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No. 27 - September 2014


Welcome to ARMS8 in Sapporo Japan, 14-16 October - The 2014 ISRM International Symposium

We are delighted to invite all of you to the 2014 ISRM International Symposium- 8th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, which will be held 14-16 October 2014 in Sapporo.
  • Workshops, Short Course, ISRM Commission Meetings: 12 and 13 October
  • ISRM Council Meeting: 13 October
  • Opening Ceremony: 14 October
  • Plenary Sessions, Paper Presentation and Poster Sessions: 14 to 16 October
  • Banquet: 15 October
  • Closing Ceremony: 16 October
  • Online registration will be closed on 30 September.
Sapporo is a modern and beautiful city in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan. Nowadays, Sapporo is one of the most popular cities in Japan for tourists from foreign countries.

Seven keynote speakers have been invited from around the world. The 2014 ISRM Franklin Lecture and the Rocha Medal Lecture will also be delivered. 329 full papers from 30 countries were finally accepted. All papers will be presented in 40 Oral Sessions on 14 sub-topics and in two days of Poster Sessions. Three Organized Sessions will be implemented.

The ISRM Commissions will organize five Workshops and one Short Course. Two other Workshops will also be given on 12 and 13 October. A Technical Exhibition will be held in the spaces just outside of the conference rooms, on both the 2nd and 3rd floors, by 25 companies and groups.

Details on the Technical Program and all other programs are available on the web site of ARMS8.

At present, more than 550 delegates from 35 countries are registered, including more than 120 students. The online registration system will be open until the end of September. We are looking forward to seeing you in Sapporo.

For further information, please visit our web page at .

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13th International ISRM Congress, May 2015, Montreal, Canada

The deadline for submission of papers is now finishing.

Technical Program Topics
  • Application of geophysics in rock mechanics
  • Enabled rock mechanices: scope of augmented reality, virtual reality and articial intelligence
  • Explosive free rock breakage techniques for rock excavation and drilling
  • Fracture mechanics and fracture propagation
  • Fractured rock and rock mass discontinuities
  • Ground freezing
  • In-situ stress measurement High temperature geomechanics
  • Lab and in-situ rock characterization and modelling
  • Numerical, analytical, contitutive modelling or rock processess
  • Prediction and modelling
  • Remote sensing and seismicity
  • Reservoir geomechanics
  • Rock mechanics risk assessment
  • Rock physics models for enhanced hydrocarbon recovery
  • Role of uncertainties in rock engineering design
  • Slope stability and land slides
  • Stability and exacvation support
  • Subsidence - prediction and mitigation of its impacts
  • Underground storage of petroleum, gas, CO2 , and nuclear waste disposal
Plus a one day symposium on “Shale and Rock Mechanics as Applied to Slopes, Tunnels, Mines and Hydrocarbon Extraction” (ARMA & CARAM Initiative), chaired by Prof. Herbert Einstein of MIT. Click here to download the flyer.

For complete information on the 13th International ISRM Congress visit the website: .

The ISRM Orange Book was published and will be launched in October during the ARMS8 in Sapporo, Japan

"The ISRM Suggested Methods for Rock Characterization, Testing and Monitoring: 2007-2014", known as the ISRM Orange Book, was published as a supplementary volume to the 2007 ISRM Blue Book. It is a product of the ISRM Commission on Testing Methods, chaired by Prof. Resat Ulusay, who is also the Editor of the book. The Orange Book was published by Springer and can be purchased by ISRM members at an advantageous price.

The Orange Book contains a total of 21 separate new and upgraded ISRM Suggested Methods that have been generated between 2007 and 2014. The Suggested Methods are collated in four parts, namely: “Laboratory Testing”, “Field Testing”, “Monitoring” and “Failure Criteria”. The Orange Book also includes two supplementary, but non-SM, documents. One of them is entitled “3D Laser Scanning Techniques for Application to Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering”. The other supplementary document is titled ‘‘The Present and Future of Rock Testing: Highlighting the ISRM Suggested Methods’’.

