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No. 39 - September 2017


Welcome to AfriRock 2017 in Cape Town

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).

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 100 papers have been accepted and included in the proceedings, of which 50 are from Africa (South Africa, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, and Egypt). All papers will be presented. Mining is a key driver of the economies in African countries and not surprisingly, many of the papers deal with rock engineering research and case studies for mines. The civil industry is also well represented and a few papers from the petroleum industry are included. Topics include geotechnical investigations, laboratory testing, new investigation technologies, monitoring, seismic analysis, numerical modelling, support design, slope stability, underground mine design, pillar design, stability of tunnels and caverns, dam foundations, hydraulic fracturing, reservoir engineering, and borehole stability.

Keynote lectures will be presented by Dick Stacey, Nick Barton, Luís Lamas and Sergio Fontoura.

Courses and Workshops
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.

Technical tours
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. A tour of the deepest gold mines in the world, about 75 km from Johannesburg, is planned for the 6th October.

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 ISRM fellows will be inducted and an award will be made to the best performing National Group.

ISRM registration fees for the symposium are ZAR8 999 before the 1st August. To book your place for the symposium, tours and other activities please visit or just search for AfriRock 2017.

AfriRock 2017 Organising Committee

19th ISRM online lecture by Prof. Xia-Ting Feng

For the 19th ISRM Online Lecture the ISRM invited Professor Xia-Ting Feng. The title of the lecture is “Rockbursts in deep tunnels”. It was broadcast on Tuesday, 26th September at 10 AM GMT, and remains available in a dedicated webpage.

Xia-Ting Feng obtained his Ph.D. in Rock Mechanics from the Northeast University of Science and Technology, China, in 1992. He has been affiliated as Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor at the same university until 2001. From September 1995 to March 1996 he was a Visiting Researcher and from December 1996 to November 1997 an ITIT Special Research Officer at the National Institute for Resource and Environment in Tsukuba, Japan. From May to November 1996 he was a Senior Research Officer at the Department of Mining Engineering of the University of Witwatersrand, in South Africa. As a Professor of Hundred Talent Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, he joined the Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1998 where, from 2007 to present he has been the Director of the State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.

His research interests cover intelligent recognition of rock mechanical parameters, stability analysis, global optimum design, disaster prediction and prevention in rock engineering. The research achievements obtained have been successfully applied to some high slopes of hydropower stations including Nuozhadu and Longtan, the permanent shiplock of Three Gorges Project, landslides along expressways such as Funing and Hurongxi as well as underground powerhouses, headrace tunnels of Shuibuya, Laxiwa, Jinping II, Wudongde and Baihetan, and several mine projects like those in Hongtoushan. Meanwhile, the research achievements have also been utilized by peers for large-scale and complex engineering systems including large foundation pits, traffic tunnels, roadbeds, mines and so on in China, as well as large rock engineering in America, Portugal and others.

Xia-Ting Feng has been President of Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering since 2012. He has been very active at the International Society for Rock Mechanics, as co-Chairman of the Commission on Rock Engineering Design Methodology since 2007, Vice President at Large from 2007 to 2011 and President from 2011-2015.

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, Charles Fairhurst and Marc Panet.

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

On behalf of the Organizing Committee for ARMS 10, it is my pleasure to invite you to Singapore for the 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium cum the ISRM International Symposium for 2018.

The theme for ARMS 10 is “Rock Mechanics in Infrastructure and Resource Development”.

Asia is witnessing the greatest growth and demand in the world for infrastructure and resource development. According to Asian Development Bank, approximately US$8 trillion needs to be invested in overall national infrastructure before 2020, 68% of which is for new capacity. Certainly, rock mechanics and rock engineering will have a critical role to play in many of these infrastructure and resource development projects.

Singapore is ideally located in Asia, where the needs for infrastructure and resource development are well supported by high-level research from the Academia and governments. ARMS 10 Singapore 2018 offers an ideal opportunity and platform for professionals from the international rock mechanics community to exchange experiences and new ideas. In addition to the technical programs, we will organize training courses, workshops, technical visits, exhibitions, as well social programs. We will also offer attractive programs for young researchers and students, such as the Rock Bowl, student nights, and some scholarships for selected young researchers.

For those who like to travel, Singapore offers many interesting excursions to the region within a few hours. The Organizing Committee would be very pleased to help you with your travel plans.

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 until the deadline of 1 December 2017! With your support participation, 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

Keynote lecturers
  • Nick Barton, U.K.
  • Claus Erichsen, Germany
  • Xia-Ting Feng, China
  • Erast Gaziev, Russia
  • Larisa Nazarova, Russia
  • Frederic Pellet, France
  • Arkadiy Shabarov, Russia
For general information and organization check the website at:

Yours sincerely
Eurock2018 Organising Committee

New titles launched in the ISRM book series

The ISRM Book Series comprises significant scientific publications in rock mechanics and related disciplines. The aim of the Series is to promote the scientific output of International Society for Rock Mechanics.

