To avoid future email messages from ISRM being blocked by antispam software, be sure to add to your list of allowed senders and contacts.
If this newsletter does not display correctly, please open this link on your browser:

No. 38 - June 2017


Message from the President

We are in the middle of our term of office and it is a great pleasure to write this message after these two years of intense activity from the Board. During this time, much work has been done thanks to the harmony existing among the members of the Board. There is much enjoyment from all of us, for this opportunity to serve our Society.

We are very grateful to the representatives of our National Groups for their participation and collaboration with the activities proposed by the Board. We feel especially pleased because our Society has continued to grow since the start of the present term of office. We have now 61 National Groups. The last country to join us in 2017, is the Macedonian Association for Geotechnics. The Board of this new National Group is chaired by Prof. Milorad Jovanovski.

In these two years of activities we had two Board meetings and one Council meeting. The third Board meeting and the second Council meeting will occur in October 2017, organized together with the ISRM International Symposium AfriRock 2017, to be held from 2-7 October in Cape Town, South Africa. In that Council meeting the President and the Vice Presidents will present the activities developed in this second year of activities and the Secretary General will present the report of the activities needed to operate the Society, which include the financial matters and the proposed Budget for 2018. We will also elect our future ISRM President!

In this first half of 2017 we already sponsored four specialized conferences, including the EUROCK 2017 in Ostrava, Czech Republic; the 7th International Symposium in Geomechanics in the city of Medellin, Colombia; the 4th ISRM Young Scholars Symposium on Rock Mechanics in Jeju, Korea and the Conference on Progressive Failure and Long Term Strength Degradation of Brittle Rocks, in Ascona, Switzerland. All these Conferences and Symposia were attended by some of our Vice Presidents and ISRM representatives. The U.S. National Group of the ISRM, ARMA (American Rock Mechanics Association) organized successfully the 51st Rock Mechanics Symposium in the city of San Francisco, in June. The ISRM President and the two Vice Presidents, from North America and South America, participated in this event.

At this moment, the Board is working on the selection of the winner and runners-up of the ISRM Rocha Medal, who will be publicly announced during the Council meeting in Cape Town. This year 19 candidates applied with their PhD theses. The ISRM Franklin Lecturer 2017 is also being selected by the Board members. This Lecture will be delivered during the ISRM International Symposium in Cape Town. This ISRM Award is to recognize a mid-career member who has made a significant contribution to the area of rock mechanics/rock engineering.

This year, during the next Council Meeting, we will have two important decisions. The voting for the election of the next ISRM President who will be responsible for the command of the Society from 2019 to 2023 and the voting for changing the name of the Society.

Thanks to the support of the Secretariat in Lisbon and the collaboration of the National Groups, added to the active work of the Board, we believe that the objectives proposed in the beginning of the present term of office will be reached until 2019.

Eda F. Quadros
ISRM President

18th ISRM Online Lecture by Professor Marc Panet

For the 18th ISRM Online Lecture the ISRM invited Professor Marc Panet. The title of the lecture is “The deformations in the vicinity of the face of a deep tunnel". The lecture will be broadcast mid July, in a date to be announced, and will remain available in a dedicated webpage.

Marc Panet graduated in Civil Engineering at the École des Mines de Paris and obtained a Master degree at the University of California at Berkeley. He started his career in 1965 at the Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées, in Paris, where he was a Research Engineer, Head of the Geotechnical Department and Technical Director. In 1982 he joined the SHP Group, in Paris, as Scientific Director. From 1984 to 1996 he was the President and CEO of SIMECSOL; and from 1996 to 2000 President and CEO of FC International SA. Since then he has been working as a consultant. He taught at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, at the École des Mines and at the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, in Paris.

Marc has been in charge of numerous studies in geotechnical engineering for underground works, highways, bridges, and natural hazards. Among the main projects are: the Mont Blanc Tunnel (11.6km), the Frejus Road Tunnel (12.9 km), the Large Electron–Positron Collider (CERN in Geneva), the Channel Tunnel (from 1967 to the end of the construction), the Millau Bridge, the Loetschberg Base Tunnel (43 km), subways in Paris, Rennes, Caracas, Athens and Algiers, the slides of the city of Constantine (Algeria), the project of the suspended bridge on the Straits of Messina (Italy) and the project of the cable-stayed bridge on the Golden Horn (Turkey). He is presently involved in a large number of geotechnical projects.

He is the author of a large number of publications in professional journals and international conferences and of the well-known book “Calculation of tunnels using the convergence-confinement method”.