The orange book will be officially launched in Sapporo, Japan, during the 2014 ISRM International Symposium ARMS8, next 14 October.

Click here to download the ISRM Orange Book flyer . Please note that you shall purchase it directy from Springer, not from the Secretariat.

New frontpage of the ISRM website

The current version of the ISRM site was designed several years ago. Meanwhile, many features were added to the website: online lectures, digital library, improved member's section, online courses, links to social networks, to mention a few.

A new frontpage was quietly launched in September and we hope that the new look renders the most relevant information easier to find, while also giving us a chance to display the latest news in more detail. Please let us know what you think about the change through the Contact us form .

" Measurement and back analysis in rock engineering " - the 7th ISRM online lecture by Prof. Sakurai

For the seventh online lecture the ISRM invited Prof. Shunsuke  Sakurai and the title of his lecture will be “Measurement and back analysis in rock engineering”.

The lecture will be broadcast in November, at a date and time to be announced soon. The lecture will remain online so that those unable to attend at this time will be able to do it later. As usual, the attendees will be able to ask questions to the lecturer by e-mail during the subsequent 48 hours.

Professor Sakurai graduated in Civil Engineering from Kobe University, Japan, (B.E. in Civil Eng) in 1958, obtained the Master degree from the Kyoto University in 1960, and the PhD from the Michigan State University, USA, in 1966.

He worked in Department of Civil Engineering of Kobe University as Associate Professor from 1966 to 1973 and as Professor from 1973 to 1999, and then moved to Hiroshima Institute of Technology, Japan, as President from 1999 to 2003. He is now Professor Emeritus of both Kobe University and Hiroshima Institute of Technology.

In the ISRM, Professor Sakurai was Vice-President at Large from 1988 to 1991 and President from 1995 to 1999. In 2011 he was inducted as ISRM Fellow, the highest and most senior grade of membership of the ISRM. Professor Sakurai is currently Chairman of the ISRM Commission on Underground Nuclear Power Plants.

The previous ISRM Online Lectures were given by Prof. Wulf Schubert, Prof. John Hudson Dr. Pierre Dufaut, Prof. Eduardo Alonso. Dr John Read and Prof. Herbert Einstein. All the ISRM Online Lectures remain available on the ISRM website in a dedicated webpage (click to open in a new window) .

Professor Marek Kwasniewsky passed away on 22 September 2014, at the age of 67.

Marek Kwasniewski was a Professor of Rock Mechanics and Mining Geomechanics, and Head of the Rock Mechanics Laboratory at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice, Poland.

He obtained a M. Eng. degree in Mining Engineering and a Dr. techn.Sc. degree from the University of Science and Technology in Cracow, Poland, and a Dr. hab. techn.Sc. degree from the Silesian University of Technology.

His primary research interests were the behaviour of rocks under general triaxial stress conditions and the brittle failure of rocks.  He had a long record of cooperative scientific research with Japanese and Chinese scientists.

His industry related activities included leadership positions in numerous R&D projects on various aspects of strata control in underground mines, including the stability of mine workings, rockburst hazard and ground subsidence problems.

He was the Editor-in-Chief of the "Geomechanics Research Series" since 1987, and a member of the Editorial Board of the "Archives of Mining Sciences" quarterly since 1999.

He was an active member of several scientific and professional societies. F rom 1973 to 1988, a s Secretary-General of the  International Bureau of Strata Mechanics ( IBSM), an association gathering mainly scientists from Eastern Europe, he was the liaison member with the  International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM), having fostered the cooperation between these two associations. He was very involved in the activities of the ISRM, and f rom 1993 to 2002  he presided over the ISRM Commission on Education. I n 1993 h e co-founded the Polish Society of Rock Mechanics, the Polish ISRM National Group, and was its President since 2007.  In September 2013 he received the rock mechanics community in Wroclaw for the very successful 2013 ISRM International Symposium. 

Research and teaching related to rock mechanics were all his life, and he  continued to share his lifelong experience with his colleagues until his last days.  The ISRM community and many people involved in rock mechanics in Poland and abroad were among his best friends.  Above the many qualities of Marek  Kwasniewski , his personal kindness shall not be forgotten by those who, for any reason, interacted with  him.

