (2000) and Rock Quality, Seismic Velocity, Attenuation and Anisotropy (2006).
- During a career spanning more than 40 years in rock engineering and study, some of the recent and iconic and important underground structures he has worked on include:
Barton managed rock mechanics design studies for the 62m span Gjøvik Olympic sports cavern
1990-1991 - Project Manager rock mechanics design studies for the 62m span Gjøvik Olympic underground sports cavern performed by NGI for consultants Fortifikasjon A/S in Norway
2000-2002 - Consultant to Morrisson Knudsen/TRW and subsequently to Bechtel-SAIC (BSC) on characterization of jointed tuff and rock joint description for modelling, and for general rock mass characterization for the Yucca Mountain high level nuclear waste repository project in, Nevada, USA.
2003- Q-system based core characterization and joint description for four 1,000m deep boreholes at SKB's Forsmark and Simpevarp candidates for high level nuclear waste repository sites in Sweden, and related surface outcrop characterization at both sites.
2004- Consultant to Odebrecht for planned trans-Andean TBM water transfer tunnel of 14km length at depths of up to 2,300m, performing empirical and contracting numerical distinct element and fracture mechanics modelling of likely rock burst and rock failure and deformation processes with in situ rock stresses of at least 60 MPa.
2006-2007 - Consultant to Queiroz Galvão in Chile for the 18km long headrace tunnel at La Higuera hydroelectric project
2006-2007 - Advisor to Greater Vancouver Water District for rock quality questions at the Seymour-Capilano water treatment deep access shaft.
2007-2008 - Consultant to CVA contractor/designer consortium concerning interpretation of reasons for fatal collapse at São Paulo Line 4 Metro Pinheiros Station cavern in weathered gneiss, with first official reporting to the authorities.
2009- Extensive rock-exposure statistical Q-logging and use of core and seismic data to enable Qtbm prognosis modelling for open-gripper TBM, and for double-shield TBM with push-off-liner where needed, for twin high-speed rail tunnels of 7.9 and 9.6 km length from Oslo to Ski.
- Barton obtained a PhD on rock slope stability from Imperial College, London in 1971 and has worked for 25 years at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, part of the time as division director, and later as technical adviser.
Isometric view of the Yucca Mountain repository as proposed
- In 2000 he started his own consultancy in Norway and is frequently engaged around the world as an expert witness to tribunal and court hearings and for troubleshooting projects that have encountered rock quality difficulties. Barton was selected for the 2011 award from three nominations, the other two being Professor Richard Goodman nominated by the ARMA (American Rock Mechanics Association) and Professor Peter Kaiser was nominated by the CARMA (Canadian Rock Mechanics Association).
Iconic underground structures - Gjøvik Olympic sports cavern - TunnelTalk, Sept 2010
Direct twin-tube route for Oslo-Ski railway - TunnelTalk, Oct 2010
Waste management at Yucca Mountain - TunnelTalk, March 2009
Facing the challenges of Seymour-Capilano - TunnelTalk, Dec 2006
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