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No. 34 - June 2016


President’s Letter

Dear ISRM friends and colleagues,

It is one year since the beginning of our four-year tenure. I am therefore very pleased to share with you some of the experiences and visions since the start of our activities in May 2015 in Montreal, Canada. Our wishes for the continuation of the success of our Society in the years to come continues to be our main source of motivation to work well for the benefit and enhancement of our Society.

ISRM has reached its maturity through continuous growth. Next year we will celebrate the 55 years anniversary of ISRM (1962-2017). We now have 60 National Groups from all over the world, and over 8.000 individual members. Two new National Groups joined the ISRM in 2015: Iceland and Malaysia. As you know our Society promotes a series of international conferences, awards a number of prizes, produces the ISRM Testing Methods which is a guide for rock mechanics testing, and provides services to members through the website ( ) among many other activities.

The well received series of ISRM Online Lectures are presented every three months by experts from different countries, who are active in the field of rock mechanics. Since last year we had four Online Lectures. These were presented by Profs. Jean Sulem, Nick Barton, Ove Stephansson and Peter Kaiser. The next lecture, by Prof. Walter Wittke, will be delivered this July (2016), and another one in September by Prof. Nielen van der Merwe.

For the period 2015-2019, the Board has appointed 17 Technical Commissions and 3 Committees: the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) chaired by Prof. Doug Stead, the Young Members Committee chaired by Prof. Sérgio Fontoura and the Education Fund Committee chaired by Prof. He Manchao. The activities of these Committees are reported to the ISRM Board, and help to foster the work of our Society. All the Technical Commissions and the Committees have been working actively in this last year. The Commission on Testing Methods continues to produce the ISRM Suggested Methods to guide a variety of important rock mechanics tests.

Under an ISRM initiative with the support of the ISRM Education Fund Committee, the National Group of China and Nepal organized a technical and cultural field trip to Nepal at the end of 2015. This followed the big earthquake in Nepal (M 8.1), and had the dual purpose of investigating the geological disaster and the severe damage to the ancient cultural sites. (See report in the News Journal, number 18 ).

From June 2015 to 2016, we had several ISRM Specialized Conferences which have been regularly announced in our Newsletter and in the News Journal. We also had two ISRM Regional Symposia: the EUROCK 2015 “Future Development of Rock Mechanics” in Salzburg (October, 2015) and the VIIIth South American Congress on Rock Mechanics (November, 2015) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The yearly hard-copy issue of the ISRM News Journal was published in the beginning of this year and the on-line Newsletters are issued every three months. The website and the ISRM Digital Library has been constantly updated and we now have the proceedings of many past conferences, with their respective papers, available for download.

The Board of the Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies (FedIGS), of which the ISRM is a founding member, met in July, 2015 and in April 2016, with the participation of the President, the Immediate Past President Prof. Xia-Ting Feng and the Secretary General Dr. Luis Lamas to debate co-operation with the sister societies ISSMGE, IAEG and IGS.

The ISRM Board held a full day meeting in Zagreb, Croatia in March, 2016 and participated in a Workshop hosted by the Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Zagreb chaired by Prof. Ivan Vjrlkian (our former Vice President at Large) who kindly organized these events. The Vice Presidents have been also representing the ISRM in a number of events where the President cannot be present. In this aspect there is a special wish from the Board members for our Society to be formally represented in most of the events in order to disseminate ISRM information all over the world.

What are some of our visions for the near future?

It is well known that large dams and large scale in situ testing were a large part of rock mechanics activities in the whole world in the early days of ISRM. Recently, during our specialized Conference GEOSAFE 2016 in the pleasant city of Xi’An (China), Prof. Ted Brown in his Honorary Lecture reminded us all of these early developments related to rock mechanics for dam engineering.

Despite the importance of the role of rock mechanics and flow in rock masses and rock joints related to dam construction, the theme has not been extensively discussed in our congresses or symposia in recent years. Some important high dams have been and are being built nowadays in Turkey, China, Iran and elsewhere, with some new technologies linked to the investigations and design that have not been presented in our events. The historic Symposium on Percolation Through Fissured Rocks organized by the German National Group in Stuttgart, 1972 was the largest specialized conference on this subject, and since then a similar conference has not been repeated.

