Rock mass classification is an extremely powerful and useful tool in rock engineering, and this lecture gives an introduction to rock mass classification. It puts a number to the quality of a rock mass, and numbers facilitate the application of engineering in rock masses. Several rock mass classification systems are described in the lecture, as well as examples of applications of classification in the evaluation of stability of excavations, estimation of rock support requirements, and determination of rock mass deformation and strength parameters. The lecture will help new users to become proficient in the application of rock mass classifications.

This lecture is presented by Dick Stacey, Emeritus Professor, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Dick Stacey worked under Dick Bieniawski in the Rock Mechanics Division at CSIR’s National Mechanical Engineering Research Institute in South Africa before spending a year at the Imperial College of Science and Technology as an Academic Visitor in the Engineering Geology Department. He spent 25 years with SRK Consulting before joining the School of Mining Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2000 as Centennial Professor of Rock Engineering. He retired at the end of 2008, but continues to participate in the School of Mining Engineering activities.