The Series is published on a regular basis, according to the emergence of noteworthy scientific developments. Each volume in the Series is prepared independently and focuses on a topical theme. Volumes are published on an occasional basis, and include high quality scientific contributions that have not been published elsewhere before. Contributions will be rigorously peer-reviewed by experts in the field, ensuring strong scientific standards, and are expected to be leading in rock mechanics and related disciplines. The Series may include edited volumes, textbooks, reference works and books on advanced scientific topics.

ISRM members benefit from a 30% discount on ISRM Book Series volume purchases. Volumes can be ordered via
  1. Rock Engineering Risk, by John A. Hudson and Xia-Ting Feng
  2. Time-Dependency in Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, by Ömer Aydan
  3. Rock Dynamics, by Omer Aydan
  4. Discontinuous Deformation Analysis in Rock Mechanics Practice, by Yossef H. Hatzor, Guowei Ma and Gen-hua Shi
  5. Back Analysis in Rock Engineering, by Shunsuke Sakurai
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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.

The detailed programme and the workshop programme are now available on the website.

Keynote speakers
  • Candan Gokceoglu, Hacettepe University, Ankara
  • 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.)

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

Invitation to TuniRock2018, Hammamet, Tunisia, 29-31 March

The International Conference on Advances in Rock Mechanics (TuniRock2018) will be held in Hammamet, Tunisia, on March 29-31, 2018. This Conference aims at bringing together researchers and engineers around the most recent advances in Rock mechanics and rock engineering applications. The exciting program that the Tunisian Society for Rock Mechanics prepared includes technical and scientific sessions, keynote lectures, one-day workshops and technical field trips.

  • Rock Mass Characterization
  • Laboratory and In situ Testing
  • Hard soils-soft rocks
  • THMC modeling in rocks
  • Mine design
  • Vibrations from blasting
  • Mechanical breakage of Rocks
  • Tunneling and ground support
  • Petroleum Rock Mechanics
  • Slope and Open pit Stability
  • Risk in Rock Engineering Design
  • Subsidence
  • Geothermal energy
  • Natural and ornamental stones
  • Vibrations from Construction
  • Simulation of Fratured Rock Mass
  • Slope stability
Social program
  • Archeological Site of Carthage
  • Aquatic Site of Friguia
  • Roman Amphitheater of El Jem

Invitation to RocDyn-3, 25-29 June 2018, Trodheim,Norway, an ISRM Specialised Conference

The Third International Conference on Rock Dynamics and Applications (RocDyn-3) will be held on 25-29 June 2018 in Trondheim, Norway. It is a specialized conference supported by the ISRM –International Society for Rock Mechanics and the NBG – the Norwegian National Group of Rock Mechanics.

Rock dynamics deals with the mechanical behavior of rock materials and rock masses subjected to dynamic loading. The topics include the propagation of stress waves, the stability of mining slopes, tunnels and underground caverns, rockbursts, the behavior of ground support elements and systems, rock blasting, percussive drilling, earthquake-induced damages to rock structures and landslides, etc.

RocDyn-3 will cover the recent developments of both on-site practices and laboratory and theoretical studies on the above topics. Rockburst and seismic management will be paid special attentions in the conference. Two special forums will be organized for open discussions on the topics of (1) Rockburst and Dynamic Rock Support, and (2) Dynamic Testing of Rock. Experienced on-site engineers and researchers in both mining engineering and civil tunneling are invited to attend the Forums for open discussion of commonly interested issues on these two topics.

Trondheim is the third largest city of Norway. It is the city of technology in Norway, which hosts the largest Norwegian University, NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and many other research and development institutions.

RocDyn-3 organizers would like to welcome scientists, engineers and students involving in rock dynamic issues both in laboratory and on site to join us in Trondheim to share our knowledge on these topics.

Charlie C. Li & Zongxian Zhang
RocDyn-3 Organising Committe.

ISRM Sponsored meetings

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

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.

Report on the Jubilee Conference of the French ISRM Group

On 14 September, the French ISRM National group (Comité Français de Mécanique des Roches - CFMR) held a one day conference to celebrate its 50th anniversary. More than 120 delegates from private companies, consulting firms, governmental agencies and academic entities were gathered at the Paris School of Mines (MINES ParisTech). The conference was opened by Dr Valérie Archambault, Deputy Research Director at MINES ParisTech, Prof. Jean Sulem, Chairman of the CFMR and Prof. Charlie Li, ISRM Vice President for Europe.