Many other subjects impact our rock engineering projects, like scale effects. ISRM used to discuss this subject in the past, also having a Commission that prepared publications of both Workshops (1990-1994). More than 20 years have gone. We think that the time has arrived for ISRM to organize new events on these subjects, which are of high interest. New conferences should include hydraulic aspects and scale effects applicable to dams, geothermal energy, radioactive waste repositories and so on.

Despite the high quality of modelling nowadays, we really think that modelling alone will not solve all the problems related to rock engineering projects, if representative parameters are not surveyed based on the real geology, and based on in situ testing involving rock joints or sparsely jointed rock masses, as the case may be.

We are working in appropriate directions to enable these discussions to appear in events to be held in the next two to three years. The classical inquiries from the 1960’s: what do we really know about shear strength, what do we really know about flow in rock joints/rock masses, and what do we really know about scale effects in rock engineering , should remind us that despite all the progress being made in modelling, there is much yet to be answered. “ The major unsolved problem is ensuring that the computer simulation for a particular rock mass is valid, i.e. that modelling does in fact represent the rock mass geometry and the mechanical behaviour ” ( Hudson, ISRM Online Lecture, 2013 ).

Finally, it is important to remember that the success of the ISRM depends on the support of the Secretariat, the contribution and involvement of the members of the Board and also of the members of National Groups. We would very much appreciate if our members could participate more in the Society, sending their suggestions – or criticism! – so that, all together we could better serve our Society.

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14th ISRM online lecture by Prof. Walter Wittke

For the 14th ISRM Online Lecture the ISRM invited Professor Walter Wittke. The title of the lecture is “ Design based on the Anisotropic Jointed Rock Model (AJRM) – Fundamentals and Case Histories" . The lecture will be broadcast on 13 July and remains available in this dedicated webpage.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Walter Wittke is a structural engineering graduate of the Technical University of Hannover, and holds a PhD from the Technical University of Karlsruhe, Germany. He taught foundation engineering, soil and rock mechanics in universities in Germany, United States and India, and in 1974 became Full Professor and Director of the Institute for Geotechnical Engineering, Technical University (RWTH) Aachen. He is the founder and CEO, from 1980 to this day, of the engineering firm WBI Prof. Dr.-Ing. W. Wittke Consulting Engineers for Tunneling and Geotechnical Engineering GmbH.

Prof. Wittke is the author of more than 300 technical and scientific publications. He is Editor of "Geotechnik in Theorie und Praxis – WBI-Print", Co-Editor of "Taschenbuch für den Tunnelbau" (German manual for tunneling) and a Member of the Editorial Board for "Dam Engineering" .

He has received awards and distinctions from several scientific societies, universities and professional associations including the Rock Mechanics Award of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers in 1977, the Rupert H. Myers Award in Material Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia in 1983, and the Rocha Medal of the Portuguese National Laboratory for Civil Engineering - LNEC in 2002. He is a Corresponding Member of the "Academia Nacional de Ciencias Exactas, Fisicas Y Naturales", Argentina, is a Professor Honoris Causa of the Escuela Militar de Ingenieria, MCAL Antonio Jose de Sucre, La Paz, Bolivia, and holds a Honorary Doctorate of the University of Hannover, Germany.

He was president of the ISRM from 1979 to 1983 and is a member of the ISSMGE and of the IAEG. He took several posts in the German Geotechnical Society of which he was President from 1990 to 2002 and is Honorary President since 2002. In his long and diversified career he has organized dozens of scientific conferences and meetings, including more than 15 German National Rock Mechanics symposia, the ISRM International Symposium on Rock Mechanics in Stuttgart, Germany in 1972, the ISRM International Symposium on Rock Mechanics, Caverns and Pressure Shafts in Aachen, Germany in 1982, the 7th International Congress on Rock Mechanics of the ISRM in Aachen, Germany in 1991 and EUROCK 2000, the ISRM European Conference on Rock Mechanics in Aachen, Germany.