VIII South American Congress on Rocks Mechanics, 15-18 November 2015, Buenos Aires, Argentina
An ISRM Regional Symposium

SAIG, the Argentinean Society of Geotechnical Engineering is pleased to be the host the VIII South American Congress on Rock Mechanics (SCRM) to be held in Buenos Aires (Argentina) from 15 to 18 November 2015.

The VIII SCRM is a Regional Symposium for South America of the ISRM. Previous congresses have been held in Colombia (1982, 2006), Brazil (1986, 1998), Venezuela (1990), Chile (1994) and Peru (2010). After having traveled much of the continent it is the first time that this congress takes place in Argentina.

On this occasion, Buenos Aires-2015 will coincide with three important events to the geo-professionals. In parallel, organizes the 15th Pan American Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (XV PCSMGE), the 6th International Symposium on Characteristics of Deformation of Soils (IS-BA2015) and the XXII Argentinean Congress of Geotechnical Engineering (CAMSIG XXII).

This synergy will bring together international experts, researchers, academics, professionals and geoengineering companies in a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss current and future practices in the areas of soil mechanics, rock mechanics; and its applications in civil environmental engineering, and mining.

Buenos Aires is a charming metropolis where history and modernity come together. It has a vast cultural and tourist life. Thus, museums and cultural events are combined with an eclectic cuisine and a variety of nightly shows where tango music and lyrics have great development.

Buenos Aires 2015 will be held at the Hilton Hotel, in one of the most fashionable and exclusive areas of the city with access to all major tourist attractions and very good communication with domestic and international airports.

Our goal and commitment is to produce a meeting that strengthens the connection between academics and practitioners from North and South America.

We hope to see you in Buenos Aires 2015 to celebrate together this great event for our profession.
Prof. Alejo O. Sfriso, President
Prof. Ricardo J. Rocca, Secretary
VIII SCRM Buenos Aires 2015

This book focuses on the fundamentals of rock mechanics as a basis for the safe and economical design and construction of tunnels, dam foundations and slopes in jointed and anisotropic rock. It is divided into four main parts:
  • Fundamentals and models.
  • Analysis and design methods.
  • Exploration, testing and monitoring.
  • Applications and case histories.
The anisotropic jointed rock model presented accounts for the influence of discontinuities on the stress-strain behavior and the permeability of jointed rock masses. The applied analysis methods are based on the FE-method using computer programs developed by the author and his co-workers. Exploration, testing and monitoring are methods to evaluate the required rock mechanics parameters. Some case histories show the efficiency of the presented design philosophy.

Prof. Wittke is Emeritus of the Technical University of Aachen, Germany, and General Manager of the engineering company WBI Prof. Dr.-Ing. W. Wittke Beratende Ingenieure für Grundbau und Felsbau GmbH, which he founded in 1980. From 1979 to 1983, he was President of the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM), and from 1990 to 2002 President of the German Society for Geotechnical Engineering (DGGT). During his professional life, he has been working as a designer and expert for numerous tunnels and caverns. Moreover, he has been dealing with dam foundations and slope stability. Along with these activities, he applied the rock mechanical models and the corresponding numerical analysis models, which he developed together with his co-workers. With the aid of back-analysis of the stresses and displacements measured during the construction and operation of the different structures, he continuously revised and improved these models.

This book is for Civil and Mining Engineers, Geologists and Students in the related fields. Click here to download the book flyer .

ISRM Rocha Medal 2016 - nominations to be received by 31 December 2014

Nominations for the Rocha Medal 2016 are to be received by the ISRM Secretariat by 31 December 2014. The winner will be announced during the 13th ISRM Congress on Rock Mechanics in Montréal, Canada, in May 2015, and will be invited to receive the award and deliver a lecture at the 2016 ISRM International Symposium.

The Rocha Medal has been awarded annually by the ISRM, since 1982, for an outstanding doctoral thesis in rock mechanics or rock engineering, to honour the memory of Past President Manuel Rocha while stimulating young researchers. Besides the Rocha medal awarded to the winner, one or two runner-up certificates may also be awarded.

