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No. 45 - March 2018

A Tribute to John Hudson, 1940-2019

The 12th President of the ISRM, Emeritus Professor John Hudson, passed away in London on 13 February 2019 from complications resulting from a severe stroke. ISRM members offer their heartfelt condolences to Carol, John’s devoted wife of 63 years, their children Miles, Jonathan and Jenifer, and their five grandchildren.

The limitations of space preclude a full listing here of John’s towering contributions to his chosen discipline of rock mechanics and rock engineering, and to the ISRM. Among other things, he served as President of the ISRM Commission on Testing Methods for 21 years (1987-2007), as Vice President at Large (1995-99), as President (2007-11) and then as President of the Commission on Modern Design Methodology (2011-15). In addition, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences for 23 years (1983-2006) and published a remarkable total of nine important books in the field (including one in press at the time of his passing), as well as editing several volumes, most notably the five-volume Comprehensive Rock Engineering, published in 1993. In 2015 he was given the ISRM’s highest honour, the Müller Award. In the writer’s opinion, and those of many other colleagues, John probably made more lasting contributions to the ISRM over a longer period of time than anyone since our Founding Father, Professor Leopold Müller.

Like many ISRM colleagues, the writer knew John well, and valued his friendship over almost 50 years. His fuller appreciation of John’s rich life and career is available here ahead of its publication in the 2019 ISRM News Journal.

E T Brown
ISRM President 1983-87
Brisbane, Australia
17 March 2019

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25th ISRM Online Lecture by Prof. Derek Martin

For the 25th ISRM Online Lecture the ISRM invited Professor Derek Martin, from the University of Alberta, Canada. The title of the lecture is “Stress-induced fracturing (Spalling) around underground excavations: Laboratory and In-situ Observations” . It was broadcast on Thursday, 21 March, at 10 AM GMT and will remain available in the online lectures dedicated webpage .

Dr. Martin started his geotechnical career in 1972 and spent the next 15 years on construction sites for major hydroelectric and underground projects across Canada. In 1987 he joined AECL, where he directed geomechanics research supporting the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program at the Underground Research Laboratory in southeastern Manitoba . From 1995-2000 he served as Associate Director of the Geomechanics Research Centre at Laurentian University, working on deep mining projects in the Sudbury basin.

Since 2000, Dr. Martin has been a Professor of Civil Engineering (Geotechnical) at the University of Alberta and currently holds an NSERC Industrial Research Chair. He has received various awards for his contributions to Geotechnical engineering from the Canadian Geotechnical Society; John Franklin Award for contributions to Canadian rock mechanics, Colloquium Award and the Engineering Geology Tomas Roy award;. He was also awarded the John B. Stirling Medal from the Engineering Institute of Canada for his contributions and leadership. In 2018 he delivered the R.M. Hardy Address to the annual meeting of the Canadian Geotechnical Society.

He has authored over 250 technical papers on rock engineering and delivered 42 invited keynote addresses at national and international conferences. In 2018 he co-authored the Guidelines for Open Pit Slope Design in Weak Rocks with Peter Stacey.

Between 2005-2011, Dr. Martin served as ISRM Vice-President for North America and Vice-President Technical for the Canadian Geotechncial Society. Dr. Martin is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Since 2000, Dr. Martin has worked in over 15 countries on various review boards, providing independent geotechnical review on major mining and civil engineering projects.

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, Xia-Ting Feng, Milton Kanji, Laura Pyrak-Nolte, Håkan Stille, Maurice Dusseault and Claudio Ollala.

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ISRM 14th International Congress on Rock Mechanics, Foz de Iguaçu, Brazil, 13-18 September 2019

Dear fellow rock engineer

The International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, ISRM, is pleased to announce its 14th Congress to be held 13-18 September 2019 in the city of Foz do Iguassu, Brazil at the Bourbon Spa & Convention Hotel. The Congress is being organized by the ISRM Brazilian National Group in partnership with the Argentinian and Paraguayan National Groups.