Prof. Wittke's has designed large rock mechanics projects in all continents, including more than 130 rail and road tunnels, 40 caverns, galleries and shafts, 30 dams, many of high importance, not to mention numerous dikes, slopes and hillside stabilizations.

Previous ISRM Online Lectures were given by Prof. Wulf Schubert, Prof. John Hudson Dr. Pierre Dufaut, Prof. Eduardo Alonso, Dr John Read, Prof. Herbert Einstein, Prof. Shunsuke Sakurai, Prof. Resat Ulusay, Prof. Dick Stacey, Prof. Jean Sulem, Dr. Nick Barton, Prof. Ove Stephansson and Prof. Peter Kaiser. All the ISRM Online Lectures remain available on the ISRM website.

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2016 ISRM International Symposium

The 2016 ISRM International Symposium EUROCK 2016 will be held between 29 and 31 August in Cappadocia (Turkey) which is one of the seven sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and also a natural and historical rock engineering laboratory.

It is also a pleasant occasion that EUROCK2016 coincides with the semi-centennial anniversary of the First ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics which was held in September 1966, in Lisbon, Portugal.

The theme of the symposium is “Rock Mechanics & Rock Engineering: From the Past to the Future”. The symposium intends to cover all aspects of rock mechanics and rock engineering from theories to engineering practices, emphasizing the future direction of rock engineering technologies. This event will be an excellent opportunity to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences in various areas of the rock mechanics and rock engineering, as well as to visit many historical sites including old and modern rock structures caved in the soft tuffs of Cappadocia.

The venue of the symposium, Perissia Hotel & Congress Center-Ürgüp-Nevsehir, is located in the heart of the Cappadocia Region with convenient access to restaurants, hotels, historical sites and national museums.

The symposium program contains eight keynote lectures, the 2016 ISRM Franklin Lecture, the 2016 ISRM Rocha Medal Lecture, and 204 papers (from 35 countries) which were reviewed by the members of the International Scientific and Advisory Committees, who paid prime attention to their eligibility for publication in the Symposium Proceedings and presentation in the Symposium. The following themes will be addressed during the symposium:

  • Fundamental rock mechanics
  • Rock properties, experimental rock mechanics and physical modeling
  • 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)
Keynote lectures will be given by:
  • Prof. Giovanni Barla: Application of numerical methods in tunnelling: Recent trends
  • Prof. Nuh Bilgin: Rock engineering problems related to mechanical excavation in complex geology, solutions and examples from Turkey
  • Prof. Sevket Durucan: Reservoir geomechanics helps improve CO2 storage performance and risk assessment
  • Prof. Xia-Ting Feng: Monitoring, warning and dynamic mitigation of geo-disaster development process in underground hard rock engineering
  • Prof. Sergio A.B. de Fontoura: Analysis of the hydromechanical behavior of fault zones in petroleum reservoirs
  • Prof. Yossef H. Hatzor: Seismic vulnerability of historic monuments: A rock mechanics perspective
  • Prof. Doug Stead: Characterisation of open pit slopes: Towards an integrated remote sensing-modelling approach
  • Dr. Philippe Vaskou: Structural characterization of faults and fractures in underground works
The ISRM special lectures will be:
  • Franklin Lecture 2016 by Prof. Heinz Konietzky: Micromechanical rock models
  • Rocha Medal 2016 presentation by Dr Chia Weng Boon: The secrets of jointed rock masses as told by distinct element models: Jointed roof beams, ground support design and the 1963 Vajont rock slide
The two short courses will take place before the symposium:
  • Key Points for Success in Mechanical Excavation, from Theory to Practice , by Prof. Nuh Bilgin.
  • Empirical methods, Rock Mechanics, and Structural Geological Methods Useful for Excavation in Jointed/Fractured Media , by Dr. Nick Barton & Prof. John W. Cosgrove.

Two post-symposium excursions in the Cappadocia Region on September 1-2 and Istanbul including visit to EURASIA Tunnel and magnificent historical and touristic places on September 3- 4 will also be organized.

Click here to go to the symposium website: .

