33rd ISRM online lecture by Prof. Sergio Fontoura on 25 March at 10 A.M. GMT
Dear ISRM Members and Rock Mechanics Colleagues,
For the 33rd ISRM Online Lecture the ISRM invited Prof. Sergio Fontoura. The title of the lecture is "The role of rock mechanics in the safe and economic development of oil fields". The lecture will broadcast on the 25th March at 10 A.M. GMT.
Sérgio Fontoura graduated in Civil Engineering in 1972 at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and immediately enrolled as a MSc student at the same School. During his MSc studies, after deciding to join the Academic life, he started to teach Soil Mechanics as an Assistant Teacher. After finishing his degree, he spent a short period of work as field engineer in charge of soft soil sampling campaign and designing equipment for sampling and testing soft clays. He left Brazil in 1975 to become a PhD student at the University of Alberta, Canada, and graduated in 1980 under the supervision of Professor Nobert Morgenstern. He returned to Brazil and joined the academic staff at the PUC-Rio.
In 1983, he spent a short period at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute from the University of Kyoto, Japan, where he developed studies on underground excavations in Japan as Visiting Scholar, hosted by Professor Toru Shibata. In the academic year of 1988 – 1989, he stayed as a Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto in close collaboration with Professor Evert Hoek.
Over the years, Professor Fontoura has taught many courses on Soil Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, Underground Excavations and Rock Mechanics. In 1990, he introduced the course on Petroleum Geomechanics at the Catholic University in Rio and, after that, he became fully involved in the field of rock mechanics to the petroleum industry. At the same year, he started the Group of Technology and Petroleum Engineering at PUC-Rio with the mission of carrying out research and development project for the Brazilian Industry. This research group is still very active and has developed many studies for several oil companies operating in Brazil, notably in the fields of wellbore construction and reservoir engineering.
Professor Fontoura has supervised over 100 students in their research work and some of these students are today very active as professionals in the oil industry. He has published over 120 articles in many areas of geotechnical engineering notably in the application of rock mechanics to petroleum engineering.
He has worked as consultant for rock mechanics engineering projects and has served as expert in judicial case involving failure of engineering structure.
Professor Fontoura has dedicated part of his time serving the Professional Associations. He helped forming the Brazilian Tunneling Committee where he served as first president for four years and representative of Brazil at the International Tunneling Association. He served as President of the Brazilian Rock Mechanics Committee for 8 years and he was the representative and voting delegate of Brazil in the ISRM Council from 2003 to 2015. During this period, he attended all Council meetings and participated activilly as member of the Rock Testing Commission and served as Chair of the Petroleum Geomechanics Commission and Co-Chair of the ISRM Young Member Committee. In 2015 he was elected to serve ISRM as Vice-President for South America and his term ended in 2019. He was the Chair of the Organizing Committee of the 14th ISRM Congress held in Foz do Iguaçú, Brazil.
The lecture will remain online so that those unable to attend at this time will be able to do it later. As usual, the attendees will be able to ask questions to the lecturer by e-mail during the subsequent five days. All online lectures are available from
ISRM Secretariat, c/o LNEC, Av. Brasil, 101, 1700-066 Lisboa, PORTUGAL
Tel: (+351) 218443419; Fax: (+351) 218443021; Website: