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No. 2 - June 2008

Contents

An invitation to the 5th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, in Tehran
the 2008 ISRM International Symposium

As per the decision taken during the 11th Congress of ISRM held in Lisbon, Portugal in July 2007, Tehran has the honor to host the forthcoming 5th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS 2008), the 2008 ISRM International Symposium, to be held in November 2008.

You might be aware of the fact that Iran is one of the world's most mountainous countries and ranks second in natural gases and third in oil reserves in the world. Iran has prioritized hydropower scheme both to solve the growing energy demands and shortage of water supply in the country.

The economically feasible hydro capability of Iran is estimated 0.62 percent of the world's total potential. With the inception of its first hydropower plant in 1929, Iran has never looked back and today globally, it ranks second in the construction of hydropower and dam projects after China.

Similarly, Iran has pioneered in making some of the longest tunnels in the world. A 56 km long Rafsanjan Development Tunnel and 48 km-ong Qomrood Tunnel are some examples.

In fact, Iran followed this trend throughout its history. Mining process in Iran goes back to far before 4th millennium B.C.. Carbon dating method of wood remains from Kerman province has ascertained the mining date of Iran to nearly 5000 years B.C.. Similarly, our forefathers started the Aqueduct Technique, unique in the world, to bring water from the mountain to the edge of desert. Some of these are still being used like Gonabad with nearly 340 m depth that is 2,500 years old.

Considering future importance of Iran as per its infrastructural developments, rock and mining engineering will surely grow with the involvement of international experts under the aegis of ISRM.

On behalf of the organizing committee and Iranian Society for Rock Mechanics, National Group of ISRM, we take this opportunity to invite you for positive support and active participation in the forthcoming Symposium, whose paper submission deadline is approaching (31 July, 2008).

Iranian Society for Rock Mechanics (IRSRM) has received a noteworthy response from researchers, professionals, experts and interested organizations both nationally and internationally.

The objective of this symposium is to provide a forum for the scholars, researchers, professionals, contractors and all those involved and interested to meet for the exchange of the experiences of the latest developments and progress made in Rock Mechanics and in Rock Engineering projects from around the world. Therefore, committee assures picky and high prolific events for the participants.

For more information about Iran and the Symposium please visit the following web sites:

Symposium website: www.arms2008.org   or www.arms5.org
Some Iranian tourist websites:   www.irpedia.com/ 
www.kishisland.com/ 
www.iranparadise.com/   
www.dejkam.com/iran/isfahan/
www.bamjam.net/Iran/Shiraz.html
www.bamjam.net/Iran/Hamadan.html  

Dr. Abdolhadi Ghazvinian

Dr. Abbas Majdi

Honorary Symposium Chairman,
and ISRM Vice President for Asia

Symposium Chairman, and President,
Iranian Society for Rock Mechanics

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The 100th birthday of the Founding Father of the ISRM, Prof. Leopold Müller

This year, a series of Rock Mechanics meetings shall have a special reference to Prof. Leopold Müller’s 100th birthday, the leader of the group of colleagues who founded the ISRM, as an offspring of the “Salzburger Kreis”, and its first President (1962-66):

  • On July 24-25, the Karlsruhe University (GERMANY), where he taught Rock Mechanics, shall host the GKK 08 Geomechanics Colloquium Karlsruhe on Fundamentals and Applications of Geomechanics, on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Prof. Gerd Gudehus, and the centenary of Prof. Leopold Müller;
  • On October 09-10, the 57th Geomechanics Colloquy 2008, organized by the Austrian Society for Geomechanics, in Salzburg AUSTRIA, where he used to live, shall have the motto “100 Years Leopold Müller – 40 Years ÖGG”; and
  • On November 24-26, during the 2008 ISRM-Sponsored International Symposium in Tehran IRAN (the 5th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium – ARMS 5), the ISRM Board shall enhance Prof. Müller’s achievements in the field of Rock Mechanics

Nuno Grossmann
Vice President for Europe, ISRM

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New home page of the ISRM website

The ISRM website (www.isrm.net) has now a new home page. It has less information, but more links to important locations in the website. Besides the usual navigation menu on the left hand side, with which you can access all the contents, there is now a number of buttons at the bottom of the page, with direct links to specific pages on the site, which can be updated in a dynamic way. On the right hand side you will continue to find news about the life of our Society or of events in the field of Rock Mechanics.