Prof. Resat ULUSAY
Chairman of the Organizing Committee

ARMS9, Bali, Indonesia, 18-20 October 2016

In October 2016, Indonesian Rock Mechanics Society (IRMS) in collaboration with , the leading information provider on energy and mining industry in Indonesia, will hold the 9th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS9) – a biannual event of International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) National Groups. ARMS9 will be held on 18th - 20th October 2016 at The Stones Hotel - Bali, a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel.

At this stage, the committee has received around 230 paper manuscripts to be presented as oral presentation, poster presentations or only to be inserted in the proceeding. Composition of  submitted   papers is the following: 149 from universities, 48 from institutes, 26 from companies, 12 from consulting companies, which are dominated by Institute Technology of Bandung (Indonesia), Seoul National University (South Korea), Kyushu University (Japan), Institute of Rock and Soil Mech. (China), Indian Institute of Technology (India) and Suranaree University of Technology (Thailand).

Topics of interest for the papers includes three major sectors: mining, energy and infrastructure. Within the given criteria, 179 papers submitted relates to mining sector and its sub-topics, 64 papers on energy and 69 papers on infrastructure. The most popular topics are rock mass characterization, constitutive models & numerical modelling, underground mine opening stability and deep & shallow tunnel.

Paper authors originate from 25 countries, geographically dispersed among Indonesia, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, Turkey, India, and others. The abstracts of these papers have been pre-approved by ARMS9 internal reviewers. Full papers are now in submission process with deadline date on June 30th, 2016 and will be reviewed by ARMS9 organizing committee and nternational reviewer of various fields of study.

As the highlight of this 3-days symposium, on October 17th, 2016, one day prior to the symposium, the ARMS9 Committee is organizing Drilling Competition for Students, alongside ISRM Asian Council Meeting and two Workshops on Rock Excavation and Rock Magnetism.

To update the professionals with recent trends on technology, equipment and services related to the field of rock magnetism, ARMS9 Committee is also organizing exhibition during the symposium.

ARMS9 is supported by a number of companies such as Groundprobe, J Resources Nusantara, PT. Dua Tiga Makmur, Trumer Schutzbauten GmbH, APS GmbH Geotechnik, ACE Instrument and Kajima Corporation among other sponsors and exhibitors.

Academicians, professionals, government officials and related companies wishing to join this respectable event can register online and book accommodation through the ARMS9 website and enjoy the benefits of early bird registration before August 31st, 2016.

Click here to go to the Symposium website .

Typical drilling competition organized by Indonesian Mining Student Competition

The Stones Hotel, a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel

Rock Mechanics Principles, a video course by Professor Jian Zhao available from the ISRM website - Parts 3 and 4 now on-line

Rock Mechanics Principles, an on-line course by Professor Jian Zhao, provides an introduction to rock mechanics principles including the mechanics of rock materials, rock joints and rock masses, rock mechanics characterisation and rock mass classifications. The course is prepared for students studying civil and mining engineering, and other science and engineering disciplines concerning rocks.

The course is an on-line course, with approximately 30 hours of lectures. It covers 5 parts:

  1. Origin of rocks and rock masses (online in March 2016);
  2. Properties and mechanics of rock materials (online in March 2016) ;
  3. Properties and mechanics of rock joints (online in June 2016) ;
  4. Rock mass classifications and properties (online in June 2016) ;
  5. Rock mechanics testing and analysis (to be released later).

The lectures are given by Professor Jian Zhao, who has been teaching rock mechanics and rock engineering since 1990, first at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, then at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne of Switzerland, and currently at Monash University in Melbourne of Australia. He is a Fellow of the International Society for Rock Mechanics since 2015.

Rock Engineering, a sequential on-line course to Rock Mechanics Principles given by the same lecturer will be made available in near future.

Click here to go to the online course webpage on the ISRM website .

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2017 ISRM International Symposium - AfriRock 2017, 2-7 October, Cape Town, South Africa


Cape Town Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa

The 2017 ISRM International Rock Mechanics Symposium is to be held in Cape Town. The conference theme is “Rock Mechanics for Africa”.

Prior to the conference, the ISRM Board, Council and Commission meetings will take place. Technical visits are being arranged for after the conference.

