Hoek's Corner

Explore the collective library of learning resources from the world-renowned expert of rock engineering, Dr. Evert Hoek, which includes books, published research papers, and an exclusive video lecture series.

About Dr. Evert Hoek

Evert hoek

Evert Hoek was born in Zimbabwe in southern Africa in 1933 and graduated in mechanical engineering with a B.Sc and an M.Sc from the University of Cape Town in 1957. He became involved in rock mechanics in 1958 when he started working in research on problems of brittle fracture in rock associated with very deep mines in South Africa. His degrees include a Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town, a D.Sc (Engineering) from the University of London, and honorary doctorates from the Universities of Waterloo and Toronto in Canada and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Spain. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK), an International Member of the US National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

He spent 8 years as a research engineer in the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, 9 years as a Reader and then Professor in the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, 12 years as a consultant with Golder Associates in Vancouver, Canada, and 6 years as an Industrial Research Professor in the University of Toronto. For the 25 years prior to his retirement in 2018, he worked as an independent consultant on review and consulting boards on civil and mining engineering projects around the world.

Video Lecture Series

Explore six exclusive video lectures covering a variety of topics in Rock Mechanics Engineering.

Design Challenges, Disasters and Lessons in Rock Engineering

February 2022 • Watch: 42 min
Dr. Hoek presents this seminar as a part of Rocscience's "Africa Geotechnical Legends" seminar series describing Design Challenges, Disasters and Lessons in Rock Engineering.
February 2022 • Watch: 42 min

The Development of Rock Engineering

April 2014 • Watch: 35 min
Provides a brief history of the field of rock engineering, with a look at a number of interesting case studies and examples.
April 2014 • Watch: 35 min

The Art of Tunneling in Rock

January 2015 • Watch: 36 min
Tunneling in rock presents some special challenges to the geotechnical engineer. In this lecture, Dr. Evert Hoek outlines a few interesting case studies of tunneling around the world.
January 2015 • Watch: 36 min

Intact Rock Sampling and Testing

March 2016 • Watch: 28 min
Intact rock is the basic building block of rock masses that we use as engineering materials. This lecture deals with the collection, preparation and testing of intact rock to establish the properties that we need as input in the estimation of rock mass properties.
March 2016 • Watch: 28 min

Rock Mass Properties

March 2016 • Watch: 31 min
Rock masses consist of intact rock pieces separated by tightly interlocking discontinuities. This lecture looks at the data collection and in situ testing required for the estimation of rock mass properties and for the confirmation of the validity of these estimates.
March 2016 • Watch: 31 min

Rock Slope Engineering

June 2016 • Watch: 33 min
Rock slope engineering involves the assessment of the risk of instability, the consequences of failure and remedial measures that can be taken in stabilizing rock slopes. Rockfalls pose different kinds of risks and these are also discussed briefly.
June 2016 • Watch: 33 min

Large Underground Excavated Caverns

June 2016 • Watch: 28 min
The stability of large excavated caverns for underground powerhouses, metro stations and other facilities require careful design as well as precisely sequenced excavation and support installation. The most significant steps in the design and construction process are discussed in this lecture.
June 2016 • Watch: 28 min

Practical Rock Engineering

Dr. Hoek's Practical Rock Engineering (2023 ed.) is a vital reference tool for engineers working in rock.

A free set of notes is available based on select case histories, each carefully chosen to illustrate the concepts and practical approaches used. From tunneling in South America to slope stability in Hong Kong, Practical Rock Engineering is an invaluable reference tool.

The book is available by chapter below.

Practical Rock Engineering | Chapter Headings

Preface | PRE, Chapter 1

What is rock engineering? | PRE, Chapter 2

Intact rock strength | PRE, Chapter 3

Shear strength of discontinuities | PRE, Chapter 4

Rock mass properties | PRE, Chapter 5

In situ and induced stresses | PRE, Chapter 6

When is a rock engineering design acceptable? | PRE, Chapter 7

Structurally controlled instability in tunnels | PRE, Chapter 8

Factor of safety and probability of failure | PRE, Chapter 9

A slope stability problem in Hong Kong | PRE, Chapter 10

Rock slopes in civil and mining engineering | PRE, Chapter 11

Rock mass classification | PRE, Chapter 12

Tunnels in weak rock | PRE, Chapter 13

Design of large underground caverns | PRE, Chapter 14

The Rio Grande project - Argentina | PRE, Chapter 15

Rockbolts and cables | PRE, Chapter 16

Model to demonstrate how rockbolts work | PRE, Chapter 17

Shotcrete support | PRE, Chapter 18

Tensile failure of spalling in tunnels | PRE, Chapter 19

Analysis of rockfall hazards | PRE, Chapter 20

Blasting damage in rock | PRE, Chapter 21


Discover significant published papers and lectures from Dr. Hoek.

