Charles Fairhurst


Dr. Fairhurst obtained his Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from the University of Sheffield, UK in 1955. He joined the University of Minnesota faculty, School of Mines and Metallurgy in 1956, serving as Head, for several years to 1970, when the Mining program was joined with Civil Engineering to form the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering. He served as Head of the joint Department from 1973-87 and retired in 1997.

He has con­sulted on rock stability problems for tunnels, dams, mines and exca­vations through­out the world. He remains active in consulting, with a current emphasis on the mechanics of fracture propagation in naturally fractured rock and the effective stimulation of geothermal reservoirs. He served as Presi­dent of the International Society of Rock Mechanics 1991-1995, and has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is a Fellow of the American Rock Mechanics Association.                                                                                  

Dr. Fairhurst holds honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Nancy, France; St. Petersburg Mining Academy, Russia; University of Sheffield, England; and University of Minnesota, USA; and is Advisory Professor to Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

In December, 2013, he was inducted as Officier, Légion d’Honneur, France.

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