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No. 37 - March 2017


17th ISRM online lecture by Prof. Charles Fairhurst

For the 17th ISRM Online Lecture the ISRM invited Professor Charles Fairhurst. The title of the lecture is “Why Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering?". The lecture will be broadcast at the end of April, in a date to be announced, and remain available in a dedicated webpage.

Charles Fairhurst obtained his Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from the University of Sheffield, UK in 1955. He joined the University of Minnesota faculty, School of Mines and Metallurgy in 1956, serving as Head for several years to 1970, when the Mining program was joined with Civil Engineering to form the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering. He served as Head of the joint Department from 1973-87, and retired in 1997.

He has consulted on rock stability problems for tunnels, dams, mines and excavations throughout the world. He remains active in consulting, with a current emphasis on the mechanics of fracture propagation in naturally fractured rock and the effective stimulation of geothermal reservoirs. He served as President of the International Society for Rock Mechanics from 1991-1995, and has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (1991) and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (1979). He is a Fellow of the American Rock Mechanics Association and of the International Society for Rock Mechanics. In 2003 he received the Müller award, the highest award conferred by the ISRM.

He is currently Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA and Senior Consultant, Itasca International Inc. Minneapolis.

Prof. Fairhurst holds honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Nancy, France; St. Petersburg Mining Academy, Russia; University of Sheffield, England; and University of Minnesota, USA; and is Advisory Professor to Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

In December, 2013, he was inducted as Officier, Légion d’Honneur, France.

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, Prof. Peter Kaiser, Prof. Walter Wittke, Prof. Nielen van der Merwe and Prof. Giovanni Barla. All the ISRM Online Lectures remain available on the ISRM website.

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2017 ISRM International Symposium - AfriRock 2017 "Rock Mechanics for Africa"
2-7 October, Cape Town, South Africa

UPDATE : Approximately 170 abstracts were received covering a wide range of topics, including slope stability, underground excavation stability, ground support, rock mechanics data, testing methods, instrumentation and monitoring, mine seismicity and rockbursts and numerical modelling. Over 100 papers have been received and are in the refereeing process.

The 2017 ISRM International Rock Mechanics Symposium is being organised by the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) and the South African National Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE). The conference will be of value to rock engineering practitioners, researchers, academics, mining engineers, civil engineers, petroleum engineers and engineering geologists.

Prior to the conference, the ISRM Board, Council and Commission meetings will take place.

Nick Barton and John Cosgrove will present a workshop on “Empirical methods, Rock Mechanics and Structural geological methods useful for excavation in Jointed Fractured media”.

Keynote speakers are Dick Stacey, Nick Barton, Nielen van der Merwe, Luís Lamas, Sérgio Fontoura and Paul Buddery.

Rockbowl will be held during the conference for young members.

Confirmed technical visits

  • Chapman’s Peak drive rockfall protection, Cape Town
  • 2-day tour to Palabora Copper Mine (block cave) and Kruger Park.
  • Tau Tona and Mponeng gold mines (deepest mines in the world).

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 ten 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.

Click here to go to the Symposium Website .

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

Do not miss opportunity and attend the biggest ISRM event in Europe in 2017!

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, I am delighted to invite you to participate in the 2017 ISRM European Rock Mechanics Symposium (EUROCK 2017).

This famous and very respected event is coming back to the Czech Republic after 12 years when the first EUROCK 2005 was held in Brno city, Czech Republic.

This time the event will attract more than 200 scientists, engineers and researchers from the universities, scientific laboratories, and industries from Europe, Afrika, America, Asia and Australia. About 150 peer-reviewed papers will be presented focusing on rock mass properties, laboratory and in-situ rock testing, mine design and ground control, underground storage and waste disposal, dynamic phenomena in rock mass, design methodology in mining and underground constructions, geothermal energy, rock disintegration as well as new materials and technologies in geomechanics and geotechnics. All accepted papers will be published in Procedia Engineering Journal (Elsevier BV). List of accepted papers will be announced in the symposium website soon.

I would like to invite you to keynote lectures which will be given by famous rock mechanics experts :
  • 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)
  • Prof. Arno Zang – Fatigue Hydraulic Fracturing

Very interesting one-day workshops will be heldbefore the Symposium (June 19, 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 (ITASCA)

Atractive technical trips will be held at the end of the Symposium (23 June 2017):

  • 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.

You have still a chance to register on workshops as well as field trips but number of participants is limited!

