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No. 50 - June 2020

Message from the President

Dear Rock Mechanics Colleagues,

In the March 2020 issue of the ISRM Newsletter, I finished my message with the following sentence: “Finally, a word of hope. We know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, even if we still do not see it. Let us join our forces so that we reach it rather sooner than later.” Nowadays, although it seems that the World will continue to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected each and every one of us in many ways, some lights giving us hopes are seen and we can clearly see the whole light at the end of the tunnel if we can seriously protect ourselves.

Since 19 September 2019, when the present Board took over the mission from the previous Board, we completed about nine months of activity as the governing body of our Society. I am very glad to emphasize that throughout this period the Board members worked in harmony and enthusiasm and our Secretariat in Lisbon was efficient as usual. We feel especially pleased because we continued to realize the ISRM works and some of our plans in this period despite the influence of the pandemic. One of them was the establishment of the new commission “ISRM Commission on Planetary Rock Mechanics”, which was approved by the Board in the beginning of May. We believe that this will be an interesting commission providing new horizons for our Society. Information on the commission is available from the ISRM webpage.

We are very grateful to the DRC (Slovenian Society for Research in Road and Traffic Infrastructure), SLOGED (Slovenian Geotechnical Society) and IRGO (Institute for Mining, Geotechnology and Environment) for the organization of a very successful and fruitful ISRM Workshop in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 31 January 2020. The members of the newly elected Board and representatives of the ISRM National Groups of the Balkans region delivered lectures. In the Board meeting following the Workshop, several agenda items were discussed by the Board members in a very cordial atmosphere for two days.

The 30th ISRM On-line Lecture with the title “Contact Theory and Algorithms for Discontinuous Computations” was delivered by Prof. Gen-Hua Shi in June 2020. Two lecturers for the 31st and the 32nd on-line lectures have also been invited and they have already accepted.

The Board pays prime attention to continuing the development and publication of the ISRM Book Series. A new book to be published in this series was submitted to the publisher in May. The title of the book, which has nine chapters and six appendices and was written by Ömer Aydan, is “Continuum and Computational Mechanics for Geomechanicians”.

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30th ISRM Online Lecture by Dr. Gen-Hua Shi

F or the 30th ISRM Online Lecture the ISRM invited Dr. Gen-Hua Shi. The title of the lecture is “Contact Theory and Algorithms for Discontinuous Computations”.

The lecture was broadcast on 25 June and will remain available in the online lecture dedicated webpage .

Dr Gen-Hua Shi completed university studies in Mathematics Topology in 1963, in China, where he worked for several institutes on tunnelling and numerical methods. In 1980 he moved to the U.S.A., where he worked as a researcher at the UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. He obtained a PhD in Rock Mechanics from UC Berkeley in 1988, where he taught rock mechanics until 1994. From 1992 to 1997 Dr Shi was a research engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (WES) in Vicksburg. Since the first years of the 21st century he holds the position of Technical Director at several research institutes in China. In 1997 he founded the DDA company, consulting in rock engineering and numerical methods, and he has been its chairman until the present.

Dr Gen-Hwa Shi received the Chinese National Award of Natural Science in 1982; the Basic Research Award for 1984, from the U. S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics, National Research Council, for the Significant Original Contribution to Research in Rock Mechanics; the Award for Significant Paper, 1994, in the Category Theory: Computational and Analytical International by IACMAG; and the FLC Award of Merit, 1995, for Excellence in the field of Technology Transfer, presented by the U.S. Federal Laboratory Consortium Southeast Region.

The precursor research work of Dr Gen-Hwa Shi covers: Block Theory, which is now a part of rock engineering classes in many institutes and a widely adapted practical method in rock excavations; Discontinuous Deformation Analysis (DDA), which can simulate movements of deformable block systems (annual meeting ICADD1 to ICADD10; Numerical Manifold Method (NMM); Simplex Integration; and Contact Theory, considering engineering block systems.

He wrote several books, which are now a reference in his field, namely “Block theory and its application to rock engineering” by R. Goodman and G.H. Shi (1985); “Block System Modeling by Discontinuous Deformation Analysis” by G.H. Shi (1993); “Numerical Manifold Method (NMM) and Discontinuous Deformation Analysis (DDA)” by G.H. Shi (1997); and “Discontinuous Deformation Analysis (DDA)” by J. Onishi, T. Sasaki and G.H Shi (2005).

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EUROCK 2020 continues as planned 12-14 October 2020

The Organizing Committee for EUROCK 2020 – the 2020 ISRM International Symposium – continues with the preparations for the conference to be held 12-14 October 2020 in Trondheim. Our preparations include close monitoring of the COVID-2019 situation in Norway and abroad. Currently, we notice a decline in reported new cases in Europe, but at the same time there is an increase of new cases registered in some other parts of the world.

Evaluations and announcements on the COVID-2019 situations are now done monthly by the Norwegian Government, based on the evolution on infection cases, risk and international advice from the World Health Organization (WHO). The latest situation in Norway is that The Government has announced that they will allow persons resident in the Schengen area/EEA to enter Norway from 15 July without requiring quarantine on entry. A new assessment is planned for by mid-August, to evaluate further lifting of travel restrictions opening is possible, for countries outside the Schengen area/EEA. The positive trend gives us hope that the conference can be held in October as planned. However, the EUROCK 2020 Organizing Committee is fully aware that the pandemic situation can turn around and lead to new travel restrictions, and this is an uncertainty that both us as organizers and our prospective conference participants have to cope with, by taking appropriate actions. For this reason, the Organizing Committee decided to re-open registrations effective from the 25th of May, and to extend the early bird discounted rates until 16 August. We have also included free cancellation up until one month prior the conference start.