The Symposium is being organised by the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) and the South African National Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE).

Individuals are invited to submit papers for the Symposium. Titles and short abstracts (no more than 500 words) should be submitted in English.

Key Dates

- 3 October 2016: Submission of abstracts
- 10 October 2016: Acceptance of abstracts
- 13 January 2017: Submission of final papers
- 2-7 October 2017: Symposium

Keynote speakers

Nick Barton, Sérgio Fontoura, Luís Lamas, Dick Stacey and Nielen van der Merwe.

Technical visits

Chapman’s Peak drive rockfall protection in Cape Town, Structural Geological tour in Cape Town, Deep Gold Mine, Diamond Mine, Copper Mine.

South Africa – A Pre & Post Conference Destination

A holiday in South Africa has the potential to surpass all other holidays you have ever been on. The land is vast, with stunning vistas in every province, each teeming with wild animals, amazing plants, and fascinating locations South Africa is a world in one country and offers the visitor a multitude of destinations. Cape Town, considered as one of the top 10 destination in the world, the Kruger Park, the Garden Route, and the pleasure resort of Sun City are only a few of the sought-after stops on any itinerary.

Suggested activities to partake in while visiting Cape Town

The Castle of Good Hope—the oldest building in South Africa— was once a fort, but today functions as a showcase of the Cape’s early days. Built by Jan van Riebeeck and the Dutch East India Company, the castle, which is an example of a star fort, was completed in 1679. The building’s 18th-century décor has been restored and it now functions as a popular museum.

Table Mountain Cableway—looming large and welcoming you to Cape Town, whether you are arriving by plane, train, boat, or automobile, is the iconic Table Mountain. Looking at it from below is one thing, but it is quite another to be atop the mountain, from where one is afforded such wonderful views of Cape Town, Robben Island, the Peninsula, and beyond.

Robben Island and Museum—Robben Island needs no introduction with regards to the significance of its place in South Africa’s, and indeed the world’s history. As ‘home’ to one of the world’s most famous prisoners, statesmen, and leaders in Nelson Mandela, Robben Island is quite possibly the most well-known island-prison on earth.

Wine Route—less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town’s city centre, the wine routes offer visitors picturesque scenery, friendly hospitality, and excellent wines.

Most estates have daily wine tasting, cellar tours, and sales— some by appointment only—and there are many choices when it comes to wine route tours. And because wine and food belong together, some of the world’s best restaurants can be found in the Cape Winelands

For more information about AfriRock 2017, please contact:
Raymond van der Berg
Tel: (011) 834-1273/7
Fax: (011) 833-8156 or (011) 838-5923


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EUROCK 2017, Ostrava, Czech Republic, 20-22 June

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, I am delighted to invite you to participate in the 2017 ISRM European Rock Mechanics Symposium (EUROCK 2017) to be held in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on 20 to 22 June 2017. This Symposium is the common endeavour of the Institute of Geonics of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Czech National Group of the ISRM who are doing their best to organize a pleasant and valuable event.

The motto of the Symposium is “Human Activity in Rock Masses”. The Symposium intends to cover all aspects of rock mechanics and rock engineering from theories to engineering practices, emphasizing the future direction of rock engineering technologies. This event will be an excellent opportunity to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences in various areas of the rock mechanics and rock engineering, as well as to visit many historical heritage sites in Moravian-Silesian region. The venue of the Symposium is a unique industrial heritage site of the Lower Area of Vitkovice and an excellent Clarion Congress Hotel Ostrava.

We believe that the huge potential of EUROCK 2017 will be supported by active participation of attendees from many countries not only from Europe, but also around the world. More than 250 abstracts from 41 countries have been registered so far.