Marc Panet is a Honorary Member of the French Academy of Technology, Knight of the National Order of Merit and Knight of the Order of Academic Palms. He was the organiser of the 9th International Congress of the ISRM, Vice President for Europe from 1987-1991 and ISRM President from 1999-2003.

Previous ISRM Online Lectures were given by Wulf Schubert, John Hudson, Pierre Dufaut, Eduardo Alonso, John Read, Herbert Einstein, Shunsuke Sakurai, Resat Ulusay, Dick Stacey, Jean Sulem, Nick Barton, Ove Stephansson, Peter Kaiser, Walter Wittke, Nielen van der Merwe, Giovanni Barla and Charles Fairhurst. All the ISRM Online Lectures remain available on the ISRM website.

Go to the top of the Newsletter

Welcome to Cape Town, to the 2017 ISRM International Symposium - AfriRock 2017, 2-7 October
Welcome to our mother city Cape Town, where the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) and the South African National Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE) are proud to host the 2017 ISRM AfriRock International Symposium “AfriRock 2017” at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

South Africa is a world in one country. From the floral city of Cape Town, where the symposium will be hosted, to the South Coast Garden Route, to the mountains of the Drakensberg and the bushlands of the Kruger. Cape Town is considered one of the top 10 worldwide destinations to visit, highlights include the breath-taking views from the top of Table Mountain, boat trips and tours of Robben Island, walking and shopping in the City Bowl and the Waterfront and enjoying the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the Cape Winelands, producers of internationally renowned wine and port. South Africa is the land from which the legends of gold and diamonds were born.

ISRM Meetings

The ISRM Commission and Council meetings will take place on the 2nd of October at the CTICC and the ISRM Board meetings will be on the 30th September and 1st October. The ISRM Advisory Forum will meet on the evening of the 3rd October.

AfriRock 2017 Symposium

The symposium will be held between the 3rd and 5th October. More than 130 papers have been received and are currently being reviewed and refereed. The papers cover a broad range of rock engineering topics. The conference is of value to rock engineering practitioners, researchers, academics, mining engineers, engineering geologists, civil engineers and petroleum engineers. Keynote lectures will be presented by Dick Stacey, Nick Barton, Luís Lamas, Paul Buddery and Sérgio Fontoura.

Courses and Workshops

On the 2nd October the Institute of Mine Seismology (IMS) Mini-Seminar will take place in the home of the winelands, Stellenbosch. The seminar will cover microseismic monitoring of mines and will discuss the latest seismological analysis techniques and technology in mining.

A one-day course presented by Dr. Nick Barton and Prof. John Cosgrove on the 6th October will cover empirical methods, rock mechanics, and structural geological methods useful for excavation in jointed and fractured media.


The South African Rockbowl Competition will be held on the 4th October. The quiz questions are based on rock mechanics theory and practical application, and provides a platform for learning and meeting other young rock engineering practitioners.

Technical tours

The Presidential Tour takes place between the 25th and the 30th September and encompasses a road trip through South Africa from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Highlights include the Sasol Coal Training Centre, the Bambanani shaft pillar extraction project and the Kimberley Big Hole and Museum.

The Chapmans Peak Tour is an excellent opportunity to see rockfall protection strategy. The tour also visits various local attractions and the fantastic geology of Cape Point, the tour takes place on the 6th October. Visit the deepest gold mine in the world during the Tautona and Mponeng Deep Level Gold Mine Tour in Carletonville on the 6th October. The Palabora Mine and the Kruger National Park Tour takes place on the 6th and 7th October and includes a visit to the world-class block caving mining operation at Palabora and the Kruger National Park, home to the Big 5 and the spectacular flora and fauna of the bushveld.

Accompanying persons programme

Tours include Cape Town City, Table Mountain, the Noon Gun, Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak, the Penguin Colony at Boulder’s Beach, a Seal Island Cruise, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardans and tours of the Cape Winelands.


A networking function will be held on the evening of the 2nd October at the CTICC, which will serve as an ice breaker. You will be able to sample local wine and craft beer. The conference dinner will take place at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town on the evening of the 4th of October. At the dinner, the new ISRM fellows will be inducted and an award will be made to the best performing National Group.


ISRM registration fees for the symposium are ZAR 8 999 before the 1st August. To book your place for the symposium, tours and other activities please click here to visit the website or just google AfriRock 2017.

We look forward to welcoming you to South Africa and Cape Town in October.