Click here to download the announcement with details on the Rocha Medal 2016 .

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AusRock 2014: 3rd Australasian Ground Control in Mining Conference, Sydney, 5-6 November 2014
An ISRM Specialized Conference

AusRock2014: Third Australasian Ground Control in Mining Conference is an ISRM Specialized Conference aimed at practical mine site operators, technical support staff, geotechnical engineers, mining engineers, consultants and researchers in the field of mining geomechanics and ground control.

The conference will provide an update to all mining industry geotechnical personnel involved in best practice in both Australasia and overseas, and an information exchange vehicle between the coal and metalliferous sectors of the industry, with a focus on new technologies and developments; industry needs and mine site problem solving; and practical case studies.

For more information, click here to download the AusRock 2014 flyer, or visit the conference website: .

3rd ISRM International Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics, Xi'an, 8-11 November 2014
An ISRM Specialized Conference

The ISRM Commission on Education has the pleasure to present the 3rd ISRM International Young Scholars’ Symposium on Rock Mechanics, to be held in Xi’an, on Nov. 8-10, 2014, two years after successful holding of the 2nd Symposium.

The meeting will provide stimulus and encouragement to the Young Scholars so that they will tackle our outstanding rock mechanics and rock engineering problems with renewed vigor. Welcome all young scholars in rock mechanics, including young rock mechanics scientists, engineers and students to attend the symposium. All professors, research scientists and engineers who concern about education of rock mechanics and training of young rock mechanics scholars are also welcome to the symposium.

Workshop on Volcanic Rocks & Soils, 24-25 September 2015, Isle of Ischia, Italy
An ISRM Specialised Conference

This ISRM specialised conference follows three previous Workshops on Volcanic Rocks, the last of which took place five years ago in Tenerife, Spain. The Workshop will provide a showcase for researchers to review recent developments and advancements in the geotechnical characterization and engineering applications related to volcanic formations. The c onference topics are:
  • Geotechnical characterization under both static and cyclic/dynamic loading conditions, with special regard to structural properties at different scales ( technical classifications, microstructural features, laboratory characterization, field characterization, construction materials);
  • Geotechnical aspects of natural hazards ( slope stability, seismic risk, active volcanoes);
  • Geotechnical problems of engineering structures ( foundations, embankments, earthworks and dams, excavations and earth retaining structures, tunnels).
You are kindly invited to submit an abstract before 15 November 2014. Authors will be notified of abstract acceptance by 30 November 2014 and they will be invited to submit their full paper by 15th March 2015.

Ischia is famous over the world for its natural beauty and its thermal springs. You will also have the opportunity to visit the coast (Costiera Amalfitana) and the other islands of the Gulf of Naples, including Capri.

For detailed information, please visit the conference website at .

7th International Symposium on In-Situ Rock Stress, Tampere, Finland, May 10-12, 2016
An ISRM Specialised Conference

The Finnish National Group of ISRM and the Finnish Association of Civil Engineers RIL invite you to the 7th International Symposium on In-Situ Rock Stress, an ISRM specialised conference, to be held during 10–12 May 2016 in the beautiful city of Tampere, Finland. There have been six previous International Symposia on the rock stress topic, starting in 1976 in Sydney, Australia, and with the most recent one being held in Sendai, Japan, in 2013. 7th International Symposium on In-Situ Rock Stress, Tampere, Finland, May 10-12, 2016.

This symposium encompasses all aspects of rock stresses such as:
  • Rock stress measurements with different methods
  • Interpretation and analysis of results
  • Case studies (nuclear waste disposal, mining, civil engineering)
  • Regional stress fields
  • Seismicity and rock stress
  • New, innovated stress measurement methods
  • Rock structures and rock stress
  • Stress modeling
Abstract submission is done via internet. Abstract submission deadline is August 3 2015.

For more information click here to download the conference flyer , or visit the conference website at .

