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No. 48 - December 2019

President's 2020 New Year Address

Dear ISRM friends and colleagues,

We are approaching the end of 2019. As the new President of ISRM, I would like to share with you some of the news since 18 September 2019 when I took over the mission from Dr. Eda Freitas de Quadros of Brazil during the 14th ISRM International Congress in Foz do Iguassu, Brazil. The new term started on that occasion with new Board Members with a main target of doing best for the continuation of the success and modernization of our Society.

First of all, we would like to sincerely thank to our former respective Presidents and their Boards and invaluable support of the ISRM Secretariat, who performed impressive works for the modernization of ISRM and left a strong and developing ISRM with an increasing number of members more than 8000 to the new Board, and the ISRM National Groups and their members for their involvement and contributions.

The first meeting of the new Board was held in Foz do Iguassu on 18 September 2019 in the last day of 14th ISRM Congress. In this meeting, Dr. Suseno Kramadibrata (ISRM VP for Asia) was elected as First Vice President and the members of the following Board Committees were appointed:

  • Technical Oversight Committee (TOC): Laura Pyrak-Nolte (Chair), Leandro Alejano and Ömer Aydan.
  • ISRM Education Fund Committee (EFC): Yang Qiang (Chair), José Pavon, Manchao He, Seokwon Jeon and Luís Lamas.
  • Young Members Committee (YMC): Sevda Dehkhoda (Chair), Vojkan Jovicic and Michael du Plessis.

After the 14th ISRM Congress, until the end of this year the following ISRM specialized conferences were successfully organized:

  • The International Symposium on Rock Mechanics and Engineering for Sustainable Energy VCRES 2019 was held between 22-24 November 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam. It was jointly organized by the Vietnamese Society for Rock Mechanics (VSRM), the Vietnamese National group of ISRM, and ISRM. The symposium was co-supported by the Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering (CSRME), the Education Fund Committee of ISRM, and the Institute of Geological Sciences of Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. The 1st Vietnam – China Researchers and Engineers symposium on Rock mechanics and engineering was taken place at VCRES 2019 as the special plenary session.
  • The 5th ISRM Young Scholar’s Symposium on Rock Mechanics (YSRM2019) and International Symposium on Rock Engineering: ISRM Regional Symposium for Innovative Future (REIF2019) were held between 1-4 December 2019 in Okinawa, Japan. It was organized by Japanese Society for Rock Mechanics and ISRM.

I was not able to attend both symposia. However, two Vice Presidents at Large, Yang Qiang and Ömer Aydan, represented me in Hanoi and Okinawa, respectively, and reported that both events were very successful. I thank to organizers of both events for their kind efforts and the participants for their contributions.

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A tribute to Giovanni Barla, 1940-2019

Our colleague and friend Prof. Giovanni Barla passed away suddenly on 18 November. Giovanni was a very active member of our Society, former Vice President for Europe (1995-1999), ISRM Fellow (2013), Chairman of the ISRM Commission on Squeezing Rocks in Tunnels (1989-1999), Chairman of Eurock96 and frequent keynote lecturer at ISRM conferences including at the 14th ISRM Congress last September, among many other contributions.

Giovanni was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, former Professor of Rock Mechanics (until 2012) and Department Head (2003-2011) at the Politecnico di Torino, past President of the Italian Geotechnical Society (1997-2003), recipient of the IACMAG award for outstanding contributions, member of the Torino Academy of Sciences and a renowned international consultant. He was one of the most influential rock mechanics researchers of our times.

We will keep warm memories from him for his professional contributions and his friendship. Our thoughts are with his wife and his close family, to whom we present our deepest condolences.

Luís Lamas
Secretary General, ISRM

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28th ISRM online lecture by Prof. Ömer Aydan

For the 28th ISRM Online Lecture the ISRM invited Prof. Ömer Aydan, from the University of the Ryukyus, Japan. The title of the lecture is “Rock Dynamics and Future Trends”.

The lecture was broadcast on 18th December and will remain available in the online lectures dedicated webpage .

Ömer Aydan obtained his BSc degree in Mining Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, in 1979 and MSc degree in Rock Mechanics and Excavation Engineering from University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1982, and his PhD in Rock Mechanics from Nagoya University, Japan, in 1989. Aydan worked at Nagoya University as a research associate (1987-1991), and at the Department of Marine Civil Engineering at Tokai University, first as an Assistant Professor (1991-1993), then as Associate Professor (1993-2001), and finally as Professor (2001-2010). Aydan then became Professor of the Institute of Oceanic Research and Development at Tokai University, and is currently Professor at the University of Ryukyus, Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan.