The central theme of the Congress is Rock Mechanics for Natural Resources and Infrastructure Development, a theme much relevant and needed for the current stage of most countries. All ISRM regions are invited to share their experience in the theme. The program of activities has been released and is available at the Congress website and features short courses, workshops, technical sessions, the Early Career Forum and the student fun game RockBowl. Distinguished experts such as Daniel Francois Malan (South Africa), Laura Pyrak-Nolte (USA), John Read (Australia), Giovanni Barla (Italy), Li Xiao (China), Yuzo Ohnishi (Japan), Tarcisio Celestino (Brazil) and Erling Fjaer (Norway) will deliver keynote lectures that cover rock engineering for underground and open pit mines, civil works and petroleum engineering, experimental and computational state-of-the-art.

Registration and hotel booking will be open soon. Please  access the Congress website and follow the instructions. Over 800 abstracts have been submitted and over 450 full papers already have been sent to the Organizing Committee and the deadline is approaching. Until now, 5 companies are sponsoring the congress and many others, beside expositors are in contact. Be sure to be part of it!

The Organizing Committee is waiting for you!

Sérgio Fontoura (General Chair)
Ricardo Jose Rocca (Co-chair)
José Pavón Mendoza (Co-Chair)

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New video of ISRM Suggested Methods on the ISRM website

Integrated in the activities of the ISRM Commission on Testing Methods, videos on the application of the ISRM Suggested Methods have been produced for educational purposes and the have been embedded on the ISRM website.

A new video was prepared by the group of the University of Vigo, Spain, describing the ISRM Suggested Method for Determining the Basic Friction Angle of Planar Rock Surfaces by Means of Tilt Tests, which was published in the journal Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (vol. 51, Dec. 2018) and is available on the ISRM website, under Products and Publications | Suggested Methods (free download for ISRM members)

More educational videos are being prepared and will be uploaded soon at the Suggested Methods videos page

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EUROCK 2020 in Trondheim, Norway, the 2020 ISRM International Symposium

The Call for Abstracts for EUROCK 2020 has now started!

The Norwegian group for Rock Mechanics and the EUROCK 2020 Organizing Committee welcomes you all to participate in the 2020 International Symposium of the Society.

As the geological conditions in Norway mainly poses challenges featuring hard rock conditions, the main subject of the conference, Hard Rock Engineering, was an obvious choice. We invite you all to submit your abstract related to one of our ten Conference topics, listed below:

  • Hard rock tunnelling and rock support
  • Weakness zone issues
  • Design of unlined hydropower tunnels
  • Rock stress estimation and measurement
  • Characterization of rock mass
  • Recent advances in rock mechanics theory
  • Brittle failure
  • Rock falls/Rock avalanches - mapping and monitoring
  • Abrasivity/advance and cutter wear in hard rock conditions
  • Rock support design in swelling clay conditions

To submit your abstract, visit the conference website and follow the instructions there. Remember: Abstract submission deadline is 1st June 2019.

The Organizing Committee is currently working with a selected choice of workshops and post conference tours, in addition to the technical program. We can promise a Post Conference tour to the Olav's Mine at the UNESCO World Heritage town of Røros. The tour will provide insight the Copper Works' history and historical mining methods. Additionally we are very happy to announce that The Major of Trondheim has invited all EUROCK 2020 participants to an organ concert in the famous Nidaros Cathedral, an obvious cultural highlight of our conference.

Best regards,

Henki Ødegaard
Chair of EUROCK2020

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Geotechnical challenges in karst - Karl Terzaghi and karst in Croatia 110 years ago
Omis-Split, Croatia, 11-13 April 2019

The ISRM Specialized Conference and 8th Conference of the Croatian Geotechnical Society "Geotechnical challenges in karst - Karl Terzaghi and karst in Croatia 110 years ago", will take place 11-13 April 2019 in Omis-Split.

As karst poses many challenges to engineers, karst is the main subject of this conference. Together with main subject, the papers published in Conference Proceedings will cover the wide range of topics in geology, geotechnical engineering, etc.

It is worth knowing that great Karl Terzaghi started his rich career in Croatian karst, in Gacko polje, just 110 years ago. His first contributions to geology and geotechnical engineering will be remembered in a special lecture, to inspire us all. Hence the subtitle of the conference is Karl Terzaghi and Croatian karst 110 years ago.