AfriRock 2017 Organising Committee

Go to the top of the Newsletter

Volume 19 - December 2016 of the ISRM News Journal is now online

The December 2016 issue of the ISRM News Journal is now available. This issue of the News Journal reports the main ISRM activities in 2016. You will find information about the Board and Council meetings and activities, the ISRM President’s Address, the Secretary-General’s Report displaying the evolution of ISRM National Groups and ISRM’s membership in recent years, the Reports from the ISRM Vice-Presidents, the report from the Technical Oversight Committee with the achievements of the Commissions over the period 2015-2016, the report with the activities of the Education Fund Committee and many other articles of interest for the rock mechanics community.

Three technical articles are presented: the ISRM Franklin Lecture 2016 delivered by Prof. Heinz Konietsky, the Rocha Medal presentation by Dr. Chia Weng Boon, winner of the Rocha Medal 2016, and the MTS Lecture presented by Prof. Peter Kaiser at the 50th US Rock Mechanics Symposium.

The ISRM News Journal is distributed to all members in electronic version. We also print a few copies of the News Journal, which are available at our sponsored symposia.

The 2018 ISRM International Symposium - ARMS10, 29 Oct. - 3 Nov.

Happening from the 29th Oct to 3rd Nov 2018, the 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium cum the ISRM International Symposium for 2018 will be held in the heart of central Singapore at Suntec Convention Centre. As Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre, Suntec Singapore is conveniently located in the Central Business District and just minutes from the city's transportation terminals, entertainment and cultural attractions.

The convention centre is situated next to the second largest shopping mall in Singapore, with direct access to 5,200 hotel rooms, 1,000 retail outlets, 300 restaurants, and six museums within walking distance (including Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay). One can definitely expect your ARMS10 experience to not only be a mentally engaging one but a spiritual one (through food and shopping of course!) too. For those who desire to see more, there are many options to explore the myriad of cultures and sights around Singapore’s neighboring countries with a short drive or flight away. Stay tuned to the ARMS10 Webpage where both local and regional tours might be up from the drawing board.

Throughout the past few months, the committee members have been putting their heads together to ensure ARMS10 be packed with a quality line-up of technical programs, courses, workshops and distinguished speakers! At present, the committee is in the process of confirming a total of seven Keynote Speakers from various international regions along with a discussion for a “Young Researchers” category amidst the Plenary Talks.

With a view on the future of the ISRM, ARMS 10 will have special activities for students and young scholars, including the now standard ARMS Students’ Night, student scholarships, Best Paper Competition, the now popular Rock Bowl introduced by our Brazilian colleagues and the drilling competition introduced at ARMS 9 in Bali in 2016. For the first time, we will introduce a special Plenary Session featuring the Rocha Medal lecture together with 3-4 other lectures by young researchers (not older than 38 years).

The first ARMS10 Call for Participation was sent out in March 2016 bidding for participants to create their accounts and to download a copy of the Call. For participants, check out  for more updates and register your interest and submit an abstract when the submission portal opens on 1st July 2017! With your support participa tion, ARMS10 will be Shiok!

See you in Singapore at ARMS 10!

Yours Sincerely,
ARMS10 Organizing Committee

European Rock Mechanics Symposium - Eurock 2018, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 22-26 May

The Organizing Committee and the Saint-Petersburg Mining University invite you to participate in the European Rock Mechanics Symposium EUROCK 2018 "Geomechanics and Geodynamics of Rock Masses", to take place 22–26 May 2018 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

Conference themes:
- Physical and mechanical properties of fractured rock
- Geophysics in rock mechanics
- Rock mass strength and failure
- Nonlinear problems in rock mechanics
- Effect of joint water on the behavior of rock foundation
- Numerical modeling and back analysis
- Mineral resources development: methods and rock mechanics problems
- Rock mechanics and underground construction
- Rock mechanics in petroleum engineering
- Geodynamics and monitoring of rock mass behavior
- Risks and hazards
- Geomechanics of technogenic deposits

Key dates:
- Deadline for submission of abstracts - 30.07.2017
- Acceptance of abstracts - 15.08.2017
- Deadline for submission of papers - 20.11.2017
- Information about the reception of full papers - 20.12.2017

The publication of accepted papers is possible only with payment of registration fees before 10.02.2018.

Registration fees:
- 560 $ (USD) ISRM members
- 700 $ (USD) Regular participants
- 230 $ (USD) Participants up to 35 years
- Early registration (-15%) until 10.02.2018

Venue:Saint-Petersburg Mining University
2, 21st Line, St Petersburg 199106, Russia

General information and organization: Vladimir Noskov

Yours sincerely
Eurock2018 Organising Committee

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

Oral presentations in plenary sessions are programmed. A special issue in Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering will be prepared after the conference.