Keynote lectures will be given by invited speakers from the field of rock mechanics and speakers presenting the selected excellent papers of the Symposium. We are very pleased that the following famous rock mechanics experts have already accepted our invitation to present their keynote lectures:

  • Prof. Heinz Konietzky – Simulation of Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Prof. Frederic Pellet – Rock Mechanics meeting the challenge of geo-energies
  • Dr. Jiri Ptacek – Rockbursts in hardcoal mining in the Czech Part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin
  • Prof. Walter Wittke – Design based on the Anisotropic Jointed Rock Model (AJRM)

In addition, four one-day workshops will be organized before the Symposium (19 June 2017):

  • Workshop on destress blasting in rock mass
  • Workshop on x-ray computed tomography in geosciences
  • Workshop on utilization of water jets for exploitation and processing of geomaterials
  • Workshop on simulation of fractured rock masses

Technical trips in the vicinity of the Moravian-Silesian region and surroundings including hardcoal and uranium underground mining and interesting underground constructions will be organized at the end of the Symposium:

  • Hardcoal underground mining – underground visit of longwall mining in difficult natural and mining conditions.
  • Underground uranium mining – underground visit in the last uranium mine in Europe.
  • Construction of underground gas storage and underground rock lab.
  • Hydroelectric Power Station in the Jeseniky Mts. – the largest reversing water turbine in Europe and unique geotechnical construction.

Touristic trips in the vicinity of the Moravian-Silesian region as well as visits of industrial and folklore heritage sites and gems in Central Bohemia will be organized at the end of the Symposium:

  • Moravian-Silesian region Tour 1, 23 June 2017 (half day trip)
  • Moravian-Silesian region Tour 2, 23 June 2017 (full day trip)
  • Ostrava Industrial Heritage (during the Symposium)• Bohemia Tour 1 (24 to 25 June 2017)
  • Bohemia Tour 2 (24 to 25 June 2017)

Full registration will be open during August/September 2016.

For further information click here and visit the symposium website: .

We are looking forward to meeting you in Ostrava in June 2017.

Dr. Petr Konicek
EUROCK 2017, Chairman of the Organizing Committee

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ISRM Rocha Medal 2018 - nominations to be received by 31 December 2016

Nominations for the Rocha Medal 2018 are to be received by the ISRM Secretariat by 31 December 2016. The winner will be announced during the 2017 ISRM International Symposium, the 1st Afrirock, in Cape Town, South Africa, October 2017, and will be invited to receive the award and deliver a lecture at the 14th ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics.

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 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 2018.

2nd ISCSR, 6-7 October, Cartagena, Colombia, an ISRM Specialised Conference

Dear Colleagues of the ISRM,

We are inviting of all you to participate on our International Specialized Conference on Soft Rocks, second edition, to be held in Cartagena, Colombia, from 6 to 7 October 2016. The main theme of the Conference is “Understanding and Interpreting the Engineering Behavior of Soft Rocks”.

In this opportunity we will have to chance of enjoy this important and exciting Conference with the XV Geotechnical Colombian Congress on 5 and 6 October and three in simultaneous Short Courses previously on 4 October, about following issues:

  • Empirical Methods and Rock Mechanics for Tunnels and Slopes in Jointed, Faulted, Weak and Weathered Rock Masses, by Dr. Nick Barton
  • Geothecnical risk assesment, by Dr. Vaughan Griffiths
  • Seismic response of soil deposits, by Dr. Youseff Hashah

Other Main Speakers are Dr  Milton Kanji, Chairman of the ISRM Commission on Soft Rocks, Dr He Manchao, Vice-Chairman of the Commission and Vice-President at Large of ISRM, and Dr. Gabriel Fernandez, International Consultant for Rock Mechanics.

The preliminary program and other important information can be see in: and soon we will announce the start of registration. Deadline for sending final papers is 11 July.

We are pleased to see you in Cartagena. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any question and for Invitation Letters for VISA applications.

With our best wishes.

Mario Camilo Torres Suarez
International Delegate of Organizing Committee

Milton Kanji Assis
Chairman of the ISRM Commission

VIII SBMR, 19-22 October 2016, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, an ISRM Specialised Conference

Experts in rock mechanics and rock engineering will meet in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil this coming October 20-22, 2016 during the VIII Brazilian Symposium on Rock Mechanics (SBMR). The highlights of this edition of SBMR are the applications of rock mechanics to solve problems of mining activities, both on surface and underground.

The venue happens in a ssociation with the Brazilian Conference on Soil Mechanics and the Young Geotechnical Engineers Symposium. Considering the three events over 700 papers have been handed in and rock related papers representing about 150 of those.