The conference began with a presentation by Prof. Marc Panet, who retraced the history of the CFMR since its inception. Then, Dr Luis Lamas, ISRM General Secretary told the history of the ISRM with a special focus on the French contribution. Finally, Prof. Charli Li talked about the future of Rock Mechanics.

The first technical session was dedicated to the fundaments of rock mechanics. After an introduction delivered by Prof Frederic Pellet, experimental advances and numerical modeling of multi physics couplings were set forth by Prof. Jérôme Fortin and Prof. Robert Charlier, respectively. The following two presentations addressed civil engineering subjects. Dr. Christophe Vibert, from Tractebel Engie, did one on dam construction and rehabilitation of and Dr. Francois Renault, from Vinci-Construction company, did another one on tunnelling and underground works. The theme of Geoenergy and Georesources was covered by four presentations. Prof. Damien Goetz spoke about mines of today and tomorrow, Dr Jean Desroches, from Schlumberger, explained the exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons and Prof. Pierre Bérest reported on underground storage of hydrocarbon. The last presentation was delivered by Dr Sylvie Gentier on deep geothermal system. The last technical session was devoted to natural and environmental hazards. After a presentation made by Prof. Véronique Merrien Soukatchoff on rock slopes stability, Dr Mehdi Ghoreychi presented post-mining management in France. The final technical presentation made by Dr Frédéric Plas was devoted to underground radioactive waste disposals, with a special focus on the French project Cigéo. Afterwards, Prof. Joëlle Riss and Prof. Philippe Cosenza addressed the subject of Education in rock mechanics. They presented a comprehensive survey of educational programs offered by French universities, governmental agencies and private entities. The conferences ended up with a round table led by Dr Isabelle Thènevin. Several people from companies, consulting firms, and governmental agencies (namely Dr K. Benslimane, Dr P. Charlez, Dr J.M. Marino, Dr D. Subrin and Dr N. Villard) discussed the topic of “issues and challenges in rock mechanics”. The conference was closed by Professor Jean Sulem, Chairman of the CFMR, and was followed by a friendly cocktail.

10 entities supported this event: AGSA, ANDRA, BRGM, EGIS, STORENGY, TRACTEBEL, VINCI Construction, GEOSTOCK, GTS, SOLEXPERTS. The proceedings of the conference will be published by Presses des Mines and presentation will be soon available on the CFMR website (

Prof. Frederic L. Pellet
Chairman of the organizing committee

Macedonian Association for Geotechnics organized a lecture on three topics in Rock Mechanics

The Macedonian Association for Geotechnics organized a lecture on three topics in Rock Mechanics, in Skopje, in June 2017.

Macedonia joined the ISRM last March as the 61st national group through the Macedonian Association for Geotechnics. They organized lectures at Ss Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje on 26 June 2017 to invite the former and present Vice Presidents at Large of ISRM, Profs. Ivan Vrkljan and Norikazu Shimizu. Prof. Milorad Jovanovski, President of Macedonian National Group, delivered the welcome address, Prof. Vrkljan gave a presentation on the topics of Eurocode7 and a case study of a hydroelectric power plant, and then Prof. Shimizu talked about monitoring in Rock and Geotechnical Engineering.

There were 49 participants, including Prof. Darco Moslavac, Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Prof. Dimitrovski Mile, President of the Chamber of the Republic of Macedonia, researchers, students, consultant engineers, etc. The lectures and fruitful discussions were enjoyed by all. It was a good opportunity for ISRM to communicate with the members of the newest national group.

Norikazu Shimizu
ISRM Vice President at Large

Seminar on “Advance Techniques for Assessment of Slope Stability”, Hanoi, Vietnam

The Vietnam Society for Rock Mechanics co-organized a seminar on “Advance Techniques for Assessment of Slope Stability”, Hanoi in August 2017.

The Vietnam Society for Rock Mechanics (VSRM), the Vietnam National Group of ISRM, co-organized a seminar on “Advance Techniques for Assessment of Slope Stability” together with the Vietnam Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. This seminar was held by Thuyloi (Water Resource) University on 30 August 2017. Seven presentations, including a keynote lecture by Prof. Norikazu Shimizu, Vice President at Large of ISRM, were given, and more than 90 faculty members, researchers, students, and engineers participated in this seminar.

On the day before the seminar, Prof. Phung Manh Dac, President of VSRM, Dr. Pham Quoc Tuan, Secretary General of VSRS, and other key members had a meeting with Prof. Shimizu at the Institute of Geological Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, to discuss the recent situation of the NG and to present a plan for future activities. Prof Shimizu encouraged their participation and recommended that they keep in touch with ISRM to promote their plan of activities.

Norikazu Shimizu
ISRM Vice President at Large

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