For more information click to visit the conference website.

Go to the top of the Newsletter

3rd Nordic Rock Mechanics Symposium - NRMS 2017, Helsinki, Finland, 11-12 October, an ISRM Specialised Conference

For the first time the Nordic Rock Mechanics Symposium is organised as an ISRM Specialised Conference. This time it takes place in Helsinki and is organised by the Finnish National Group of the ISRM.

Use of underground space for various purposes is a natural choice in Nordic countries and it has made the understanding of rock mechanics vital. This symposium 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.

Keynote speakers
  • Charlie Chunlin Li, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • Diego Mas Ivars, SKB
  • Zongxian Zhang, University of Oulu
  • Jukka Pöllä M.Sci (Rock Eng., Geotechn. Eng.), Licenciate of Science (Rock Eng., Eng. Geol.)
For updated information click here to visit the conference website.

Go to the top of the Newsletter
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 of 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, fifteen distinguished scholars coming from more than ten 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 a historical city with deep cultural connotations, famous as the city of “Oriental Venice”, and is 90 minutes away from Shanghai by high-speed railway . Welcome to Shaoxing!

Homepage address of this forum is

Report on YSRM 2017 & NDRMGE 2017, Jeju, Korea

The 4th ISRM Young Scholars Rock Mechanics Symposium (YSRM 2017) and 5th International Conference on New Development in Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (NDRMGE 2017) was held on 10-13 May in Jeju Island, Korea with the Korean Society for Rock Mechanics (KSRM) as a main organizer. A total of 254 participants from seventeen countries, of which 93 participants were from overseas, enjoyed the symposium including the five invited lectures.

YSRM 2017 organized ‘ISRM Rocha Medal PhD Thesis exhibition’ with all thirty five theses from 1982 to 2016 including many original theses thanks to the cooperation by the Rocha Medal recipients. Female Young Scholars’ Luncheon was well received by 18 female participants sharing their success stories and challenges. These first initiatives by KSRM were very successful and inspired young participants. KSRM provided scholarships to fourteen young members from seven countries. Three members were given full airfares, accommodations and registration waivers, and the other eleven were given registration waivers.

99 oral and 56 poster presentations (including recent PhD posters) were made in eighteen technical sessions including two special sessions on ‘High Level Radioactive Waste Disposal’ and ‘State-of-the-Art X-ray CT Applications in Rock Mechanics and Engineering’. Two YSRM Best Paper Awards and Poster Awards were given to the selected participants in general and young member categories.

The ‘YSRM 2017 and NDRMGE 2017’ was so successful with many participants and unique programs. On behalf of Korean National Group, we thank all the participants and contributors who have helped the success of the Symposium. We look forward to the 5th YSRM which will take place in Okinawa in Japan in 2019.

Seokwon Jeon
Chairman of the Organising Committee

Report on the 51st US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium

The Symposium, organized by the American Rock Mechanics Association - ARMA (ISRM National Group) was held in the city of San Francisco, California from 25-28 June 2017.The Symposium was a fruitful event with 645 registrants from 39 countries.The ISRM President and the ISRM Vice Presidents for North America and South America participated in the event. During the ARMA Board of Directors Meeting on 25th June, Prof. Laura Pyrak-Nolte was elected the President of ARMA for the term 2017-2019.

This year the traditional MTS Lecture was given by Prof. François Cornet, from the Institut de Physique du Globe of Strasbourg, France. The title of the Lecture was “Vertical Stress Profiles and the Long-term Rheology of Rock Masses". Keynote Lectures were presented by Derek Elsworth (Seismicity-Permeability Coupling in Reservoirs and Caprocks), David Yale (Integrating Geomechanics in Unconventional Resource Development) and Erik Eastman (Twenty-five Years of Seismic Tomography for Mine Rockmass Monitoring). Maria Nikolaku presented the Future Leaders Keynote Address on the theme "Stress and Pressure in Mudrocks Bounding Salt Systems".

Eda Quadros
ISRM President
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.

ISRM Sponsored meetings

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

ISRM Secretariat, c/o LNEC, Av. Brasil, 101, 1700-066 Lisboa, PORTUGAL
Tel: (+351) 218443419; Fax: (+351) 218443021; Website: ; E-mail:
© 2017 ISRM; Newsletter Editor: Luís Lamas; Webmaster: Ricardo Resende
Click to subscribe or unsubscribe the ISRM newsletter, and to read previous issues.

ISRM Privacy Policy