A note from Dr. Evert Hoek:

During recent years, I have received many requests for copies of papers that I have published. I have undertaken the compilation of as many of the most significant papers as possible into the electronic database below.

You may download the papers from this list on the understanding that their use should be personal only and that these papers will not be distributed or re-published. These restrictions are necessary in order to conform to copyright agreements with the original publishers.

– Evert Hoek

Intact Rock Strength

Fracture Initiation and Propagation in Intact Rock - A Review

Brittle Failure of Rock

Brittle Fracture Propagation in Rock Under Compression

Fracture of Anisotropic Rock

Laboratory Testing

Developments in Triaxial Testing Equipment

A Simple Triaxial Cell for Field and Laboratory Testing of Rock

Hoek-Brown Criterion

The Hoek-Brown failure criterion and GSI - 2018 edition

A Brief History of the Development of the Hoek-Brown Failure Criterion. Soils and Rocks, No. 2

Hoek-Brown Failure Criterion - 2002 Edition

Reliability of Hoek-Brown Estimates of Rock Mass Properties and their Impact on Design

A Modified Hoek-Brown Criterion for Jointed Rock Masses

Estimating Mohr-Coulomb Friction and Cohesion Values from the Hoek-Brown Failure Criterion

Empirical Strength Criterion for Rock Masses

Geological Strength Index - GSI

Quantification of the Geological Strength Index Chart

Variability of the Engineering Properties of Rock Masses Quantified by the GSI: The Case of Ophiolites with Special Emphasis on Tunnelling

The GSI: Applications and Limitations

GSI: A Geologically Friendly Tool for Rock Mass Strength Estimation

Applicability of the GSI Classification for Very Weak and Sheared Rock Masses: The Case of the Athens Schist Formation

Rock Mass Properties

Characterization and Engineering Properties of Tectonically Undisturbed by Lithologically Varied Sedimentary Rock Masses

Characterization of Granite and the Underground Construction in Metro do Porto, Portugal

Estimating the Geotechnical Properties of Heterogeneous Rock Masses such as Flysch

Rock Mass Properties for Underground Mines

Rock Mass Properties for Surface Mines

Practical Estimates of Rock Mass Strength

Putting Numbers to Geology - An Engineer's Viewpoint - Glossop Lecture

Strength of Jointed Rock Masses

Rock Mass Deformation

Empirical Estimation of Rock Mass Modulus

Rock Slope Engineering

The Construction of the Egnatia Highway through Unstable Slopes in Northern Greece

Empirical Estimation of Rock Mass Modulus

Rock Slopes in Civil and Mining Engineering

Fundamentals of Slope Design

Design of Rock Slopes and Foundations - ISRM General Report

Tunnelling And Underground Construction

Overcoming Squeezing in the Yacambú-Quibor Tunnel, Venezuela

Greece's Egnatia Highway Tunnels

Support Decision Criteria for Tunnels in Fault Zones

Predicting Tunnel Squeezing Problems in Weak Heterogeneous Rock Masses

Support for Very Weak Rock Associated with Faults and Shear Zones

Tunnel Support in Weak Rock

Rock Support in Underground Mines

Trends in Relationships Between Measured Rock In-Situ Stresses and Depth

Alternative Ground Control Strategies in Underground Construction

Tunnelling in Overstressed Rock

Kersten Lecture - Integration of Geotechnical and Structural Design in Tunneling

Big Tunnels in Bad Rock - Terzaghi Lecture

Geotechnical Considerations in Tunnel Design and Contract Preparation

Large Underground Caverns

Thissavros Hydropower Plant: Managing Geotechnical Problems in Construction

Progress with the Excavation and Support of the Mingtan Power Cavern Roof

Design of Large Underground Caverns for Hydro-Electric Projects

Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme: Rock Engineering Aspects

Tunnel Boring Machines

EBP-TBM Face Support Control in the Metro do Porto Project, Portugal

Geological Risk in the Use of TBMs in Heterogeneous Rock Masses - The Case of Metro do Porto and the Measures Adopted

Experts And Consultants

The Role of Experts in Tunnelling - Experience from Greece and the World

Geotechnical Risks on Large Civil Engineering Projects

Consulting Boards for Large Civil Engineering Projects


Rock Mechanics: An Introduction for the Practical Engineer. Parts I, II, and III.

Lectures & Keynote Addresses

In his decades as a leading expert on rock mechanics, Dr. Evert Hoek has given keynote addresses at conferences around the world. Here, explore the geotechnical papers that accompanied some of Dr. Hoek's most notable talks.

Africa Geotechnical Legends Series 2022 - Q&A

Alternative Ground Control Strategies in Underground Construction 2012

Fundamentals of Slope Design 2009

Tunnelling in Overstressed Rock 2009

2008 Kersten Lecture

2001 Terzaghi Lecture

1999 Glossop Lecture

1992 Muller Lecture

1983 Rankine Lecutre

1982 Werhner Lecture

1974 ISRM General Report