Evert Hoek was born in Zimbabwe, graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Cape Town and became involved in the young science of rock mechanics in 1958 when he started working in research on the problems of brittle fracture associated with rockbursts in very deep mines in South Africa. His degrees include a PhD from the University of Cape Town, a DSc (Eng) from the University of London and honorary doctorates from the Universities of Waterloo and Toronto in Canada. He has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK), a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.
He has published more than 100 papers and 3 books and has posted a significant amount of information on the Internet for free downloading. He spent 9 years as a Reader and then Professor at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, 12 years as a Principal of Golder Associates in Vancouver, 6 years as an Industrial Research Professor at the University of Toronto and the last 17 years as an independent consulting engineer based in North Vancouver, Canada. His consulting work has included major civil and mining projects in 35 countries around the world and has involved rock slopes, dam foundations, hydroelectric projects, underground caverns and tunnels excavated conventionally and by TBM.
He has retired from active consulting work but, in 2010, is still a member of consulting boards on the Seymour Capilano Twin Tunnels Project in Vancouver, Canada, The Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory in the old Homestake mine in South Dakota, USA and the Codelco Norte Chuquicamata Open Pit Mine in Chile.