We hope you will now find it easier to find the information you need. We will continue improving the website and other forms of communication, such as the digital Newsletter, so that we can interest more and more people in Rock Mechanics in general, and also in the life of the ISRM and in the services it provides.

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Chinese Journal of Rock Mechanics and Engineering

Chinese Journal of Rock Mechanics and Engineering (CJRME) was started in 1982, and it is an academic publication of Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering, which is published monthly in Chinese. Its main scope is focused on the issues of rock mechanics and rock engineering, and it provides an opportunity for overseas colleagues to understand the current development of rock mechanics and geotechnical engineering projects. The topics covered by the CJRME include theories, new developments, methods, experiences, in-situ and laboratory tests, and trends of rock mechanics and engineering in China and overseas.

Recently, the CJRME has several special issues, including the rock mechanics studies in the major rock engineering projects in China, for examples, the Three Gorges Project, The Jinping I and II Hydropower Stations, The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, West Route of South-North Water Transfer Project.

The CJRME is one of the top scientific journals in China. Its Impact Factor was 1.959, which is the highest in journals in the mechanics and geotechnical field in China. For its outstanding influence on geotechnical engineering, it receives many honors recently, such as the "Top 100 Academic Journals of China" in 2003 and 2005, "The Top Scientific Journal of Chinese Association for Science and Technology", etc.. Currently, the CJRME is now indexed by EI COMPENDEX, CAS, Huayi, Tongfang, etc..

The CJRME is one of the well-established Journals in China, and it has its own website and online submission and review through http://www.rockmech.org. The readers can easily access the website as they wish and they can discuss the topics as they like.

Xia-Ting Feng
Vice President at Large, ISRM

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6th International Symposium on Ground Support in Mining and Civil Engineering Construction held in Cape Town in April, 2008

This ISRM Regional Symposium was jointly organized by the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) and the South African National Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE) (the ISRM NG South Africa). It was hosted in Cape Town from 30 March to 3 April 2008. Previous symposia on this specialist subject have been held in: 1983 in Luleå, Sweden; 1992 in Sudbury, Canada; 1997 in Lillehammer, Norway; 1999 in Kalgoorlie, Australia; 2004 in Perth, Australia. Cape Town was chosen as a venue as it is an historical area with considerable natural beauty
and there are many steep natural slopes and cuttings involving rock support in the area.

A total of 48 papers were presented during 3 days with 117 local and international delegates attending the symposium. Keynote speakers were Dr P. Pells from Australia presenting “What happened to ‘mechanics’ in rock mechanics and ‘geology’ in engineering geology”, Mr I. Northcroft presenting “Computerised control for robotically applied thin sprayed liners” and Mr J. Chapman presenting “Tunnelling under Johannesburg – An overview of the Gautrain Project”. A key aspect of the symposium was the good cross-pollination between mining and civil rock engineering practitioners as excellent papers from both fields were presented.

For more information read the conference report.

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International Young Scholars’ Symposium on Rock Mechanics held in Beijing in April, 2008

Professor Cai delivering his
Opening Ceremony speech

This Symposium, which was sponsored by the International Society for Rock Mechanics and the Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering (CSRME), was planned by Prof Meifeng Cai, President of the ISRM Commission for Education and Chairman of the Symposium Organising Committee. The Symposium was extremely successful with presentations on many different rock mechanics topics. It was attended by two previous ISRM Presidents, Charles Fairhurst and Shunsuke Sakurai, and the current ISRM President, John Hudson.

The Proceedings, “Boundaries of Rock Mechanics: Recent Advances and Challenges for the 21st Century”, edited by Meifeng Cai and Jin’an Wang are available from Taylor and Francis and contain an excellent suite of ~200 papers thematically arranged within 986 pages (ISBN: 978-0-415-46934-0). Hopefully, an important benefit of the meeting has been the stimulus and encouragement provided to the Young Scholars so that they will tackle our outstanding rock mechanics and rock engineering problems with renewed vigour.