Aydan has played an active role in numerous International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM), Japan Society of Civil Engineers, Japan Geotechnical Society, Shinozuka Research Institute and Rock Mechanics National Group of Japan committees, and has organized several national and international symposia and conferences. He organized 2019 Rock Dynamics Summit in Okinawa, Japan during May 7-11, 2019 as a specialized conference of ISRM. He served as the Chairman of the Rock Dynamics Committee of JSCE for two terms between 2013 and 2018, and also as the chairman of Earthquake Disaster Investigation Committee of JSCE for two terms between 2005 and 2010.

He has published 5 books as a part of ISRM Book Series by CRC Press and one of the books is devoted to Rock Dynamics. He was also made Honorary Professor in Earth Science by Pamukkale University (Denizli, Turkey) in 2008.

Previous ISRM Online Lectures were given by Wulf Schubert, John Hudson, Pierre Duffaut, 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, Claudio Ollala, Derek Martin, José Lemos and Derek Elsworth .

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Eurock2020, Trondheim, Norway, 14-19 June 2020 - the 2020 ISRM International Symposium

Norway is ready for next year’s ISRM International Symposium, the EUROCK 2020! First, we would like to thank the many authors from all over the world contributing to the scientific content of our conference – without you there would be no EUROCK 2020. Currently, our many dedicated reviewers are busy with review to ensure that the conference will be relevant and of high quality. We are also making plans for the Workshops and Short Courses, and so far, we have received around 7 proposals for different workshops and short courses. Details of are not landed yet, but we anticipate a very interesting content, ranging from EC7-discussions to visits to the brand-new rock laboratory at NTNU/SINTEF. Workshops and short courses will be arranged Sunday 14th and Monday 15th of June.

The tour committee has also put together an interesting program for those that will see a bit more of Norway during their stay in June. These trips will also include visits to historical mines, rock caverns and the reward-winning Norwegian Rock Blasting Museum at Hunderfossen, depending on your choice of tour. Trondheim is an old city founded in 997, and the accompanying persons program will include various city tours and other activities, such as boat trip to the old monastery island “Munkholmen” or even coffee tasting for the connoisseur of coffee.

The sponsors will also be taken care of, and they will get a very inclusive chance to show their services and products. The exhibition area is just outside the lecture halls, were the delegates will spend their time during breaks in the technical program.

The registration for all this will open 2nd of January, and we can offer an early bird discount until March 8th. For the prospective sponsors we can inform that we expect that the most popular events/exhibition stands will be sold out, and that we in this context practice the principle «first come – first serve».

Finally, we are very glad to announce that the last of our seven Keynotes has been confirmed since our last Newsletter. This last lecture will be held by John Harrison, with the intriguing topic Eurocode 7 and rock engineering: a new start.

Please click here to visit the Eurock2020 website .

Henki Ødegaard
Chair of EUROCK2020

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11th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium - ARMS 11, Beijing, China, 23-27 October 2020

The 11th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS 11) will take place in Beijing on 23-27 October 2020, in conjunction with China Rock 2020. It is also the 2020 ISRM Regional Symposium for Asia. It will provide a showcase of recent developments and advances in rock mechanics and innovative applications in rock engineering. It will offer an international forum for exchanging new ideas and exploring the future directions in rock mechanics and engineering. Short courses, workshops, industrial exhibitions and technical visits will also be organized. Attractive programs will be provided for young researchers and students, including the student night, poster and paper competitions.

The theme for ARMS11 is “Challenges and Opportunities in Rock Mechanics”. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Analysis and design methods
  • Numerical modeling
  • Laboratory testing and rock properties
  • Field measurements and site investigations
  • Dynamics and blasting
  • Fluid and gas flow
  • Risk assessment and hazard mitigation
  • Mining and rock support
  • Tunneling, rock caverns, and underground space
  • Rock slopes and foundations
  • Underground storage
  • Case histories of outstanding projects
  • New frontiers and interdisciplinary research

Important dates are:

  • Abstract submission open: December 1, 2019
  • Abstract due: March 1, 2020
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: April 1, 2020
  • Full paper due: June 30, 2020
  • Notification of full paper acceptance: July 31, 2020
  • Online registration due: October 20, 2020

Abstracts and full papers should be submitted online in accordance with the instructions on the conference website (To be opened in Januray 2020). Click here to download the 1st Bulletin .

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ISRM International Workshop, 31 January 2020, Ljubliana, Slovenia

The ISRM International Workshop on Recent Trends in Rock Mechanics will be organized at the occasion of an interim ISRM Board meeting and take places on 31 January 2020 in Ljubliana, Slovenia.

