Professor Z. T. Richard Bieniawski von Preinl is professor of mineral engineering emeritus at the Pennsylvania State University and President of Bieniawski Design Enterprises, a tunnel design and construction consultancy in Prescott, Arizona. He is internationally recognized as one of the leading authorities in the world in rock engineering, tunneling and in mining, with over 50 years of experience in engineering practice, teaching and research. His special expertise is rock mass characterization, engineering design methodology and management, and tunnel engineering.
In 1973, he developed the rock mass classification, known as the Rock Mass Rating (RMR) System, which is currently used throughout the world on tunneling projects. The RMR System combines the most significant geologic parameters of influence and represents them with one overall comprehensive index used for the design and construction of tunnels.
In mining, he is known for developing the Bieniawski mine pillars design formula and for proposing a detailed methodology and principles for the design of underground excavations.
This window shares the most important results of the collaboration in rock engineering established between Professor Bieniawski and Geocontrol. Recent activities include:
- Article published in “Tunnels & Tunnelling International” (August 2011) which proposes methodology for feasibility and planning purposes entitled Forecasting Tunnelling Behaviour. It includes a practical index and guidelines for primary tunnel support based on the elastic behavior of rock masses.
- Workshop on Geotechnical Characterization of Rock Masses organized by ADIF in Madrid. Professor Bieniawski participated as the main speaker on the topic Misconceptions in the Applications of Rock Mass Classifications and their Corrections.
- Participation as Advisor in the R&D project demonstrating that Specific Energy of Excavation can be used effectively to detect changes in tunnelling ground conditions based on real-time recording of the machine performance as construction proceeds.
- Participation as Advisor in the R&D project, based on the experience gained in the last decades, for the development of an improved RMR14, which provides better accuracy by having a new structure comprising five basic parameters and three adjustment factors. A clear correlation between RMR89 and RMR14 is demonstrated thus maintaining the essence of the RMR System for continued practical applications.