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No. 40 - December 2017


ISRM name change - International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

The Council approved the change of the name of the Society to International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering . The acronym will remain ISRM .

The new name reflects in a closer way the current interests and activities of the Society, which is not only concerned with more theoretical and academic aspects of rock mechanics, but also with practical applications in engineering

ISRM President's New Year Address

Dear ISRM members, colleagues and friends,

the year of 2017 is near to the end following the Christmas season holidays in many countries. In general, this is a time when we wish to reflect on the year that had gone and on the year to come, looking for some spiritual renewal in ourselves and wishing a world future with peace, love, kindness, faith and increased solidarity among human beings. For us, it is also a time to reflect on our professional activities, on the technological advances and their influence on our work and on our responsibility of rock engineers towards the protection of the planet.

In his ISRM 17th ISRM Online Lecture in 2017, Prof. Charles Fairhurst called our attention to the fact that population is growing fast and the projections point to about 10 billion people by the middle of this century! How can this growth in population be achieved in a manner that is sustainable from an economic, social and environmental perspective? Development in the sciences and in many branches of engineering is needed to cover the huge demands for resources, but following environmental requirements.

For the ISRM Board, 2017 was again a year of important decisions and also a year with plenty of activities and meetings around the world. As the President of ISRM and following our desire for the continuation of the success of our Society in the years to come, I would like to share with you some of the news from 2017.

Thanks to the support of the members and the National Groups, we have two important reasons to celebrate in the ISRM year of 2017: the addition of the term “Rock Engineering” to the name of our Society and the election of the ISRM President for 2019-2023. Prof. Resat Ulusay, together with a new Board, will continue the successful journey of the ISRM which started in 1962.

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Prof. Reşat Ulusay elected as the next ISRM President 2019-2023

Two nominations for President of the ISRM for the term 2019-2023 were received: Prof. Reşat Ulusay (nominated by Turkey) and Prof. Jian Zhao (nominated by Singapore).

The election took place during the Council meeting in October, during AfriRock 2017, and Prof. Reşat Ulusay was elected as the next ISRM President. He will start his term of office after the 14th International Congress of the ISRM, which will take place in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, in 2019.

20th ISRM online lecture by Prof. Milton Kanji

F or the 20th ISRM Online Lecture the ISRM invited Professor Milton Kanji. The title of the lecture is “Dam Foundations affected by Geological Aspects”. The lecture was broadcast on Tuesday, 12th December at 10 AM GMT, and remains available in a dedicated webpage .

Milton Kanji graduated in Geology in 1960 from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He obtained his M.Sc. at the University of Illinois, USA, in 1970, in Engineering Geology and Rock Mechanics, having Prof. Don Deere as his advisor, and obtained the title of Doctor in Geological Sciences from the Institute of Geosciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil, in 1973. After extensive examinations in Geotechnics, he obtained the title of Associate Professor in the specialty of Earth Works, from the Polytechnic School of Engineering, University of São Paulo, in 2000.

Prof. Kanji always acted in the academic field as well as in the professional practice.

Since 1964, initially at the Institute of Geosciences and then at the Polytechnic School of Engineering, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Engineering Geology, Geotechnics and Rock Mechanics, until his retirement in 2008. His research covered the investigation of shear strength of soil-rock interfaces, residual friction angles, dam foundation treatment, rock mechanics in situ and laboratory testing, subsoil improvement, slope stability, debris flows protection works, among other topics.

In the field of professional practice, he was involved in many cases of dam foundations, soil and rock slopes, tunnels in rock and special foundations, namely for nuclear power plants. He started working in 1961 at Geotecnica S.A. under Prof. Victor de Mello. From 1973 to 1979 was head of the Rock Mechanics Department at Promon Engenharia, where he worked in the design of the Itaipu Main Dam, Água Vermelha Hydroelectrical Project and some other projects. After a partnership in the firm GH Engenharia, in 1983 he started to work as an independent consultant. From 1987 to 1993 he was Technical Director of the International Branch of Geotecnica S.A. In the last decades he has been asked frequently to act as a panel member in hydroelectric projects and in forensic engineering and as an expert for insurers and adjusters of engineering losses. Presently he is involved in the analysis of the Fundão Tailings Dam that failed in 2015 among other cases.

Prof. Milton Kanji has been involved in the ISRM since the early days of his career. He was the ISRM Vice President for South America from 1974 to 1979. Since 2011 he has been the President of the ISRM Commission on Soft Rocks. In 2013 he became a member of the restricted group of ISRM Fellows.

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, Marc Panet and Xia-Ting Feng.

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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).

For more information visit the website:

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

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:

Yours sincerely
Eurock2018 Organising Committee

ISRM Vice Presidents receive important awards

Prof. Norikazu Shimizu,. ISRM Vice President at Large, received the Japan Prime Minister’s Prize for Distinguish Contributor of Disaster Prevention 2017, presented last September.

Prof. Doug Stead, ISRM Vice President for North America, was presented with the RF Legget Medal, the Canadian Geotechnical Society’s most senior and prestigious award, at GeoOttawa 2017 for his significant lifelong contribution to the geotechnical field in Canada.

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Prof. Reşat Ulusay received the 2016 Hans Cloos Medal Award of the IAEG

The ISRM President-elect Prof. Reşat Ulusay received the 2016 Hans Cloos Medal Award for his excellent contribution to the development of engineering geology. The Hans-Cloos Medal is the senior award presented by International Association of Engineering Geology and the Environment - IAEG, and is given to an engineering geologist of outstanding merit of international repute who has made a major contribution to engineering geology . The award took place in Nepal, on 28 November 2017, in the 2017 IAEG 11th Asian Regional Conference (ARC11).