The Workshop will count with presentations by all the ISRM Board members as well as representatives of the ISRM national societies of Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

The ISRM International Workshop is organized by SLOGED, Slovenian Geotechnical Society and DRC, Slovenian Society for Research in Road and Traffic Infrastructure in cooperation with IRGO Institute for Mining, Geotechnology and Environment.

Click here to download the workshop announcement .

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5th Symposium of the Macedonian Association for Geotechnics, 28-30 May 2020, Ohrid, Macedonia - an ISRM Specialized Conference

The 5th Symposium of the Macedonian Association for Geotechnics will take place in Ohrid, Macedonia, from 28 to 30 May 2020. This will be an ISRM Specialized Conference. The conference themes are:
  • Geotechnical aspects in urban areas and infrastructure
  • Laboratory and field geotechnical testing and investigation
  • Geotechnical modeling of soils and rocks
  • Assessment and reduction of geo-hazards
  • Eurocodes and relevant geotechnical regulation
  • Earthquake geotechnical engineering
  • Geotechnics and achievements in support of a sustainable society
  • Specific problems in soft rocks
For further information contact the Macedonian Association for Geotechnics at the following e-mai address: .

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XIII International Symposium on Landslides (XIII ISL) - Cartagena, Colombia, 15-19 June 2020

In association with the Joint Technical Committee on Natural Slopes and Landslides (JTC1) of the Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies (FedIGS), joining the ISSMGE, the ISRM, the IAEG and the IGS, the Colombian Geotechnical Society (CGS) cordially invites the international geotechnical community to participate in the XIII International Symposium on Landslides (XIII ISL), which will be held from 15 to 19 June 2020 in the city of Cartagena, Colombia.

The conference will have the following topics:

  • Weather and landslides.
  • Landslides and seismo-tectonic and volcanic activity.
  • Landslides and Human Activities.
  • Effects of landslides with emphasis on infrastructure and sustainable development.
  • Landslides: Risk Assessment and Management. Text.
For more information click here to visit the conference website .

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IX SBMR, Brazilian Rock Mechanics Symposium, 15-18 September 2020, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil - an ISRM Specialized Conference

The 9th edition of the Brazilian Rock Mechanics Symposium will be held in September 15-18th 2020 in the city of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. The central theme of the event is “Innovation and Technology in Rock Engineering”. This event represents the most important Brazilian meeting for the presentation and discussion of scientific and technological research, projects and works in Rock Mechanics, and occurs in parallel to the 20th Brazilian Congress of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 4th Brazilian Symposium of Young Geotechnical Engineers and the 6th South American Conference of Young Geotechnical Engineers. More than 1000 geotechnicians are expected at the event as a whole. Check out some of the highlights of SBMR programming:

  • The Pacheco Silva Conference, held every two years during the ABMS / CBMR national congresses to honor a professional of great importance to the national geotechnical development, will be given in 2020 by Professor Milton Kanji, one of the biggest Brazilian exponents of Rock Mechanics. Professor Kanji is the chairman of the ISRM Commission on Soft Rocks, having released a book on this topic.
  • The 9th SBMR will feature two short courses in its programming. The President of CBMR, Prof. Lineu Ayres da Silva will teach the course “Special Technics for Rock Bolting in Urban and Underwater Areas”. The course “Fundamental Aspects to the Study of Rock Mechanics”, to be taught by Prof. Carlos Emmanuel Lautenschläger (CBMR Executive Secretary) will be aimed at students and young professionals.
  • As a tradition of CBMR in its most important national event, RockBowl will take place during SBMR 2020. The 5th national edition of Rockbowl will once again be sponsored by Geobrugg. This game will have a special edition in 2020, in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Brazilian Association of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, including questions about the history of the association!

This will be the first edition of SBMR after the International Congress of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM 2019), held in Brazil. It is an excellent opportunity to discuss the state of knowledge in rock engineering considering the latest international experiences. The Brazilian Rock Mechanics Committee is proud to invite you to participate in this venue.

For more information click here to visit the conference website .

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Mongolia joined the ISRM as the newest National Group

Mongolia joined recently the ISRM. The ISRM has the pleasure of welcoming the Mongolian Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering - MNSRM as the ISRM National Group of Mongolia. With the joining of our colleagues from Mongolia, the ISRM totals now 61 National Groups.

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Report on VCRES 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam

The International Symposium on Rock mechanics and Engineering for Sustainable Energy VCRES 2019, an ISRM 2019 specialized conference, was held from November 22th to 24th 2019 in Hanoi (Vietnam). Jointly organized by the Vietnamese Society for Rock Mechanics VSRM, the Vietnam National Group of ISRM, and International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM), the symposium was for commemorating the 35th anniversary of VSRM. The goal of Symposium was to promote the exchange, transfer of knowledge and experience on Rock Mechanics and Engineering for sustainable energy in Vietnam.

