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Earth and Environmental Sciences

Photo of Professor Robert Pine

Professor Robert Pine

Emeritus Professor of Geotechnical Engineering



Born 27 May 1948

BSc (Eng) Civil Engineering (Hons) and ACGI, Imperial College, London, 1969.
MSc (Eng) Soil Mechanics and DIC, Imperial College, 1972.
PhD Rock Mechanics and Hydraulics, Camborne School of Mines, 1987.

Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng)
Chartered Engineer (CEng)
Member, Institution of Civil Engineers (MICE)
Fellow, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM)
Managing Board member, IMMM
Member British Geotechnical Society
Past Member of Council British Geotechnical Society
Past Member Geotechnique Advisory Panel
Member International Society for Rock Mechanics
Member International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering.


2008 - present  Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Cornwall, UK

Emeritus Professor of Geotechnical Engineering

2000-2008 Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Cornwall, UK
Professor of Geotechnical Engineering, Head of Department
Leader of Geomechanics Research

1996-2000, Golder Associates, Nottingham, UK
Principal and Technical Director, Geomechanics
Management and technical control of projects in mining and civil engineering. Specialist in rock and soil mechanics, fluid flow in fractured rock, numerical modelling and risk assessment.  Quality Assurance Director.

1985-1996, Camborne School of Mines, Cornwall, UK (University of Exeter 1993-1996)
Principal Lecturer then Professor of Geomechanics
Leader of Geomechanics Research and responsible for development of all geotechnically related programmes.  Supervision of MSc, PhD and Post-doctoral research projects and consultancy as detailed below. Manager of Computing, Library, Audio-Visual and Workshop services.

1981-1985, Golder Associates, Cornwall, UK
Responsible for geomechanics, hydrogeology and science management on the Camborne School of Mines, Hot Dry Geothermal Energy Project, funded by UK Dept. of Energy.

1979 to 1981 Golder Associates, Maidenhead, UK
Senior Geotechnical Engineer
Responsible for soil and rock engineering studies, including fabrication yard extensions, Stornoway, UK; rock excavation stability, Stockport, UK; foundation improvement, Castle Peak Power Station, Hong Kong; geotechnical analysis and design aspects of Main and Headrace contracts of Drakensberg Pumped Storage Hydro-Electric Scheme; site assessment and design of tailings dams at Tara Mine.

1977-1979 Golder Associates, Drakensberg, South Africa
Senior Geotechnical Engineer
Responsible on site for geotechnical aspects of Headrace Contract, including open cut and tunnel support, in-situ testing and monitoring and lining design.

1973 to 1976 Acres Consulting Services, Canada and USA
Geotechnical Engineer, then Senior Geotechnical Engineer
Design studies for deep underground nuclear waste disposal, analysis of stability of sections of Niagara Gorge, economic and technical evaluations of compressed air and oil storage in mined caverns. Geotechnical investigation and design for harbour works, power plants, steel works, slopes, open cuts and water retaining structures.

1969 to 1973 Holland Hannan & Cubitts, UK
Site Engineer, then Design Engineer
Geotechnical and structural design and site supervision of piled foundations, bridges, cofferdams, pipelines and other civil engineering structures.


Research interests include the application of numerical modelling to the increased understanding of failure mechanisms and design strategies for underground excavations (civil and mining engineering), fluid flow in fractured rock (hot dry rock geothermal energy, hydraulic fracture stimulation and stress measurement, hydromechanical interactions in gas storage caverns, hydrocarbon reservoirs and underground reservoirs generally). Risk assessment applied to stability and environmental issues in the mining and civil engineering industries.

Research area webpages (links)

Mining and Minerals Engineering

Renewable Energy

Recent research projects (2001 to date)

ECSC Contract No. 7220-PR-092. Acoustic emission and electromagnetic monitoring of rock failure. Rock Mechanics Technology Ltd / ECSC.

ESF project.  PhD project - Evaluation of Risk of Landsliding and Rockfall on Cornwall’s Coastline.

Associate Contract under ECSC Project 7220-PR/135. “Improved rock stress measurement and analysis for planning of underground coal mines”.

Numerical modelling and analysis of fractured rock mass strength and deformability.  Joint with U. Swansea. EPSRC GR/S04970/01.

EPSRC/ RioTinto Case  Award “Development of data capture and stochastic modelling  of rock masses to determine the  potential for block caving”.

Rio Tinto Technical Services Ltd. Continuation of research into numerical modelling of fractured rock masses (continuation of work in ADRB 2333)

“Numerical modelling and analysis of slope stability in fractured rock masses under effective stress.  Joint with U. Wales, Swansea. EPSRC EP/C518713/1

“Characterisation of rock fracture network modelling techniques”. ESF.

Link to further research projects

Recent publications (2001 to date)

Pine, R.J. and Cockett, J.  Design and construction of an offshore drilled shaft 6 m in diameter and 64 m deep at Flamanville, N.France.  3rd Int Conf Shaft Design and Construction, IoM3, London, April 2012. 