Following the award ceremony, Prof. Ulusay gave the 2106 Hans Cloos Lecture entitled “Geo-engineering aspects on the structural stability and protection of historical man-made rock structures: An overview of Cappadocia Region (Turkey) in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List”. The full paper of the 2016 Hans Cloos Lecture is available online now and will be published in the Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment in 2018.

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Invitation to TuniRock2018, Hammamet, Tunisia, 29-31 March, an ISRM Specialised Conference

On behalf of the organizing committee, I am delighted to invite you to attend the International Conference on Advances in Rock Mechanics, an ISRM Specialized Conference (TuniRock 2018) to 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 a social and cultural program.

For complete information, visit the conference website:

Welcome to Tunisia!

Prof. Essaieb Hamdi

President, Tunisian Society for Rock Mechanics
Chairman of TuniRock 2018

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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. By the deadline of abstract submission 134 abstracts were received, with 1/3 on laboratory tests, analytical and numerical studies, 1/3 on rockburst, underground dynamic loading and dynamic rock support, and 1/3 on the other themes.

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

Four new Fellows of the ISRM inducted last October

The highest and most senior grade of membership is Fellow of the ISRM and is conferred on individuals, affiliated with the ISRM, who have achieved outstanding accomplishment in the field of rock mechanics and/or rock engineering and who have contributed to the professional community through the ISRM.

A group of ISRM Fellows is inducted every two years. Fellows of the ISRM form a group of experts that can provide strong support and advice to the Society, and can be called upon as appropriate for ISRM activities. They become automatically members of the ISRM Advisory Forum.

During the ISRM International Symposium AfriRock 2017 four new ISRM Fellows were inducted: Xia-Ting Feng (China), Álvaro J. Gonzalez Garcia (Colombia), Yuzo Ohnishi (Japan) and Ivan Vrkljan (Croatia).

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ISRM Rocha Medal 2018 - winners were selected

The Rocha Award Committee selected the winner of the Rocha Medal 2018 and decided to award two runner-up certificates:

  • Winner - Michael du Plessis (South Africa) with the thesis “Design and Behaviour of Crush Pillars” (University of Pretoria, South Africa);
  • Runner-up - Javier Arzúa Touriño (Spain), with the thesis “Study of the Mechanical Behavior of Intact and Jointed Rocks in Laboratory with Particular Emphasis on Dilatancy” (University of Vigo, Spain);
  • Runner-up - Topias Siren (Finland) with the thesis “Excavation Damage Zones, Fracture Mechanics Simulation and in Situ strength of Migmatitic Gneiss and Pegmatitic Granite at the Nuclear Waste Disposal Site in Olkiluoto, Western Finland” (Aalto University, Finland).

The award will be given during the 2018 ISRM International Symposium in Singapore where the winner will be invited to deliver the Rocha Lecture.

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. Up to two runner-up certificates may also be awarded.

Click here to go to the Rocha Medal page.

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Best Performing ISRM National Group Award conferred to China and Japan

The ISRM Best Performing National Group Award is conferred on an ISRM National Group in recognition of its outstanding performance and to reward a young and small National Group who is active and growing.

The award is conferred by the ISRM President to up to two National Groups, on a two-yearly basis, at the quadrennial Congress of the ISRM, and at the mid-term International Symposium.

The Board, at its meeting during the ISRM International Symposium AfriRock 2017, approved to give the award of best performing National Group during the period 2015-2016 to China and Japan.

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Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina visited by ISRM delegation

Prof. Norikazu Shimizu, ISRM Vice President at Large, and Prof. Ivan Vrkljan, ISRM Fellow and former Vice President at Large, visited last November scientific and official institutions in Serbia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Lectures were given at the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Belgrade and at the Geotechnical Conference in Šabac, Serbia. In Bosnia and Herzegovina they were in the town of Tuzla, where they gave lectures for the officials of the town of Tuzla and at the Faculty of Mining, Geology and Civil Engineering. In Tuzla they were held talks with the mayor of the city, the rector of the university, the dean of the Faculty in the presence of their associates.

Faculty of Civil Engineering, Belgrade
Meeting with the Mayor of Tuzla

Faculty of Mining, Geology and Civil Eng., Tuzla

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GEO-EXPO 2017 Scientific and Expert Conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 2017

The seventh scientific and expert conference, GEO-EXPO 2017, was held in Sarajevo, 26-27 October 2017, organized by Geotechnical Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina . The conference attracted over 150 participants from Japan, Norway, Italy, Austria, United States, Greece, Czech Republic, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Keynote presentations were delivered by invited lecturers: Prof. Charlie C. LI (Norway), Prof. Marui Hideaki (Japan), Prof. Monica Barbero and Prof. Andrea Segalini (Italy).

Professor Charlie C. LI, the ISRM Vice President for Europe, briefed the participants on the current interests, activities and developments of the International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering.

Conference tours and professional visits took place on the second day of the conference. The conference participants had an opportunity to visit the Corridor Vc construction site nearby Zenica.

The annual general meeting of the Geotechnical Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina was held on the second day of the conference. Professor Mato Uljarević from the Faculty of the Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, University of Banja Luka was elected for the new President of the Society.

Click here to download the full conference report.

Prof. Sabid Zekan
Geotechnical Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prof. Charlie Li

A view of a technical session
Technical visit

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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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