T3: Rock Testing for Tunnelling Estimation and Design

T3: Rock Testing for Tunnelling Estimation and Design

The work of Bamford Rock Testing Services (BRTS) rock testing laboratory and specialised tests will be explained and demonstrated. Rock strength and deformability need to be characterised for the safe design of tunnel structures, but the success of a project also depends on accurate prediction of the excavatability and abrasiveness of the rock.

Tour Leaders: 

Dr Bill Bamford

Dr Bill Bamford is recognised as a world leader in the field of specialised rock testing with a lifetime of experience and research devoted to the area.

Bill has vast experience with comparing geotechnical tests developed in different countries with different manufacturers of rock excavating equipment, as well as testing to predict the performance of rock excavating machinery in different types of rock. He is able to compare the performances of various pieces of equipment in particular situations and has developed standard suites of tests relevant to Diamond Drilling, Rotary Drilling, Percussive Drilling (Down Hole), Percussive Drilling (Top Hammer), Road Headers, Raise & Shaft Borers, Tunnel Boring Machines, Trenching, and Strain Burst risk assessment.

Dr Darshi Palamakumbure 

Darshi has been working at BRTS since 2016 and is a vital part of the laboratory and an accomplished manager of its work. She is an expert in all the testing methods used to do Rock Testing and an able teacher of the young Rock Engineers who make up the Laboratory team.

Since winning the Gold Medal for the Most Outstanding student passing out from the Earth Resources Engineering cohort from the Geological survey and Mines Bureau in Sri Lanka, Darshi has pursued her education in Australia, gaining her PhD in 2015 from the University of Wollongong. Darshi continues to undertake research activities to develop and implement commercial solutions for clients. Recently, she has modelled the performance of MicroTBMs using the range of measured and friction coefficients.

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1.30 pm - 4.00 pm


Bamford Rock Testing Services (BRTS), 239 Arden Street North Melbourne




– Presentation on testing philosophy
– Videos of testing – close up
– Afternoon tea & discussion
– Lab walk through and inspections