Tor Brekke

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Person.png Tor BrekkeRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Tor L Brekke.png
Born3 March 1934
Died6 March 2009 (Age 75)
Berkeley, California
Alma materNorwegian Institute of Technology
tunnel building expert

Dr Tor L. Brekke was a world-renowned scholar in tunneling. He worked for many years at the University of California, Berkeley as a professor of geological engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.


During his career, Brekke authored more than 85 publications and consulted on more than 200 projects, including hydroelectric power plants, dams, highways, railroads and mines (and deep military structures?) around the world. His research interests included gas storage in excavated caverns, pressure tunnels and shafts, water and subway tunnels, and rock and soil tunneling.

Brekke graduated from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim with a master of science degree in mining engineering in 1958, and a doctorate in geological engineering in 1963. From 1958 through 1960, in between earning his master's degree and returning to school for his doctorate, Brekke served as a private in the Norwegian Army Corps of Engineers, designing airfields and other structures.

After earning his doctorate, Brekke worked from 1960 to 1969 at the Institute of Geological Engineering at the Norwegian Institute of Technology as a research fellow and a university lecturer. He spent one of those years, 1967, as a visiting research associate at UC Berkeley's Department of Civil Engineering.

That year was a precursor to a longer career at UC Berkeley. In 1970, he returned to the campus as an acting associate professor of geological engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, then became an associate professor months later and a full professor in 1976. He retired in 1993 as a professor emeritus.

Brekke was a chairman of the U.S. National Committee of Tunneling Technology, and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Technical Sciences and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He was also an honorary member of the Geotechnical Society of Colombia in South America. He was an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of America and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Association of Engineering Geologists and the U. S. Committee of the International Commission on Large Dams.[1]


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/197821 April 197823 April 1978US
New Jersey
Princeton University
The 26th Bilderberg, held in the US