Very attractive and interesting accompanying programme will be held in Moravian-Silesian region as well as Central Bohemia 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)

For further information click here and visit the symposium website

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

With the best regards

Petr Konicek
Chairman of the Organizing Committee

“Rock Mechanics and Engineering”, a 5-volume set edited by Prof. Xia-Ting Feng

The five-volume set “Comprehensive Rock Engineering”, which was published in 1993, has had an important influence on the development of rock mechanics and rock engineering. Significant and extensive advances and achievements in these fields over the last 20 years now justify the publishing of a comparable, new compilation.

“Rock Mechanics and Engineering” represents a highly prestigious, multi-volume work edited by Professor Xia-Ting Feng, with the editorial advice of Professor John A. Hudson. This new compilation offers an extremely wide-ranging and comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art in rock mechanics and rock engineering and is composed of peer-reviewed, dedicated contributions by all the key experts worldwide.

Key features of this set are that it provides a systematic, global summary of new developments in rock mechanics and rock engineering practices as well as looking ahead to future developments in the fields. Contributors are world-renowned experts in the fields of rock mechanics and rock engineering, though younger, talented researchers have also been included.

This multi-volume work sets a new standard for rock mechanics and engineering compendia and will be the go-to resource for all engineering professionals and academics involved in rock mechanics and engineering for years to come.

The “Rock Mechanics and Engineering” set includes the following 5 volumes:

  1. Principles
  2. Laboratory and Field Testing
  3. Analysis, Modeling & Design
  4. Excavation, Support and Monitoring
  5. Surface and Underground Projects

For more information click here to download the flyer.

CRC Press offers ISRM members a 30% discount. Click here to get the discount codes.

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Macedonia joined the ISRM

Macedonia joined the ISRM as the 61st National Group through t he Macedonian Association for Geotechnics. Prof. Milorad Jovanovski is the President on the new ISRM National Group and Mr Jovan Papic the Secretary.

The ISRM welcomes our new ISRM colleagues and wishes that we will have a fruitful cooperation in the future.

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ISRM Rocha Medal 2019 - nominations to be received by 31 December 2017

Nominations for the Rocha Medal 2019 are to be received by the ISRM Secretariat by 31 December 2017. The winner will be announced during the 2018 ISRM International Symposium, ARMS 10, in Singapore, October 2018, and will be invited to receive the award and deliver a lecture at the 14th ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics in Foz de Iguaçu, Brazil, September 2019.

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 2019.

YSRM 2017 & NDRMGE 2017 – Challenges and Innovations in Rock Mechanics and Engineering, Jeju Island, South Korea, 10-13 May 2017, an ISRM Specialised Conference
Korean Society for Rock Mechanics (KSRM) cordially invites the international community of rock mechanics and rock engineering to attend the joint international symposium, the 2017 ISRM Young Scholars’ Symposium on Rock Mechanics (YSRM 2017 – an ISRM Specialized Conference) and the 2017 International Symposium on New Developments in Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (NDRMGE 2017).

A total of 227 abstracts from 20 countries has been received so far, which exceeded our expectation. We prepared a few unique programs to promote the participation of both young and established rock mechanics scholars including; Young Female Scholars’ Luncheon and Exhibition of Rocha Medalist PhD thesis and recent PhD thesis in rock mechanics. 17 KSRM scholarships were chosen to provide opportunities to those young scholars from rock mechanically underrepresented countries.

We would like to welcome you to beautiful Jeju Island, a UNECSO’s World Natural Heritage Site, in May 2017.

For more information about the symposium, click here to visit the website.

Seokwon Jeon
Chairman of the Symposium

Progressive Rock Failure Conference, Monte Verità, Switzerland, 5-7 June 2017,
an ISRM Specialised Conference

Progressive bedrock failure regulates rates of decay in both natural and engineered environments. The process therefore plays an essential role in determining the instantaneous response of rock slope instabilities to common triggers (e.g. heavy precipitation, earthquake shaking, river erosion, and melting of permafrost or alpine glaciers), and the longevity of infrastructure in many environments (e.g. tunnels, mines, deep boreholes, and nuclear waste repositories). Time-dependent aspects of failure are, however, difficult to study as internal damage is not visible to the naked eye, and the process can continue for anywhere from several hours to many thousands of years. Better understanding this process represents a great challenge to those involved in the preservation of existing structures, future development of critical transport and energy infrastructure, and the assessment of natural hazards in response to a changing climate.

