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No. 28 - December 2014


President's 2015 New Year Address

Dear ISRM Members,

2014 was a very positive year for the ISRM, a year where we achieved several goals proposed for the current Board’s tenure.

The Society has been steadily growing. Since last year one new National Group, Zimbabwe, has joined us and we have welcomed 450 new Individual Members that now total 7,673.

Technically, the Society is also in expansion as this year we have approved the 18th Technical Commission. Commissions of the ISRM are active and their work constitutes a major contribution to the rock mechanics community.

We have engaged ourselves in amplifying the benefits to members. The ISRM Digital Library at OnePetro is constantly being enlarged with papers from new conferences, and ISRM members are allowed up to 100 or 250 free downloads per year, depending on whether they are Individual or Corporate Members.

The book “ISRM Suggested Methods for Rock Characterization, Testing and Monitoring: 2007-2014", known as the “Orange Book”, was officially launched in October, during the ISRM International Symposium - ARMS 8, that took place in Sapporo, Japan. The agreement signed with Springer, the Publisher of this “Orange Book” will allow ISRM members to benefit of a 75% discount on the price of the printed book and to obtain the e-book at no cost.

Another very advantageous agreement was signed with CRC Press/Balkema for the launching of the ISRM Book Series. The aim of the Series is to promote the scientific output of ISRM Technical Commissions. ISRM members will benefit from a 40% discount on books published in the ISRM Book Series and 30% discount on books published by CRC Press/Balkema and other Taylor & Francis imprints.

Education has been a main concern of the current Board. The ISRM Online Lecture series, launched in February 2013 has proven to be a success. In 2014 we broadcasted the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Online Lectures, by Dr John Reed, Prof. Herbert Einstein, Prof. Shunsuke Sakurai and Prof. Resat Ulusay, respectively, and we have approved the Lecturers and themes for the 2015 Lectures. All ISRM Lectures remain available on the ISRM website.

A major step towards the success of the educational programme was the creation of the ISRM Education Fund, approved by the Society’s Council. This Fund was created to further the ISRM’s mission, by enhancing education in Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, and priority beneficiaries will be economically disadvantaged regions and group-wide initiatives.

An English-Chinese version of the multi-lingual glossary in rock mechanics was prepared and completed, and will be available on the ISRM website in the beginning of 2015. It will be translated into different languages, so that a significant number of languages will be included until the end of April.

With the introduction of ISRM Specialised Conferences as a new type of sponsored conferences, the ISRM is now involved in a considerably larger number of events than in the past. In 2014, the ISRM sponsored seven conferences. The Board has already approved the sponsorship of 15 conferences from 2015 to 2019.

The 2014 ISRM International Symposium—ARMS 8—took place in Sapporo, Japan, where the Board, Council and Commissions of the Society held their annual meetings. During the symposium, Dr Masahiko Osada delivered the 2014 Franklin Lecture and Dr Mandadige Samintha Anne Perera delivered the 2014 Rocha Medal Lecture.

During the 2014 Council meeting, Prof. John Hudson was selected as the 7th Müller Award, a prize to be conferred during the 13th ISRM International Congress, in 2015.

It is this Board’s policy to further reward ISRM members. So, besides the already existing Müller and Rocha Awards, two new awards were created: the Best Performing National Group Award and the Outstanding Technical Commission Award.

As a good communication with members is one of our priorities, the ISRM website is in constant modernisation. This year we have introduced a new and more dynamic homepage. Our members can keep up with the Society’s latest news on the website, whether by consulting the rolling news, the annual issue of the ISRM News Journal or the quarterly issues of the ISRM Newsletters. An innovation in communication was the setting of an ISRM LinkedIn page and of a Twitter account.

The Board of the Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies (FedIGS), of which the ISRM is a member, met in September, in Torino and inter-Society co-operation, the improvement of the FedIGS website and the increase in the interaction between Societies were debated

Finally, it is but fair to remember that without the contribution and involvement of all the ISRM members, these achievements would not have been possible. We count on you for a prosperous future of our Society and the rock mechanics fraternity.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Xia-Ting Feng
President, ISRM

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Election of the Regional ISRM Vice Presidents 2015-2019

Election of the ISRM Regional Vice Presidents 2015-2019 will take place at the Council meeting to be held on 10 May 2015 in Montreal, Canada. The following nominations were received:

- Mr. William Joughin, nominated by the NG South Africa

- Prof. Norikazu Shimizu, nominated by the NG Japan
- Prof. Seokwon Jeon, nominated by the NG Korea
- Prof. He Manchao, nominated by the NG China
- Prof. Thallak G. Sitharam, nominated by the NG India

