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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.

Professor Nielen van der Merwe presents SANIRE’s first video lecture.  Nielen is a past SANIRE President and a past president of the ISRM, the only South African to achieve this honour.  Nielen is also a past president of the SAIMM and the Federation of International Geo‐Engineering Societies amongst many other honours.  He has made great contributions to rock engineering education through his roles as Professor, Centennial Chair for Rock Engineering, Wits and head of the Mining department at Tukkies.  Prior to this, Nielen was the programme manager for CSIR Mining Technology and the Group head of Rock mechanics SASOL.  Nielen has published numerous papers and made a major contribution to our fraternity, particularly in the field of coal rock mechanics.  More recently Nielen has taken an interest in variability and risk in rock engineering, a new and important field, which is the subject of this video lecture.
The lecture is entitled “Getting a Grip on Reality in Rock Engineering”