The topic of the congress has arisen from a whole range of new life requirements. Let’s just mention some. By spreading the settlements at the bottom of the high cliffs, there is a need for a high-quality protection against the rockfalls. The need to build garages in urban areas, and to save valuable resources on the surface for other purposes, the coastal towns descend underground into the area of the karst. The construction of the foundations of large bridges and viaducts in the coastal zone creates a challenge in the transfer of concentrated loads into karst characterized by a number of weaknesses (karst sinkholes, caverns, …). The need for the construction of high speed roads in the coastal zone of the Republic of Croatia implicates excavations of long tunnels, which again is threat in the karst area.

The conference includes oral presentation of 14 papers and four invited lectures given by renowned experts in the field of rock mechanics and rock engineering:

  • Giovanni BARLA - Novel investigation methods of rock slopes and tunnels in view of realistic modelling in engineering applications (the lecture will be given as 17th Nonveiller Lecture)
  • Ivan VRKLJAN - Karl Terzaghi and Croatian karst
  • Nick BARTON - Deep Tunnels, Cliffs, Mountain Walls and Mountains: An Exploration of Failure Modes in Rock and Rock masses
  • Reşat ULUSAY - Harmonization of rock mechanics and engineering geology for the assessments of stability and long-term performance of man-made rock-hewn structures at historical sites: Highlighting the Cappadocia Region of Turkey.

Other papers will be presented in the form of Poster section. The Conference proceedings include more than 60 papers from 14 countries. Technical site visit on Sunday includes Slope stabilization project for cliffs in town Omiš and the underground outlet tunnel of Hydroelectric Power plant Zakučac. The conference is supported by altogether 18 companies and institutions.

For more information, click here to visit the conference website .

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8th International Symposium on Geomechanics, 6-10 May, 2019, Bucaramanga Colombia

The 8th International Symposium on Geomechanics is an ISRM Specialized Conference run under the auspices of the Colombian Geotechnical Society, the ISRM National Group of Colombia, from 6 to 10 May 2019, at the Universidad Industrial de Santander in Bucaramanga, Colombia.

The theme of the conference is “Facing new challenges, ensuring a sustainable development”. The official language of the conference is Spanish. For additional information click here to visit the conference website .

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2019RDS - Rock Dynamics Summit in Okinawa, Japan, 7-11 May 2019

The 2019 Rock Dynamic Summit in Okinawa is jointly organized by the Rock Dynamics Committee of Japan (Japan Society of Civil Engineers) and Japanese Societyy for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (JSRM) and supported by the Turkish National Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering and the International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM) and it is an  ISRM  specialized conference.

The summit will be held in Bankoku Shinryokan on Busena Point, one of the most scenic spots in Okinawa (Japan), surrounded by the beautiful emerald ocean and clear blue sky and hosted 2000 Kyushu-Okinawa G-8 Summit.

The 2019RDS is devoted to topics on the dynamic behavior of rock and rock masses and scientific and engineering applications. The themes include:

  • T1 Laboratory tests and Constitutive Modeling
  • T2 Techniques for Strong Motions and Rupture of Earth’s Crust
  • T3 Dynamic Response and Stability of Rock structures
  • T4 Induced Seismicity
  • T5 Dynamic Simulation of Loading and Excavation
  • T6 Blasting and machinery induced vibrations
  • T7 Rockburst, Outburst, Impacts
  • T8 Nondestructive Testing Using Shock Waves
  • T9 Case Histories of Failure Phenomenon in Rock Engineering


The program of the 2019RDS includes, technical presentations and excursions as well as social events. Eight Keynotes by prominent scholars and researchers of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering are scheduled.

More than 160 abstracts were received and the final number of full-papers accepted after peer reviewing are more than 130, which is probably the highest number of full-papers among similar events in the past.

To promote the activities of the younger generation in Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, we plan to give awards to young participants less than 30 years old for the best oral presentation and the best poster session.