ISRM sponsored meetings

  • 14-16 October 2014, Sapporo, Japan. 8th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium. The 2014 ISRM International Symposium.
  • 4-5 November 2014, Sydney. The 3rd Australasian Ground Control in Mining Conference. An ISRM Specialised Conference.
  • 8-10 November 2014, Xi'an, China. The 3rd ISRM International Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics. An ISRM Specialized Conference.
  • 10-13 May 2015, Montréal, Canada. ISRM 13th International Congress on Rock Mechanics.
  • 6-8 September 2015, Wuhan, China. China Shale Gas 2015. An ISRM Specialized Conference.
  • 24-25 September 2015, Island of Ischia, Italy. 4th Workshop on Volcanic Rocks and Soils. An ISRM Specialised Conference.
  • 7-9 October 2015, Salzburg, Austria. EUROCK 2015 – Geomechanics Colloquy. An ISRM Regional Symposium.
  • 15-17 November 2015, Buenos Aires, Argentina. XVIII South American Congress on Rock Mechanics. An ISRM Regional Symposium.
  • May 2016, Cape Town, South Africa. African Rock Engineering Symposium. An ISRM Regional Symposium.
  • 10-12 May 2016, Tampere, Finland. 7th In-Situ Rock Stress Symposium 2016. An ISRM Specialised Conference.
  • 25-27 May 2016, Xi'an, China. GEOSAFE: 1st International Symposium on Reducing Risks in Site Investigation, Modelling and Construction for Rock Engineering - an ISRM Specialized Conference.
  • 29-31 August 2016, Cappadocia. Turkey. EUROCK 2016. An ISRM Regional Symposium.
  • October 2016, Bali, Indonesia. ARMS 2016 – 9th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium. An ISRM Regional Symposium.

Click here to view the list of ISRM Sponsored Conferences.

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ISRM Conference on Soft Rocks was held in Beijing, China

The 2014 ISRM Conference on Soft Rocks (ISSR2014), an ISRM sponsored sepeialised conference, was held on June 6-7, 2014 in Beijing, China. The aims of this conference were to promote the exchanges and cooperation among international experts and scholars in soft rocks A total of 139 participants from 15 countries attended the conference.

The Conference was chaired by Prof. Milton Assis Kanji (Brazil), chairman of the ISRM Commission of Soft Rocks, and Prof. Manchao He (China), Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences . This Conference included three topics:
  • Characteristics of Soft Rocks;
  • Deformation Mechanisms of Soft Rocks;
  • Engineering technologies of Soft Rocks.
A total of 59 high quality papers was presented by scholars from Belgium, Brazil, China, Colombia, Croatia, Greece, India, Japan, Portugal, Russia and the USA. They are included in the Conference Proceedings, classified into four sections:
  • Section 1 is Keynote Lectures, including 11 famous experts’ manuscripts;
  • Section 2 includes 13 papers presenting the research progress of soft rock characteristics;
  • Section 3 includes 13 papers discussing the deformation mechanism of soft rock;
  • Section 4 includes 22 papers relating to soft rock engineering technologies and practice in different countries.
13 selected papers were published in a special issue of the Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (Vol.6: No.3) and a nother 17 selected papers will be published in a special issue of the International Journal of Mining Science and Technology at the end of this year.

The conference had two plenary sessions and three parallel sessions. Altogether, 20 keynote lectures and 18 lectures were presented by 38 experts. This conference reflected the latest achievements on soft rock technologies and presented valuable practical experience of soft rock engineering. The integration of both sides will further promote the vibrant development of soft rock engineering.

VI Brazilian Symposium of Rock Mechanics (SBMR2014) was held in Goiania, Brazil

The SBMR2014 was held in the city of Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil this past September 09-13th, 2014. The Symposium is a Specialized ISRM Conference and welcomed President Xia-Ting Feng, the  Secretary   General Luís Lamas, the Vice President for South America Antonio Samaniego and the President-Elected Eda Quadros. During the event the Presidents of the ISRM National Groups of South America met under the leadership of the ISRM VP for South America.