- Mr. Stuart Read, nominated by the NG New Zealand

- Prof. Charlie Li, nominated by the NG Norway

- Prof. Doug Stead, nominated by the NG Canada

- Prof. Sergio Fontoura, nominated by the NG Argentina

As part of the current ISRM Board’s modernisation programme, the Board wishes to ensure that ISRM members have the opportunity to learn about the candidates’ experience and intentions. Accordingly, we have asked the candidates to provide short videos of their background and intentions. These videos and the candidates’ nomination documents are available on the Vice President's election page on the ISRM website (click to open in a new window) .

GeoProc15: Salt Lake City, 25-27 February 2015

The 5th International Conference on Coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical-Chemical (THMC) Processes in Geosystems: Petroleum and Geothermal Reservoir Geomechanics and Energy Resource Extraction will take place 25-27 Februay 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. This is an ISRM Specialized Conference.

GeoProc is an International Conference Series. The first conference (GeoProc03) was held in Stockholm, Sweden, followed by meetings at HoHai University, Nanjing, China (GeoProc06), at Lille University of Sciences and Technology, France (GeoProc08) and at the University of Western Australia, Perth (GeoProc11).

Conference co-chairs of GeoProc15 are Hai Huang (Idaho National Laboratory), John McLennan (University of Utah), Milind Deo (University of Utah) and Robert Podgorney (Idaho National Laboratory). Focus areas are Unconventional Oil/Gas Development, Improved Oil Recovery and Geothermal Development.

13th International ISRM Congress, 10-13 May 2015, Montréal, Canada

The preparations for the 13th Congress of the ISRM are well advanced. The Congress will take place at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal, organised by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum - CIM, with the colaboration of t he Canadian Rock Mechanics Association - CARMA, the ISRM National Group of Canada . The Congress will be held in conjunction with the CIM Convention 2015 and is chaired by Prof. Ferri Hassani.

Setting the stage for the Congress, the plenary session will open with a ceremony led by First Nation officials, followed by keynotespeakers selected among academia and industry leaders from around the world. The Congress opening ceremony will start at 08:30 on Monday, May 11.

The plenary will provide hard-hitting insight and expertise on the topics that are most important to rock engineering. The Congress’ theme, Innovations in Apllied and Theoretical Rock Mechanics, will shine through the plenary, through varied and global perspectives. Every morning on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the technical program will begin with 2 keynote speakers:
  • Erik Eberhardt (Canada): Transitioning from Open Pit to Underground Mass Mining: Meeting the Rock Engineering Challenges of Going Deeper
  • Yossef H. Hatzor (Israel): Discontinuous Deformation Analysis in Rock Mechanics Practice
  • Jean Sulem (France): Multiphysics couplings and stability of fault zones' and the topic is in the area of Constitutive modelling and deformation processes of rocks
  • Chris Massey (New Zealand) : The performance of rock slopes during the 2010/11 Canterbury (New Zealand) earthquake sequence, and beyond?
  • Francois Malan (South Africa): Hard rock tabular excavations: Historic solutions and future challenges
  • Alejo Oscar Sfriso (Argentina): Selecting material parameters for advanced constitutive modeling. An overview.
  • Chungsik Yoo (Korea): Use of Geosynthetics in Underground Works - Fundamentals
On Sunday, May 10, four workshops will be organised:
  • Practical Calibration of Numerical Models for Meaningful Predictions of Ground Behaviour (1 day)
  • Distinct Element Modeling of Fractured Rock (1 day)
  • Fracture Process Modelling: Fundamentals of the hybrid FDEM and its applications to underground excavation (1 day)
  • Modelling induced seismicity (1/2 day)
A one day symposium on “Shale and Rock Mechanics as Applied to Slopes, Tunnels, Mines and Hydrocarbon Extraction” (ARMA & CARMA Initiative), chaired by Prof. Herbert Einstein of MIT, will take place on May 12.

A vibrant social program will provide diverse events throughout the conference days.

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

RockBowl First Announcement - Young member's activity during the ISRM 2015 Congress in Montréal

As part of ISRM concerns to increase the participation of young members in ISRM activities, the ISRM will organize a Question and Answer type of competition amongst students teams during the ISRM Congress in Montreal on May 10th, 2015. Each team will represent one University or one country and will be constituted by four students that are regularly registered as such.