Two excursions are organized as

  • A: Southern Course (Shuri Castle, Lunch, Okinawa World, Naha Airport)
  • B: Northern Course (Churaumi Auarium, Lunch, Nakijin Castle, Orion Park)

In addition, Accompanying Person Program has been organized and chaired by Ms. Reiko Aydan for two days. Specifically the program includes:

  • May 8: Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium course
  • May 9: Ryukyu Mura course

For more details click here to visit the Conference website .

On behalf of the organizers of the 2019 Rock Dynamic Summit in Okinawa (2019RDS), we look forward to meeting you in Nago, Okinawa, where to share and to cooperate, with a common goal to advance rock dynamics in May 7-11, 2019.

Prof. Dr. Ömer AYDAN,Chairman
Prof. Dr. Takashi KYOYA, Co-Chairman
Emeritus Prof. Dr. Toshikazu KAWAMOTO, Honorary Chairman

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YSRM 2019&REIF2019, Okinawa, Japan, 1-4 December 2019, an ISRM Specialized Conference

The Japanese Society for Rock Mechanics cordially invite you all to “YSRM 2019: The 5th ISRM Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics & REIF 2019: International Symposium on Rock Engineering for Innovative Future”.

The purpose of this symposium is to promote the exchange of newly invented technology among young and skilled researchers/engineers and to aid in the passing on of this technology and future developments to the younger generations.

Call for Abstracts

We are now accepting abstracts. The abstract submission deadline will be April 30, 2019. We are looking forward to receiving many submissions.


Scholarships for students and young scholars (under 40 years of age) will be awarded to selected applicants. Please note that the abstract submission is required if you apply for the scholarships. The details for the application will be announced in April on the symposium website.

Young Scholars' Interaction Session

A special competition session, including prizes, will be arranged for young scholars 40 years of age and younger. This session is FREE-OF-CHARGE, but pre-registration is required. The registration period is April to August 31.


  • Innovative Technologies
  • Conventional and Unconventional Energy
  • Investigation and Testing, Design, Construction, Measurements and Maintenance
  • Environmental Issues
  • Natural Disasters and Mitigation of Geo-hazards
  • Earth Sciences and Engineering Geology

Keynote Lectures

  • Ayako Kusui (Northern Star Resources Limited, Australia)
  • Ki-Bok Min (Seoul National University, Korea)
  • Joshua Taron (U.S. Geological Survey, USA)
  • Victor Vilarrasa (Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain)
  • Noriaki Watanabe (Tohoku University, Japan)
  • Wancheng Zhu (Northeastern University, China)

Important Dates

  • Abstract Submission Deadline: April 30, 2019
  • Notification of Abstract Acceptance: May 31, 2019
  • Extended Abstract (2-6 pages in length) and Scholarship Application Submission Deadline: August 10, 2019
  • Notification of Extended Abstract Acceptance: September 30, 2019

For more information click here to visit the website .

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3rd ICITG, Guimarães, Portugal, 29 Sep. to 2 Oct. 2019 – March Update

The 3rd International Conference on Information Technology in Geo-Engineering (3rd ICITG) is organised in the framework of the activities of the Joint Technical Committee 2 (JTC2) on "Representation of Geo-Engineering Data" of the Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies (FedIGS), by the Portuguese Geotechnical Society (SPG) and the University of Minho (UM).

This conference aims to address the most updated developments in information communication and technologies in geo-engineering. The main themes are:

  • Data exchange (including ownership/legal aspects);
  • Use of Information and communications technologies (ICT) in laboratory and field works;
  • Big data and databases; Data mining and data science;
  • Imaging technologies;
  • Building information modeling (BIM) applied to geo-structures;
  • Artificial intelligence;
  • Intelligent constructions;
  • Optimization systems;
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality;
  • Intelligent geo-synthetics and health systems;
  • Sensors and monitoring;
  • Asset management;
  • Case studies in design, constructions and maintenance.

All accepted papers will be published by Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering and further submitted for indexing by Scopus and Web of Science.

For more information visit the conference website: .

On behalf of the organizing committee I am honored to invite you to the 3rd ICITG in the City of Guimarães, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

António Gomes Correia
Chairman of the 3rd ICITG

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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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