This year event will also have the presence of the Presidents of three international societies, namely, the International Society for Rock Mechanics, Dr Eda Quadros, the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineers, Professor Roger Frank, and the International Tunneling Association, Professor Tarcisio Celestino.

Belo Horizonte is the mining capital of Brazil and participants will have the chance of meeting and interacting with all major Brazilian mining companies.

For more information go to .

Sérgio Fontoura
Chairman of the Organising Committee

RARE-2016, 16-18 November, Bengaluru, India,
an ISRM Specialised Conference

RARE 2016, an International Conference on “Recent Advances in Rock Engineering”, is being organised by National Institute of Rock Mechanics as a Specialized Conference of the International Society for Rock Mechanics during 16-18 November, 2016, at Bengaluru, India.

The Conference will address the problems and challenges posed by excavation of openings in rock for mining engineering, civil engineering & infrastructure development projects, and will discuss solutions to overcome these problems. The Conference will focus on the developments and innovations made in recent years in the field of rock engineering, with special emphasis on field measurements, instrumentation and data collection, to understand the behaviour of excavations in rock.

The main theme of the Conference is Recent Advances in Rock Engineering; the specialized theme is Instrumentation and Field Measurements. Papers highlighting scientific and technological developments / innovations, new developments and modern trends in the theme areas are invited from all academicians, researchers, designers and field engineers. All the papers received will be published in the Proceedings of the Conference after peer review.

Further details for participation are provided at:

Important Dates

  • Last date for submission of Abstract : 24 July 2016
  • Communication of Acceptance of Abstract: 30 July 2016
  • Acceptance of full text : 30 September 2016

The Venue

The Conference will be held in the Gokula Hall of the Mövenpick Hotel & Spa, Bengaluru, one of the Swiss Group of Mövenpick Hotels.

The Conference is patronized by the Ministry of Mines, and the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. Major mining & hydro power companies in India, instrument suppliers and infrastructure developers from various countries have come forward to sponsor the event. More than 50 abstracts have already been received. About 250 delegates are expected globally. Industry doyens have committed to deliver keynote lectures.

Dr V Venkateswarlu, Chairman - Organising Committee
Dr H S Venkatesh, Convener - Organising Committee

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ISRM Sponsored Meetings

Click here to go to the ISRM Sponsored Conferences page on the ISRM website.

50th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium

Celebration of the 50th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, in Houston from 26-29 June 2016 is successfully on going. Interdisciplinary topics of interest to civil, mining, and petroleum geomechanics are being discussed during the Symposium.

The event had the presence of four members of the ISRM Board: the President, Dr. Eda F. Quadros, and the Vice Presidents for North America, Prof. Doug Stead, for Australasia, Dr. Stuart Read, and for South America, Prof. Sérgio Fontoura.

The Symposium was opened by Dr David Yale, Symposium Chair, and the ISRM President was invited to give an address message to the participants. This was followed by a keynote lecture by Prof. Charles Fair hurst on "Engineering in Fractured Rock Masses: Report on a NSF Symposium" and the MTS Lecture "Underground Rock Engineering to Match the Rock's Behaviour - A Fresh Look at Old Problems" by Prof. Peter Kaiser. Prof. Jean-Claude Rogiers received the "Outstanding Contribution to Rock Mechanics Award".

The next issue of the ISRM Newsletter will give more detailed information on the Symposium.

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RS2016 – 7th International Symposium on In-Situ Rock Stresses was held in Tampere, Finland

ISRM Specialized Conference RS2016 Symposium was held in Tampere, Finland from May 10 to May 12 and was organized by the Finnish National Group of ISRM and Finnish Association of Civil Engineers RIL. The Rock Stress Symposia belong to series of the ISRM Conferences and are currently arranged approximately every third year.

