John Robert Booker (1942-1998). He was a distinguished scientist and engineer, teacher, researcher and mentor who, while a professor at the University of Sydney, had a close research collaboration with the GRC, Western University. In addition to being an outstanding researcher, John Booker was known for fostering new talent as well as developing collaborative relationships in many different areas of research.
Professor Booker was widely regarded as one of the finest researchers of his generation working in the field of theoretical geomechanics. It was his extraordinary skill in devising rigorous theoretical solutions to many important but difficult practical problems that set John apart, and also underpinned for many years the research of the geotechnical group in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Sydney.
Throughout his career, John Booker produced an enormous body of important published research in over 250 technical papers. His output in a shortened lifetime was more than many top academics in his field produce in much longer careers. He authored and co-authored many seminal papers in the fields of soil mechanics, foundation engineering and environmental geomechanics. He was a co-author, with R.K. Rowe and R.M. Quigley of the influential textbook on "Clayey Barrier Systems for Waste Disposal Facilities." He was awarded a higher doctorate in Engineering in 1983 for his "Selected Paper on Analytic Geomechanics."
In 1985, he was appointed Reader and personal chair in Engineering Mechanics at the University of Sydney.
Senior Fulbright Scholar, University of California at Berkeley
Held Visiting Research Fellowships at Kings' College London, Cambridge University and The University of Western Ontario
From 1989 to 1994, he served as Head of the School of Civil and Mining Engineering, University of Sydney
From 1990 he was Pro-Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Sydney.