Emeritus Professor E. T. (Ted) Brown, AC (1938 – )


Ted Brown has more than 45 years of international experience as a researcher, teacher, consultant, and writer on rock mechanics and its applications in the mining, civil engineering, and energy resources industries, including:

  • rock engineering aspects of civil engineering projects, including foundations, slopes, tunnels, and large caverns
  • surface and underground coal and metalliferous mines
  • energy projects including coal, geothermal energy, hydroelectric power and underground gas storage.

Ted was a retained rock mechanics consultant in Golder’s Brisbane office from 1988 to 2000, and has since been a senior consultant.

He is the author or co-author of three major books, editor or co-editor of five edited volumes, and author or coauthor of 125 papers or book chapters, along with 11 published discussions. Perhaps, however, he is best-known for his books “Underground Excavations in Rock,” “Rock Mechanics for Underground Mining,” and “Block Caving Geomechanics,” as well as for the Hoek-Brown criterion, which is widely used in engineering practice. Professor Brown was President of the International Society for Rock Mechanics from 1983 to 1987.

Ted’s academic career spanned 36 years, from 1965 to 2001, initially at James Cook University in Australia as a lecturer and Associate Professor, then Reader, and later Professor of Rock Mechanics at Imperial College of Science and Technology in London from 1975 to 1987, and Dean of the Royal School of Mines from 1983 to 1986. Upon returning to Australia, Ted became Dean of Engineering at The University of Queensland from 1987 to 1990, and then Deputy Vice Chancellor and, later, Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor.

After leaving academia in 2001, in addition to working with Golder, Ted has served as a research consultant with the Sustainable Minerals Institute and the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Center at the University of Queensland.

Among many honours, awards and distinctions, Professor Brown was given the International Society for Rock Mechanics’ highest honour, the Müller Award, in 2007. The award is presented every four years at the ISRM International Congress, “in recognition of distinguished contributions to the profession of rock mechanics and rock engineering.”

Ted was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC), Australia Day Honours List 2001, “for service to the engineering profession as a world expert in rock mechanics and to scholarship through promotion of the highest academic and professional standards.”


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