The symposium was co-supported by the Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering, the Education Fund Committee of ISRM, and the Institute of Geological Sciences of Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. The 1st Vietnam – China Researchers and Engineers symposium on Rock mechanics and engineering was taken place at VCRES2019 as the special plenary session. The total number of participants was 120. The participants included more than 36 international participants from 12 country and regions.

The symposium started on 22th Nov. 2019. In the opening ceremony, after the welcome speech delivered by Prof. Do Nhu Trang, President of VSRM. The symposium had honored of welcoming H.E. Professor Nghiem Vu Khai, Vice President of Vietnam Union Science and Technology Associate (VUSTA). The symposium had honored of the ISRM’s opening speech addressed by Prof. Reşat Ulusay, ISRM President, and presented by Prof. Qiang Yang, ISRM Vice President at Large. Prof. Yang also skope in the opening ceremony of VCRES2019.

The six keynote lectures were presented by Prof. Sérgio A. B. da Fontoura (Department of Civil Engineering; Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Prof. He Manchao (State Key Laboratory for Geomechanics and Deep Underground Engineering China University of Mining and Technology, China), Prof. Yang Qiang (Dept. of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, China), Prof. Norikazu Shimizu (Yamaguchi University, Japan), Prof. Seokwon Jeon (Department of Energy Systems Engineering, Seoul National University, Korea), Prof. Pinnaduwa S.H.W. Kulatilake (Emeritus Professor, University of Arizona, USA).

Over the two days of the symposium, six excellent keynote lectures, one special session between Vietnam – China and 38 scientific papers presented by speakers in 6 parallel session. The 38 papers with more 438 pages VCRES2019 International Symposium Proceedings were prepared and published by the Publishing House for Sciences and Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam with ISBN: 978-604-913-909-3. The technical exhibition by 8 international and Vietnamese companies in Rock Engineering.

Beside the indoor activities at Army Hotel (Hanoi old quarter), the symposium was enriched by a city tour to Hanoi ancient town in November 23th 2019 and a technical tour to Halong bay – an UNESCO world natural heritage area in Vietnam in November 24th, 2019.

Taking advantage of the closing ceremony of the VCRES2019, Prof. Qiang Yang, ISRM Vice President at Large presented the current status of ISRM.

At the end of VCRES2019, the VSRM Congress was held and the new VSRM board in 2019 – 2024 was elected.

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Report on YSRM2019&REIF2019 in Okinawa, Japan

The 5th ISRM Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics and the International Symposium on Rock Engineering for Innovative Future (YSRM2019&REIF2019) was held in Okinawa, Japan, 1-4 December, as a 2019 ISRM Specialized Conference organized by the Japanese Society for Rock Mechanics. The main theme of this symposium is “Future Initiative for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering - Collaboration between Young and Skilled Researchers and Engineers”. The total number of participants was 274, from 20 countries and regions, including 157 students. It was greatly successful.

The symposium started by Opening Ceremony with a wonderful address of Prof. Reşat Ulusay, ISRM President, that was read by Prof. Ömer Aydan, ISRM Vice President at Large. Prof. Meifeng Cai, President of Commission on Education and the founder of YSRM, participated in this symposium. Keynote lectures were delivered by 5 active young/mid-career researchers (Dr. A. Kusui, Prof. K.B. Min, Prof. H. Yasuhara, Prof. N. Watanabe and Prof. W. Zhu). 174 extended abstracts were finally adopted, and all the works were presented in 20 oral sessions and 2 poster sessions. A technical exhibition was held by 10 exhibitors.

Welcome fireworks were launched on the first day of the symposium, and three technical tours were conducted on the fourth day. A young scholars' interaction session was held to encourage the active participation of young members, especially students, and to make a new international network of friendship. Scholarships were awarded to 19 young scholars and students, who were commended directly by the representatives of donators at the Banquet.

The Excellent Paper Award and the Young Researcher Excellent Paper Awards were presented to the authors (D. Fukuda, et al.) and the two young authors (P. E. Yastika, and A. Hamanaka), respectively. The Excellent Poster Awards were presented to the authors (J. Dong, et al. and T. Kumagai, et al.). The winners were commended at the Closing Ceremony.

The Proceedings of the Extended Abstract on USB flash memory were distributed to the participants, and it will be published in the ISRM Digital Library.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we extend our appreciation to all the participants and contributors who supported us and helped to bring success and joy to the symposium.

Norikazu Shimizu
Chairman of the Organizing Committee

Kiyoshi Kishida
Chairman of the Scientific Committee

Takatoshi Itoh
President, Japanese Society for Rock Mechanics

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ISRM Sponsored Conferences

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