In this first version of the event the number of teams in the competition will be limited to eight, to be divided into two groups of four. There will be a total of seven games to define the winning team. Each game will last for about ten minutes and will consist of challenging the teams with assorted questions related to rock mechanics and rock engineering. The winning and runner-up teams will receive a prize to be defined soon and offered by two engineering companies.

The organization of the competition will be in charge of the Brazilian Rock Mechanics Committee under the guidance of a Steering Committee lead up by Professor Xia-Ting Feng, Professor Ferri Hassani, Chairman of ISRM 2015, Dr. Jacques Lucas from ISRM Vice President for Africa, Professor Sergio Fontoura, President of the Brazilian Rock Mechanics Committee and Dr Luís Lamas, ISRM Secretary General .

The Rules for the competition as well as a sample of typical questions will be sent soon to all ISRM National Groups that will be invited to assemble a team and submit an application for a spot in the event and the application deadline is February 28th, 2015. The National Groups are responsible for the funds to send the teams to Montreal. The Organizing Committee is looking forward to a great participation in this young member's activity.

Sergio Fontoura
President of the Brazilian Rock Mechanics Committee

Prof. John Hudson selected as the 7th Müller Award winner

The ISRM Council, at its meeting in Sapporo, Japan, last October, selected Prof. John Hudson as the winner of the Müller Award, the most prestigious award of the ISRM, made once every four years at the ISRM Congress, in recognition of distinguished contributions to the profession of rock mechanics and rock engineering. He will deliver the ISRM Müller Lecture during the 13th International Congress of the ISRM in Montréal, Canada, next May.

Professor John Hudson is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College in the UK. He has spent his career working on rock mechanics and rock engineering for both civil and mining engineering applications. In addition to teaching rock mechanics at many universities and completing more than 150 consulting assignments worldwide, he has written many papers and books on the subject. He was President of the International Society for Rock Mechanics from 2007 to 2011 and is currently responsible for the ISRM Commission on Modern Design Methodology. Professor Hudson has a particular interest in new approaches to solving rock mechanics and rock engineering problems.

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Rocha Medal 2015 winner and runner-up

The Rocha Award Committee selected the winner of the Rocha Medal 2015, Andrea Lisjak Bradley, from Italy, for the thesis “Investigating the influence of mechanical anisotropy on the fracturing behaviour of brittle clay shales with application to deep geological repositories” and one runner-up, Dr Ahmadreza Hedayati, from Iran, for the thesis “Mechanical and Geophysical Characterization of Damage in Rocks”.

Dr Bradley will be awarded his Rocha Medal at the 13th ISRM Congress in Montréal, May 2015, where he will deliver the Rocha Lecture. Dr Hedayati's certificate will be awarded in the same ocasion.

Young Members Presidential Group organises a list of rock mechanics centres

The YMPG is agregating a  worldwide   list of rock mechanics centres. This will help researchers find laboratories, PhD opportunities and coleagues working on similar area. We are using a participative method to build the list. Those interested in colaborating can follow this link for the List of Rock Mechanics Centres .

Foz de Iguaçu, Brazil, to host the 14th International Congress in 2019

After a competition between two excellent proposals presented by Brazil and India to host the 14th International Congress of the ISRM, the Council, at its meeting in Sapporo, last October, selected the Brazilian proposal, which has the cooperation of the National Groups from Argentina and Paraguay.

The Congress will take place at Foz the Iguaçu, in the border of Brazil with Argentina and Paraguay, and the theme is Rock Mechanics for Natural Resources and Infrastructure Development.􀀇􀀇
EUROCK2016 in Ürgüp, Turkey, was selected as the 2016 ISRM International Symposium

EUROCK2016, “Rock Mechanics & Rock Engineering: From Past to the Future” , will be organized by the Turkish National Society for Rock Mechanics in the Perissia Hotel Convention Centre, Ürgüp (Nevşehir), Turkey , 29-31 August 2016, and will also be the 2016 ISRM International Symposium. Ürgüp is in the hearth of the Cappadocia Region, which is one of the seven Turkish sites included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO and also a natural and historical rock engineering laboratory.

The symposium intends to cover all aspects of rock mechanics and rock engineering from theories to engineering practices, emphasizing the future trends in rock engineering technologies.

The event will be preceded by a few practical short courses, workshops, ISRM Board, Commission and Council meetings (27 and 28 August) and followed by two post-symposium excursions in the Cappadocia region and İstanbul. During the Symposium an excellent set of Keynote Lectures to start the sessions will also be presented and an exhibition will be held. In addition, several tours will be designed and operated exclusively for participants and for their accompanying guests.

