1956-1958 Civil Engineer with the Highways Dept. of SA designing and building bridges.

1959–1994 Starting as a Research Scientist with CSIRO Division of Applied Geomechanics and made a Chief Research Scientist in 1990. Range of roles including Project Officer, National Association of Australian State Roads Authorities, 1958-1965, Soil Physics Projects, 1979-1986, Member, multidisciplinary teams specialising in mine rehabilitation and performances of tailings dams, in Australia, China and Germany, 1986-1994.

Projects include: design and construction of the tailings dams at the CSA copper mine, Cobar and Cadia copper mine, NSW; Ranger Uranium mine; Woodcutters base metal mine and Pine Creek gold mine, NT; Telfer goldmine, New Celebration gold mine and Boddington gold mine, WA; Mount Leyshon gold mine and Gordonston coal mine, QLD.

Member, (at the request of the Governor of Hong Kong), Independent Review Panel on Filled Slopes, The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 1976.

Specialist Geotechnical Consultant, since 1995.

Author/Co-author of 87 research papers.

Member, Australian Geomechanics Society, since 1982; Committee Member, South Australian Chapter, 1982-1990 and Queensland Chapter 1992-95.

Awards and recognition includes:

Recipient, John Jaeger Memorial Medal, Australian Geomechanics Society, 1992 'in recognition of contributions of the highest order over a lifetime commitment to the geotechnical profession in Australia.'

Recipient, German Humboldt Fellowship for outstanding Australia-German scientific collaboration, 1992.

SMI News - This Week - 3 July 2017

We congratulate Dr Brian Richards, Industry Fellow with the Sustainable Minerals Institute, Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, on his wonderful honour and recognition to be named Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for his distinguished service to geotechnical engineering and soil science, particularly through research and development of measuring and understanding soil suction and its effect on soil strength.

Brian has been involved in several projects with CMLR during the past years and is currently supporting numerical modelling studies on the role of salts on evaporation. 

Associate Professor Thomas Baumgartl