The symposium had 107 participants from 17 countries. A total of 60 technical papers from 13 countries were orally presented in two parallel sessions and they were allocated to eight symposium themes: 1) Rock stress measurements with different methods, 2) Interpretation and analysis of results; 3) Case studies (nuclear waste disposal, mining, civil engineering); 4) Regional stress fields; 5) Seismicity and rock stress; 6) New, innovated stress measurement methods; 7) Rock structures and rock stress; and 8) Stress modeling. The RS2016 Symposium had five excellent keynote presentations given by Kimmo Kemppainen, Ove Stephansson, Stephen D. McKinnon, François Cornet and Ömer Aydan.

Technical excursions were arranged during the Symposium to P-Hämppi Underground Parking facility and Tampere Rantaväylä Traffic tunnel. A post-symposium excursion was arranged to the Finnish nuclear waste repository site Olkiluoto which is the first in the world regarding the spent nuclear fuel. The social program included the Tampere City Reception and symposium dinner at 125 m high in the restaurant of Näsinneula with spectacular view over the Tampere and surrounding lakes.

The best paper selected by the International Advisory Committee was awarded to a paper titled “Stress-geology interaction modelling at Olkiluoto by J. Valli, M. Hakala, T. Siren and the best young engineer paper was given to B. Figueiredo with co-authors F. Cornet, L. Lamas, J. Muralha from the paper “Stress field assessment for determining the long-term rheology of a granite rock mass”.

The symposium proceedings with 655 pages was published electronically for the participants. Others interested can later obtain papers through the ISRM online library at . Photos from the event can be seen at .

Erik Johansson
Symposium Chair

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Geosafe 2016 was held in Xi'an, China

Geosafe 2016 - the1st International Symposium on Reducing Risks in Site Investigation, Modelling and Construction for Rock Engineering was successfully held on 25th-27th May in Xi’an, China. 275 colleagues from 17 different countries attended this symposium, including ISRM President Dr. Eda Quadros, ISRM Past Presidents Prof. Ted Brown and Prof. Xia-Ting Feng, ISRM Vice President Prof. Seokwon Jeon, Prof. Sérgio Fontoura and Prof. Norikazu Shimizu.

The symposium was sponsored by the International Society for Rock Mechanics, the Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and was organized by the State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics), the Xi'an University of Technology (Institute of Geotechnical Engineering), the Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Deep Exploitation Safety of Metal Mines (Northeastern University).

The symposium was focused on three themes: Site Investigation Methods for Rock Masses - Procedures and hazard identification; Rock Mechanics Modelling and Design - Techniques and validation; Construction Procedures - Risk management and mitigation. There was one Short-Course given by Dr. Nick Barton and Prof. John Cosgrove, and several Keynote Lectures and technical sessions on the symposium.

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RockDyn-2 was held in Suzhou, China

T he Second International Conference on Rock Dynamics and Applications (RocDyn-2), an ISRM specialised symposium was successfully held in Suzhou on 18-19 May. The conference was attended by over 150 participants, with a great number of students.

The conference was organised by the Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in association with Australia’s Monash University, joined by Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, and China’s Southeast University, Tianjin University, China University of Mining and Technology, and Mechsoft (Dalian) Co. Ltd. The conference chairs were Haibo Li and Jianchun Li, of the Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics.

In the opening speech, Prof Qihu Qian, president of the Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering, welcomed the participants to Suzhou, one of the most beautiful and cultured places in China, and highlighted the importance of rock dynamics, through his remark: “in rock engineering, statics is a concept, dynamics is a realty”. His remarks are echoed by the presentations and discussion.

The conference organised eight keynote presentations by Paul Young, Manchao He, Laura Pyrak-Nolte, David Beck, Derek Elsworth, Lili Wang, Thomas Kenkmann and Jianchun Li. During the conference sessions, more than 40 oral presentations and a good number of poster presentations were made. In addition, a presentation on the ISRM Commission on Rock Dynamic was made. All the presentations were well received and interactions were active. It achieved the objective of the conference: to share, to cooperate, and to advance rock dynamics, from research to engineering.

Two pre-conference training workshops were organised on 17 May, on Realistic Failure Process Analysis (RFPA), and on microseismic/acoustic emission data processing. At the conference banquet, participants also had the opportunity to enjoy Suzhou Pin-Tang, a vocal performance in local dialect.

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The conference venue

Conference participants

Presentation by David Beck

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