International consultant, Rock Engineering
Barton has more than 45 years of experience from hundreds of rock mechanics and rock engineering projects in a total of 38 countries. Most have concerned hydropower tunnelling and caverns, metro tunnels and station caverns, motorway tunnels, rock slope stability, and major dam abutment characterization. Nuclear waste disposal research projects have been performed in several countries as well, in particular in the USA, in the UK and in Sweden.
He is frequently involved in TBM project trouble-shooting.
In 2000 he started his own consultancy in Norway:
Nick Barton & Associates.
He obtained a Ph.D. on rock slope stability from
Imperial College, London in 1971. He worked for
25 years in
the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, part of the
time as division director, and later as technical
He is author/co-author of more than 300 papers in technical
journals and conference proceedings, and author
of a book
on TBM Tunnelling in Jointed and Faulted Rock in
2000, and of a text book on Rock Quality, Seismic
Attenuation and Anisotropy in 2006. He is currently writing a rock engineering textbook with Prof. Stavros Bandis.
He developed the well-known Q-system of rock mass characterization in 1974, and a non-linear shear strength criterion for rock joints in 1973/1982, now known as the Barton-Bandis criterion. Further empirical methods: Q TBM prognosis in 1999 and Q SLOPE for safe rock slope angles in 2015. Further empirical methods linked to Q are: the QTBM prognosis method since 1999, the QSLOPE method (for safe slope angles) since 2015, and the QH2O method (for estimating permeability with depth) since 2007.
He received the 6th ISRM Müller Award, given only once every four years for distinguished contributions to rock mechanics and rock engineering. He has an Honoris Causa (Honorary Doctorate) award from the University of Cordoba, Argentina (2004), and is an ISRM Fellow since 2015. He has received thirteen international awards between 1975 and 2015.
Fjordveien 65c,1363 Høvik, Oslo, Norway.