In June this year the Chair of Engineering Geology will host a topical conference, including three days of seminars/discussions, and one day of integrated excursions arranged around five core themes: creep and stress corrosion, long term strength limits, progressive slope failure, environmental drivers, and, subsurface infrastructure. The core themes will allow practitioners and researchers from diverse backgrounds to progress beyond current knowledge barriers, and lay out a framework for the future evaluation of time-dependent weakening and failure of brittle rocks. Excursions will take place in the Gotthard Pass and Schöllenen Gorge, the Preonzo Rockslide Area, and the Bedretto Tunnel. Workshops arranged for the final day will demonstrate and discuss approaches for modelling progressive damage evolution and brittle failure using industry-leading tools and new academic softwares.

So far we have about 60 registrations and additional participants could pre-register under .

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GeoProc 2017, Paris, France, 5-7 July, an ISRM Specialised Conference

As part of GeoProc conference series, this event carries forward certain traditions as well as breaks new grounds related to Coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechano-Chemical (THMC) processes in Geosystems.

After Stockholm, 2003, Nanjing, 2006, Lille, 2008, Perth 2011 and Utah, 2015, the 6th GeoProc is held in Paris, France, at the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech campus, between 5 and 7 July 2017.

Geoproc2017 is co-organized by the École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), the French institute of science and technology for transport, spatial planning, development and networks (IFSTTAR), the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

The conference theme “Multiphysical processes and phenomena across the scales” symbolizes scientists, engineers and practitioners coming together from different backgrounds to address new emerging scientific issues for a wide range of natural and engineering phenomena in geological systems and energy production.

Invited speakers

  • Einat Aharonov, Hebrew University
  • Yves Guglielmi, CEREGE Laboratory & Berkeley lab
  • Atef Onaisi, Head of Geomechanics Services, Total
  • James Rice, Harvard University
  • Alexandre Schubnel, École Normale Supérieure
  • Chris J. Spiers, Utrecht University


  • Reservoir mechanics (Nuclear waste disposal, CO2 sequestration, Energy storage, Petroleum engineering, Geothermal energy etc.)
  • Hydrauling fracturing
  • Induced seismicity, fault reactivation and landslides
  • Numerical challenges in THMC modeling
  • Instabilities, bifurcation phenomena and strain localization due to THMC processes
  • Experimental advances in THMC processes
  • Legal and economical aspects related to induced seismicity and reservoir mechanics

Oral presentations in plenary sessions are programmed.

A special issue in Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering will be prepared after the conference.

Important dates : Abstract submission (for poster presentation): 2017. Registration is open.

For more information click to visit the conference website.

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Shaoxing International Forum on Rock Mechanics and Engineering Geology (SXFRG),
Shaoxing, China, 28-29 October 2017, an ISRM Specialised Conference

Entering to the new century, Chinese government initiated “The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road” (B&R) project to strengthen the connections among the huge populations and numerous economic entities located in Eurasia and Africa, employing the massive infrastructure investment and construction as the foundation of mass transportation. The complex geological and geotechnical problems involved in B&R ask for higher standards in survey, design, and construction, which can only be accomplished by extensive collaborations among nations worldwide and their outstanding scientists and engineers.

The “Shaoxing International Forum on Rock Mechanics and Engineering Geology (SXFRG)” is a series biennial forums that aims at the fundamental innovation of theory and technology in rock mechanics and engineering geology. The first Forum to be held on Saturday October 28 to Sunday October 29, 2017 in Shaoxing, China, will focus on “Rock Mechanical and Engineering Geological problems for B&R”.

To date, 15 distinguished scholars coming from more than 10 nations, including the president and several vice presidents of ISRM and IAEG, have accepted the invitation and will make presentation on the forum. The themes of keynotes are “Rock mechanical and engineering geological problems in B&R”, “Engineering geological issues in deep buried tunnels in Himalaya tectonic belt”, and “Overview of geotechnical engineering problems in major construction projects in Shaoxing city”.

The Forum will be free of registration fees, and English will be the official language. Shaoxing is located 1.5 hour away from Shanghai by high-speed railway, which is a historical city with deep cultural connotations famous as the city of “Oriental Venice”. Welcome to Shaoxing!

Homepage address of this forum is

51st US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium - Registration and exhibits now open

The American Rock Mechanics Association ARMA has accepted over 800 abstracts for its 51st U.S. Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium to be held in San Francisco, California, USA on 25-28 June 2017.

Five keynote talks will be given by Francois Cornet (9th Annual MTS Lecture), Derek Elsworth, David Yale, Erik Westman, and Maria-Katerina Nikolinakou.

Two short courses will be offered on Shale Gas GeoEngineering and 2D and 3D Modeling of Rock Fracturing Processes in Geomechanics.