There has been a significant amount of work to re-arrange the conference under the new circumstances, to ensure an interesting event, but without taking risks with the safety of delegates or other parties involved in the event. Appropriate actions will be made at the venue to ensure that all attendees can have a safe stay, and that we fully comply with the COVID-2019 regulations given by our Government. Because of such regulations, we already have planned all technical sessions and plenaries to be organized such that they to allow for appropriate social distance, and lunches will be served at the table instead of a buffet luncheon. An updated conference program is soon to be announced on our website

For the time being EUROCK 2020 continues monitoring the Covid-19 development and working for a safe and successful conference in October together with all of you. More info and updates shall be published in a regular basis at our website.

Stay safe

The EUROCK 2020 Organizing Committee.

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ISRM International Workshop on ˝Recent Trends in Rock Mechanics˝ held in Ljubljana, Slovenia

The International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering – ISRM delegated Slovenian Geotechnical Society – SLOGED to organise the workshop on the topic of Recent Trends in Rock Mechanics. The workshop was jointly organised by DRC (Slovenian Society for Research in Road and Traffic Infrastructure), SLOGED (Slovenian Geotechnical Society) and IRGO (Institute for Mining, Geotechnology and Environment) and took place in Ljubljana on 31st of January 2020.

The workshop in Ljubljana was organised as a parallel event to the meeting of the newly elected ISRM Board. For this reason, the workshop presented a unique opportunity to listen to the contributions of the leading experts in the field, as each member of the ISRM Board delivered the lecture at the workshop, including the newly elected President of the ISRM, Prof. Dr. Resat Ulusay. Additionally, representatives of the regional national societies of Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia contributed to the workshop with their lectures. In total, 16 lectures were presented on the variety of topics during a whole day event. In total 130 attendees of 25 different nationalities took part in the activities including the 11 members of the ISRM Board.

The meeting of the newly elected ISRM Board took place on the 1st and 2nd February at and IRGO (Institute for Mining, Geotechnology and Environment). The agenda that comprised 24 items including the evaluation by Technical Oversight Committee over the activities of the new and old Technical Committees was discussed in cordial atmosphere along the two day session.

Left photo - Members of the ISRM Board attending the meeting in Ljubljana (ltr, standing): Ömer Aydan, VP at Large; Leandro Alejano, VP for Europe; Sophia Mess, Executive Secretary; Michael du Plessis, VP for Africa; Laura Pyrak Nolte, VP for North America; Sevda Dehkhoda, VP for Australasia; Luis Lamas, Secretary General; José Pavon, VP for Latin America; (ltr, seating): Suseno Kramadibrata, VP for Asia; Resat Ulusay, President and Vojkan Jovičić, VP at Large. Right photo -Working atmosphere at the ISRM Board meeting in Ljubljana.

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Volume 22 - 2019 of the ISRM News Journal is online

The 2019 issue of the ISRM News Journal is available on the website. This issue of the News Journal reports the ISRM activities in 2019 and presents two technical articles.

You will find information about the Board and Council meetings and activities, the ISRM Past-President farewell message, the incoming President’s inaugural 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 2018-2019, the report with the activities of the Education Fund Committee and many other articles of interest for the rock mechanics community.

The technical articles are the ISRM Müller Lecture 2019 delivered by Dr Peter Kaiser and the Rocha Medal presentation by Dr. Qinghua Lei, winner of the Rocha Medal 2019.

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.

Click here to read it directly on our website or download it.

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ISRM Rocha Medal 2022 - nominations to be received by 31 December 2020

Nominations for the Rocha Medal 2022 are to be received by the ISRM Secretariat by 31 December 2020. The winner will be announced during the 2021 ISRM International Symposium, EUROCK 2021 in Torino, Italy, and will be invited to receive the award and deliver a lecture at the 2022 ISRM International Symposium.

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 young 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 2022 .

Professor François Cornet passed away

We are sad to note the passing of Professor François Cornet, who died suddenly of a heart attack on 23 May 2020. François Cornet completed his doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota with Professor Charles Fairhurst in the early 1970s. After a long career at IPGP (Paris Institute of Earth Physics), François moved to Strasbourg (EOST School and Observatory for Earth Sciences) in 2007 and became Professor Emeritus of the University of Strasbourg in 2014. He was a Visiting Scientist at Stanford University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

François Cornet specialized in measurement and modelling of stress fields, rock-fluid interactions, and development of in situ, geophysical laboratories. He was an international consultant and had recently retired from the University of Strasbourg. His most recent publications are on hydraulics of hot dry rock reservoirs. He was of the precursors of hydraulic fracturing tests for estimation of the stress field in rock masses, and authored, together with Bezalel Haimson, the ISRM Suggested Methods for rock stress estimation Part 3: hydraulic fracturing (HF) and/or hydraulic testing of pre-existing fractures (HTPF).

The rock mechanics community is thankful to François for his legacy. He will be missed by many colleagues and friends.

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ISRM Sponsored Conferences

Click here to open the conferences webpage .

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