Styles, T.D., Coggan, J.S. and Pine, R.J. (2011). Stability analysis of a large fractured rock slope using a DFN-based mass strength approach. Proc. Slope Stability 2011, ISRM Symposium, Vancouver Sept. 18-21.

Ford, N.T.,  Pine, R.J. and Flynn, Z.N.  Discrete fracture network modelling and characterisation of rock masses for block caving design. Proc. 11th Congress of International Society for Rock Mechanics.  Lisbon, July 2007. pp 231-236.

Flynn, Z.N. and Pine, R.J.   Fracture characterisation determined by numerical modelling analyses.  Proc. 11th Congress of International Society for Rock Mechanics.  Lisbon, July 2007. pp 293-298.

Coggan, J.S., Pine, R.J., Styles, T.D. and Stead, D. (2007). Application of hybrid finite/discrete element modelling for back-analysis of rock slope failure mechanisms. In: Proceedings of Slope Stability 2007, International Symposium on Rock Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, 12-14 September, p 267-277. ISBN13 Vol.1: 978-0-415-45083-6.

Pine, R.J., Owen, D.R.J., Coggan, J.S. and Rance, J.M.  (2007).  A new discrete modelling approach for rock masses. Geotechnique 57, No. 9, 757-766.

Pine, R.J., Coggan, J.S., Flynn, Z.N., Ford, N.T. and Gwynn, X.P. (2006) A hybrid approach to modelling blocky rock masses using a discrete fracture network and finite / discrete element combination.  Golden Rocks Denver Colorado American Rock Mechanics Association ARMA/USRMS Paper 06-1126, 9 pages.   

Pine, R.J.,  Coggan, J.S., Flynn, Z.N. and Elmo, D. (2006).  The development of a new numerical modelling approach for naturally fractured rock masses.  Rock Mech. and Rock Eng.  39,  No. 5, pp 395-419.

Elmo D, Coggan J.S. and Pine R.J. (2005). Characterisation of rock mass strength using a combination of discontinuity mapping and fracture mechanics modelling. Alaska Rocks 2005. American Rock Mechanics Association. ARMA/USRMS Paper 05-733, 13 pages.

R.J.Pine and W.J.Roberds “A risk-based approach for the design of rock slopes subject to multiple failure modes – illustrated by a case study in Hong Kong. International Journal of Rock Mechanics, 42 (2005)  261-275.

R.J.Pine , E. Berger,  R.D. Hammett and E. Artigiani (2004) “Vipiteno Mine Italy – Mine design and rock mechanics”, Trans. IMM Section A, Vol 113 pp A142-152. 

R.J. Pine and J.P. Harrison “Rock Mass Properties for Engineering Design”.   Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology36, 5-16, 2003.

Westgate B.M., Coggan J.S. and Pine R.J. (2003). Development of a risk-based approach to coastal instability assessment in Cornwall. Geoscience in south-west England, 10, 390-396.

Coggan J.S, Pine R.J., Stead D. and Rance, J. (2003). Numerical modelling of brittle rock failure using a combined finite-discrete element approach: Implications for rock engineering design.  In: ISRM 2003 Technology Roadmap for rock mechanics, South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, SAIMM Symposium Series S33, 211-218. ISBN 1-919783-52-0.

Carter, T.G., De Graaf, P., Booth, P., Barrett, S.V. and Pine, R.J.  Innovativedesign for a challenging highway widening project in Hong Kong.  Proc 53rd Annual Highway Geology Symposium,San Luiz Obispo, California Califormia State DOT, p 13-25, 2002.

Carter, T.G., De Graaf, P.J.H., Booth, P.W., Barrett, S.V.L., and Pine R.J. Integration of detailed field investigations and innovative design key factors to the successful widening of the Tuen Mun Highway. Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Seminar Organised by The Geotechnical Division of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, 8th  May, p 187-201, 2002.

Jones, D.R.V. and Pine, R.J. “Design of inclined geosynthetic lining systems for vertical landfill expansion”, Proc. Sardinia 2001, 8th Int. Waste Management and Landfill Symposium,Cagliari, Italy, 1-5 October 2001.

Newman, P.D., Pine, R.J. and Ross, K. “The optimisation of high density backfill at the Stratoni operations, Greece.  Minefill 2001, Proc. 7th Int. Symp. on Mining with Backfill, SME, Colorado, pp 273-284, 2001.

Coggan, J.S., Pine, R.J. and Stead, D. “A proposed methodology for rockfall risk assessment along coastlines”.  Proc. Conf. Geoscience in south-west England, 2001.

Link to further publications


MSc modules

CSMM100 Fundamental Geotechnics

CSMM113 Surface Excavation Design

CSMM114 Underground Excavation Design

CSMM101 Hazard and Risk Assessment

Undergraduate modules

CSM3302  Surface Excavation Design

CSM3306  Tunnelling and Excavation Design

CSM3365  Energy Storage Technology

CSM3373  Geothermal Energy

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