Three workshops be offered on Emerging Advances in Geomechanics, Hydraulic Fracturing, and How Laboratory Geomechanics Testing Adds Value to Exploration and Production.

Technical tours will include visits to the Carl Zeiss X-ray Microscopy Facility, Stanford University Campus and Rock Mechanics Labs, and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Special events include the annual awards dinner, a “Rock Jeopardy” contest, student career reception, major league baseball game, trips to Alcatraz, Muir Woods, Sausalito, the California Academy of Sciences, the De Young Museum, and highlights of the city.

A post-symposium “bridge walk” over the Golden Gate Bridge, and a hot air balloon ride and winery visit to Napa Valley cap the special activities.

Registration and further information can be found at .

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NRMS 2017 - 3rd Nordic Rock Mechanics Symposium, Helsinki, Finland, 11-12 October 2017

This symposium is organised by the Finnish National Group of ISRM and gathers Nordic rock mechanics and engineering geology experts to discuss the current state of research, infrastructure, rock caverns, tunnelling, mining, use of underground space for energy recovery and storage, and case histories.

Click here to go to the Symposium website.

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Spanish Society for Rock Mechanics celebrates the 50th anniversary

On 26 April the Spanish Society for Rock Mechanics - SEMR will organise at the CEDEX, in Madrid, a special event to celebrate 50 years of activity. Four well-known members that have greatly contributed to SEMR during this period were invited to review the development on different rock mechanics topics, including tunneling (Manuel Romana), mining geotechnics (Pedro Ramirez Oyanguren), dam foundations (Claudio Olalla) and rock slope engineering (Luis González de Vallejo). A commemorative book will be launched.

For such a special occasion the ISRM  President Eda Quadros and the Secretary General Luís Lamas were also invited, to review the past 55 years of the Society and to discuss on the perspectives for the future.

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First JTC1 Workshop on Advances in Landslide Understanding, Barcelona, 24-26 May 2017

The Joint Technical Committee on Natural Slopes and Landslides (JTC1) of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, the International Society for Rock Mechanics and the International Association for Engineering Geology is organizing the First JTC1 Workshop on Advances in Landslide Understanding to be held in Barcelona, Spain, 24-26 May 2017.

The aim of the Workshop is to promote discussion between scientists and engineers on topics which require attention because of difficulties in identification, triggering causes, mechanisms, modelling and prevention, such as:

  • Brittle failures / First time failures
  • Transition slow-fast motion
  • Stability of weathered profiles
  • Compound landslides
  • Landslides in reservoirs
  • Landslides in mines and tailings deposits
  • Soil-atmosphere interaction

Extended abstracts will be published in an electronic format book (Including ISBN). Selected papers will be collected in a Special Issue of an International Journal.

Click to download the announcement of the workshop or click here to visit the workshop website .

On behalf of the JTC1

Eduardo Alonso
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Digital Library at OnePetro

The ISRM Digital Library makes available to the Rock Mechanics community worldwide the materials published in the ISRM Congresses and sponsored Symposia.

The ISRM Digital Library is part of OnePetro , a large online library managed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers that hosts contributions from more than twenty publishing partners . Papers from forty-two ISRM Congresses and sponsored Symposia, ranging from 1966 to the current year, are available ( click here for an up to date list ) and more are gradually regularly introduced in the Library.

At the beginning of every year, ISRM individual members registered on the ISRM website must follow these instructions to download , at no cost, up to 100 papers from the ISRM conferences. To visit the ISRM Digital Library at the One Petro site follow this link .

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ISRM Suggested Methods page

ISRM Suggested Methods (SM) are "explanations of recommended procedures to follow in the various aspects of rock characterisation, testing and monitoring" (from the introduction of the ISRM Blue Book) and are written and reviewed by the ISRM Commission on Testing Methods, currently chaired by Prof. Resat Ulusay, for more than 40 years. All SM have been published in the Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering and the International Journal for Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences  journals.

ISRM has compiled two books. The Blue book covers SM from 1974 to 2006 and the Orange Book from 2007 to 2014. Both books are available for sale, and ISRM members can download all SM for free.

More recently videos of some SM have been recorded by the ISRM Commissions on Testing Methods and on Education, in cooperation with Prof. Seokwon Jeon from Seoul National University (South Korea) and are also available on the ISRM site

The web page dedicated to the Suggested Methods has been enhanced to make them easier to find and download, you can visit it in this link .

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ISRM Sponsored meetings

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

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