The symposium themes are:
  • Fundamental rock mechanics
  • Rock properties, experimental rock mechanics and physical modelling
  • Analytical and numerical methods in rock mechanics and rock engineering
  • Stability of slopes in civil and mining engineering
  • Design methodologies and analysis
  • Rock dynamics
  • Rock mechanics and rock engineering at historical sites and monuments
  • Underground excavations in civil and mining engineering
  • Coupled processes in rock mass for underground storage and waste disposal
  • Rock mass characterization
  • Petroleum geomechanics
  • Instrumentation-monitoring in rock engineering and back analysis
  • Risk management
  • New frontiers (GPS, extraterrestrial rock mechanics, methane hydrate exploitation, CO2 sequestration, earthquake prediction)

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 September 2015. For more information visite the conference website at .

Reşat Ulusay
Symposium Chairman

The 2014 ISRM International Symposium and ARMS8 was held in Sapporo, Japan

The 8th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS8): Rock Mechanics for Global Issues – Natural Disasters, Environment and Energy, was held in Sapporo, Japan, 14-16 October, as the 2014 ISRM International Symposium, organized by the Japanese Committee for Rock Mechanics. The total number of participants was 620, from 35 countries and regions, including more than 130 students. The Board and Council Meetings were held on 12 and 13 October, respectively. Additionally, seven Workshops and Short Course, as well as several ISRM Commission meetings were organized before the symposium.

Seven excellent keynote lectures were delivered on matters associated with the main themes of the symposium:
  • “Tunneling and underground construction in China-challenges and progress” by Prof. Xia-Ting Feng,
  • “Contributions of rock physics to carbon dioxide capture and sequestration” by Prof. Toshifumi Matsuoka,
  • “Key coupled processes related to gas-fracturing in unconventional reservoirs” by Prof. Derek Elsworth,
  • “Geohazards risk management in India” by Prof. Surya Parkash,
  • “Environmental impact of nuclear waste management - Concerns from intermediate storage to final disposal” by Mr. Rolf Christiansson,
  • “Performance assessment of a rock cutting tool” by Prof. Seokwon Jeon, and
  • “A reinforcement design methodology for highly stressed rock masses” by Prof. Ernesto Villaescusa.

The 2014 ISRM Franklin Lecture “Drying-induced deformation characteristics of rocks” by Prof. Masahiko Osada and the 2014 ISRM Rocha Medal Lecture “Effects of Carbon Dioxide Sequestration on Coal's Hydro-Mechanical behaviour” by Dr. Mandadige Samintha Anne Perera were also presented.

A total of 329 excellent papers were presented in 39 oral sessions, in 3 other organized sessions, and in two days of poster sessions.

The ISRM Board decided that the awards to be given at ISRM-sponsored international symposia would be named the “ISRM Awards” starting at this symposium. The 2014 ISRM Outstanding Paper Award and the Outstanding Paper Award for Young Scientists and Engineers were presented to general authors (Sakaguchi, K., et al.) and a young author (Phueakphum, D.), from the orally presented best papers, respectively. The 2014 ISRM Outstanding Poster Award and the Outstanding Poster Award for Young Scientists and Engineers were presented to general authors (Lo, C., et al.) and a young author (Furuyama, Y.) of the best papers presented at the poster session, respectively. The winners were commended at the Closing Ceremony.

A technical exhibition was held with 25 companies and groups. The ARMS8 Exhibition Awards were given to four exhibitors: On Site Visualization, OYO Corporation, a group of RaaX Co., Ltd., Earth Scanning Association and MALÅ GeoScience AB, and A-TiC Co., Ltd.

ARMS8 provided two activities for the young generation. The scholarships program provided 11 young members with the financial support to attend ARMS8 and they were commended at the symposium Banquet by representatives of the donor companies. The “Students’ Night” program provided a meeting to encourage the establishment of networks among young members supported by the ISRM Young Members Presidential Group. About 50 students were selected from the 150 applicants. They all enjoyed this program together with the ISRM Board members, Prof. Feng, Mr. Lucas, Dr. Zhou and Dr. Lamas.

As social activities, the Welcome Reception and the Symposium Banquet were held at the venue. A one-day tour of Otaru Bay City was given as part of the Accompanying Persons’ Program.

Two technical excursions were conducted after the symposium. Tour A was a visit to the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory (URL) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). Tour B was a visit to the Kyogoku Pure Pumped-storage Hydro-electric Power Plant.