The technical agenda was very intense and included the ISRM Soft Rock Commission Meeting led by Professor Manchao He, the Co-Chairman, two short courses, a Workshop on Rock Mechanics Challenges for Petroleum Engineering and eight parallel sessions. Altogether 54 papers were presented orally, out of 92 total of accepted papers. The Symposium was organized in parallel to the Brazilian Conference of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering and to the Brazil-Portugal Geotechnical Meeting.  A special full-day symposium for young geotechnical engineers was also held during the week. About 1400 people registered and participated in the events and about 300 participants were mainly interested in the rock mechanics activities.   The papers written in English will be available through the ISRM on-line library, OnePetro.

A point to be highlighted was the participation of young engineers and students, a fact that was much encouraged by the Organizing Committee. In special, a competition (RockBowl) of questions and answers on rock mechanics was organized for students and that activity was much enjoyed by the participants.

South American ISRM National Groups met in Brazil on 11 September 2014

The South America Regional ISRM meeting took place as part of the VI Brazilian Symposium of Rock Mechanics in Goiania, Brazil on the 11 of September 2014. The meeting was attended by the ISRM President Prof Xia-Ting Feng, the President-Elect Dr Eda Quadros, the Secretary General Dr Luis Lamas and 8 out of the 10 representatives of the National Groups: Argentina (Dr Alejo Sfriso and Dr Ricardo Roca), Brazil (Dr Sergio Fontoura), Chile ( Mr. Gaston Gonzales), Colombia ( Dr. Mario Camilo Torres), Costa Rica ( Mr. Danilo Jimenez), Paraguay ( Dr. Eda Quadros) and Peru and Mexico ( Dr. Antonio Samaniego). Bolivia and Venezuela send their apologies.

The ISRM VP for South America Dr Samaniego presented a summary of the events that took place since the last meeting of San Jose Costa Rica in 2012. Representatives from Argentina presented the advances on the VIII South American Rock Mechanics Congress to be held in Buenos Aires, in November 2015, indicating that this will take place together with the Pan-American Soil Mechanics Congress and also with the South American Geo-membranes Congress.

There are two candidates for the 3rd Symposium on Rock Excavation, in 2016: one presented by Dr Mario Camilo Torres in Colombia, together with a conference of the Soft Rocks Commission, and another by Antonio Samaniego that asked the representatives of Chile to organize this event in Santiago. The final decision will be taken in Sapporo next October.

Dr Sergio Fontoura presented the advances of the Brazilian bid for the ISRM 2019 Congress in Foz de Iguaçu, indicating that he will need support from all national groups during vote that will take place in Sapporo in October.

Dr Ricardo Roca proposed Dr Sergio Fontoura as candidate for ISRM Vice President for South America for 2015–2019. This was seconded by Mr. Gaston Gonzales. The motion was approved by all National Group representatives.

The next regional meeting was schedule to take place in Buenos Aires in November 2015.

This conference followed the first one held in Shanghai in 2010 and was co-organised by Durham University and Tongji University under the auspices of Joint Technical Committee JTC2 of the Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies (FedIGS), which gathers the ISRM, the ISSMGE , the IAEG and the IGS .

The conference covered a full range of information technology applications in geotechnical, geo-environmental engineering and engineering geology. The first day focused on “Geotechnical Data”, dealing with issues related to data standards and data exchange. There was a particular focus on the AGS format for data exchange which is increasingly used internationally. Wider issues of managing “big data” and data sharing through global web portals were also addressed.

The second day focussed on Artificial Intelligence applications. The use of expert (knowledge-based) systems, artificial neural networks and data mining techniques all featured, particularly for identification of properties of geo-materials. The use of web-based materials for education was discussed. Data acquisition and control systems for use in the laboratory were also discussed.

Keynote lectures were presented by Dr Fang Liu (on behalf of Professor Jean-Pierre Bardet), Dr Angus Maxwell, Professor Xia-Ting Feng and Professor António Gomes Correia. The conference proceedings were published by IOS Press and are available on-line. Click here to access the proceedings .

Professor David Toll & Professor Hehua Zhu (Conference Co-Chairs)
Dr Ashraf Osman (Conference Secretary)

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