John A. Hudson
President, ISRM

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3rd GeoProc Symposium held in Lille, France, in June, 2008

Following the first GeoProc meeting held in Stockholm and the second held in Nanjing, the third was organised by Profs Jian-Fu Shao and Nicolas Burlion and held in Lille, France, at the University of Sciences and Technology. This meeting was not sponsored by the ISRM but the majority of the papers either directly related to rock mechanics or were relevant through the procedures used to implement couplings in numerical modelling. Keynote lectures were given by R. Charlier, O. Coussy, A. Gens, J.A. Hudson, J.W. Rudnicki, and T.-F. Wong. Several of the papers reported on the work of the most recent DECOVALEX THMC research project.

The Proceedings of 717 pages (ISBN:978-1-84821-043-1), with the title “Thermo-Hydromechanical and Chemical Coupling in Geomaterials and Applications” and edited by J.-F. Shao and N. Burlion, are available from ISTE or John Wiley.

John A. Hudson
President, ISRM

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Workshops organized by the Iranian Society for Rock Mechanics

Two successive workshops organized by the Iranian Society for Rock Mechanics attracted a total of several hundred Geomechanical practitioners and researchers. Prof. Fritz Rummel and Dr. Barton conducted the workshops. Nick Barton undertook his two days workshop on "Rock Engineering for Drill and Blast and TBM Tunnels, also Shear Strength of Joints and Rock Masses" whereas Prof. Rummel discussed "Hydraulic Fracturing Tests" in a full day meeting.

The recent tragic earthquake caused terrible losses in China. Such incidents are repeating frequently every now and then somewhere globally. This should attract the attention of Rock Engineers towards more in depth studies on Rock Dynamics, and Slope Stability in relation to river blockage risks, and perhaps suggest targets for future research.

Abdolhadi Ghazvinian
Vice President for Asia, ISRM

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Infrastructure and skills critical for South Australia's mining boom

A key industry consortium has described as “staggering” the impending demand for infrastructure in South Australia and deemed essential that its early development proceeds if the State is to fuel the prospective mining boom for at least the next two decades.

In a major high level study commissioned and released by the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy, the organisation warned that the State’s burgeoning hard rock and energy sector needed “crucial decisions now – not in the future” on the necessary infrastructure to service the expected massive resources growth.

Initial estimates suggest a minimum of $25 billion in private infrastructure expenditure has already been flagged by South Australian explorers and mine developers as necessary for crystallising the State’s lead mineral projects, or the expansion of existing mining operations.

The study found that the massive expansion planned for the Olympic Dam copper, gold and uranium mine would be pivotal in influencing infrastructure decisions impacting the whole of South Australia’s mining fraternity. Furthermore, many of the other projects combined will require infrastructure rivalling the needs of the Olympic Dam expansion, and in some cases, in a much shorter timeframe.

The study’s consortium member, Professor Richard Blandy, said the demand for skilled employees in a range of industries and services as a result of developments in the South Australian mining industry would more than double – from an estimated 340,000 in the past year or so to 690,000 by 2027. This direct labour requirement, when coupled with the related family numbers, would provide an enormous challenge for the State to meet over this period.

Jamie Wade
Australian Mining, 25 April 2008

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Privacy policy

A statement of Privacy Policy was approved by the Board and applies to the services provided by the ISRM to members or non-members. The ISRM will only use your personal data to provide you with membership services and materials requested by you, and they will not be disclosed to any other person or organisation that is not involved in providing you with these services. To learn more about the ISRM’s Privacy Policy click here.

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Survey on the ISRM

The aim of the 1st ISRM Survey was successfully achieved. A total of 459 responses were received, and they are now being analysed. The results and its conclusions will be published in the next issue of the Newsletter and will also be made available on the website.

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Five ISRM commissions are now operating

The ISRM President has already appointed 5 Commissions for the period 2007-2011 in order that they may study some scientific and technical matters of topical interest to the Society. Other proposals are currently being analysed. The 5 Commissions and their Presidents are:

For proposing the creation of a Commission, the proposed Commission President shall fill up an application form and send it to the ISRM President.

If you are a member of the ISRM and wish to participate in the work of any of the Commissions please contact the Commission President.

To get further informtion on the ISRM Commissions, click here to go to the ISRM website.