The booklet of the ARMS8 Program and Abstracts, and the Proceedings on USB flash memory were distributed to the participants. The digital version of the Proceedings, which is about 3,000 pages in length, was published in December, 2014. Participants can download it from the web. All papers included in the Proceedings will be introduced into the ISRM Digital Library.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we extend our appreciation to all the participants and contributors who supported us and helped to bring success and joy to the symposium.

Norikazu Shimizu
Chairman of the Organizing Committee
Katsuhiko Kaneko
Chairman of the Scientific Committee

The 3rd ISRM Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics was held in Xi'an, China

The 3rd ISRM International Young Scholars’ Symposium on Rock Mechanics was held on 8-10 November in Xi’an, China. The Symposium was sponsored by the ISRM and the Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering (CSRME), and was organized by the ISRM Commission on Education as an ISRM specialized Conference. The University of Science and Technology of Beijing and the Xi'an University of Science and Technology are co-organizers of the symposium.

The Symposium aimed to provide a platform for ideas and information exchange, knowledge and experience sharing. To develop and improve any subject requires continuity, through young researchers advancing the knowledge based on past information and incorporating new techniques and experiences. The meeting provided encouragement and stimulus to the Young Scholars so that they will tackle our outstanding of rock mechanics and rock engineering problems with renewed vigor.

The contributions covered a wide range of topics:
  • field investigation and measurements;
  • physical and mechanical properties of rocks;
  • analysis and design methods for rock engineering;
  • numerical and physical modeling;
  • multi-fields coupling analysis methods;
  • rock slope, tunnel and foundation engineering;
  • monitoring and control of rock pressure in underground engineering;
  • dynamic rock mechanics and blasting;
  • support and reinforcement techniques for geotechnical engineering;
  • prediction and control of artificial hazards with excavation in rock.

With the active responses from chinese and overseas’ young scholars, the symposium received 230 abstracts and 180 papers from different countries. 140 academic papers were selected in the proceedings ‘Transit Development in Rock Mechanics — Recognition, Thinking and Innovation’, and published by the Publisher Taylor & Francis.

ISRM sponsored meetings

  • 25-27 February 2015, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. GeoProc2015: International Conference on Coupled THMC Processes in Geosystems. An ISRM Specialized Conference.
  • 12-15 March 2015, Hanoi, Vietnam. VietRock 2015 International Workshop. An ISRM Specialized Congerence
  • 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.
  • 16-18 November 2016, Bangalore, India. RARE 2016 – Recent Advances in Rock Engineering - an ISRM Specialised Conference
  • 13-15 June 2017, Ostrava, Czech Republic. EUROCK 2017.
  • 20-27 September 2019. Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. ISRM 14th International Congress on Rock Mechanics

Click here to view the list of ISRM Sponsored Conferences.

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Second International DAM WORLD Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 21-24 April 2015

The Second International DAM WORLD Conference will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, on 21-24 April 2015. The Portuguese National Laboratory for Civil Engineering (LNEC) will be hosting the event.

The programme will include high level scientific sessions, with well-known plenary Lecturers, one-day courses on 20 April and an interesting technical visit to the construction works of the Foz Tua dam, located in the UNESCO World Heritage Alto Douro Wine Region.

Three pre-conference events will take place on 20 April:
  • Seminar on Modelling of concrete dams: Analysis of structural and foundation behaviour and safety assessment
  • One-day course 1: Internal erosion in embankment dams and foundations. Phenomenological and experimental standpoint.
  • One-day course 2: Failure assessment and emergency preparedness of dams.
Two other side events will take place during the conference days:
  • Special session on Concrete Face Rockfill Dams | CFRD
  • DAM WORLD Young Professionals Workshop
A technical exhibition will be held within the refreshment breaks area, maximising the opportunity for participants to visit the exhibition.

For more information visit the conference website at .

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Journal of the ISRM National Group of India

The ISRM (India) Journal was launched in 2012. It is a half yearly technical journal of the Indian National Group of the ISRM, which is involved in dissemination of information on rock mechanics and its related activities in the field of foundation and abutments of dams, tunnel engineering, mining, underground works, rock slope stability, road works, etc.

ISRM Secretariat, c/o LNEC, Av. Brasil, 101, 1700-066 Lisboa, PORTUGAL
Tel: (+351) 218443419; Fax: (+351) 218443021; Website: ; E-mail:
Header image credits: 
Journal of the ISRM National Group of India, Vol. 3, N. 2, July 2014
© 2014 ISRM; Newsletter Editor: Luís Lamas; Webmaster: Ricardo Resende

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