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Rocha Medal 2010 - nominations to be received by 31 December 2008

An invitation is now being extended to the whole Rock Mechanics community, for nomination for the Rocha Medal 2010. This prize is annually awarded by the ISRM for an outstanding doctoral thesis in Rock Mechanics. Nominations shall be received by the ISRM Secretary General not later than 31 December 2008.

For detailed information visit the ISRM website or download the announcement.

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ISRM sponsored meetings

  • 29 June-02 July 2008, San Francisco, USA – 2008 (the 2nd US-Canada Rock Mechanics Symposium, and 42nd US Rock Mechanics Symposium): an ISRM Regional Symposium
  • 1-4 September 2008, Santa Fé de Bogotá, Colombia – 1st South American Symposium on Rock Excavations: an ISRM Regional Symposium
  • 16-19 September 2008, Perth, Australia – 1st Southern Hemisphere International Rock Mechanics Symposium (SHIRMS 2008): an ISRM Regional Symposium
  • 21-24 September 2008, Dunhuang, China – International Symposium on Conservation of Ancient Sites 2008: an ISRM Regional Symposium
  • 24 -26 November 2008, Tehran, Iran – 5th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS 2008): the 2008 ISRM International Symposium
  • 19-22 May 2009, Hong Kong, China – SINOROCK 2009: the 2009 ISRM International Symposium
  • 29-31 October 2009, Dubrovnik-Cavtat, Croatia – EUROCK'2009 - Rock Engineering in Difficult Ground Conditions - Soft Rocks and Karst: an ISRM Regional Symposium
  • 23-25 June 2010, Lausanne, Switzerland – ISRM Regional Symposium of Rock Mechanics: an ISRM Regional Symposium
  • 16-21 October 2011, Beijing, China – ISRM 12th International Congress on Rock Mechanics: the 2011 ISRM International Congress

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SINOROCK 2009 “Rock Characterization, Modelling and Engineering Design Methods”
the 2009 ISRM International Symposium

SINOROCK2009

This is the international ISRM Symposium for 2008 (where the ISRM Board and Council meetings will be held), titled “Rock Characterization, Modelling and Engineering Design Methods”, to be held on 19-22 May 2009 at The University of Hong Kong, China. The conference is sponsored by the Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering and the University of Hong Kong.

Almost 500 abstracts from 35 countries have been received and the final abstract submission date has now passed. The abstracts are currently being evaluated and abstract submitters will be informed in September 2008 whether they have been successful. Paper writing instructions will then follow. The SINOROCK Symposium highlights are that:

  • this is the second SINOROCK symposium (the first one was held at the Three Gorges Dam Project site in China in 2004),
  • pre- and post-Symposium tours will be available,
  • practical Short Courses with field tuition will precede the Symposium,
  • an excellent set of Keynote Lectures is being arranged,
  • there will be a Best Paper Prize and Best Young Person’s Paper Prize (< 35 years old),
  • there will be an Exhibition,
  • the venue is at The University of Hong Kong,
  • there will be a specially designed Accompanying Persons’ programme,
  • and there will be a range of good, competitively priced accommodation, some with student rates.

Look forward to a superb Symposium at the Hong Kong venue!

SINOROCK Symposium email: Sinorock2009@hku.hk Website: www.hku.hk/sinorock

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1st South American Symposium on Rock Excavations (ISSRE)
an ISRM Regional Symposium

The 1st South American Symposium on Rock Excavations will be held in Bogotá D.C., Colombia, 1 to 4 September 2008, in conjunction with the XII Colombian Geotechnical Congress. The 2nd Circular was released and can be downloaded here. The 2nd bulletin will soon be available. A total of 75 abstracts have been received for both events.

Symposium Website: http://www.scg.org.co/flash/iixcongreso_2007/hoja0.html

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1st Southern Hemisphere International Rock Mechanics Symposium (SHIRMS2008)
an ISRM Regional Symposium

More than 170 papers have been submitted for the First Southern Hemisphere International Rock Mechanics Symposium (SHIRMS2008) to be held in Perth in September 2008. These include 22 on civil rock mechanics, 29 on petroleum rock mechanics, 39 on fundamental rock mechanics and 68 on mining rock mechanics. For information regarding the event please visit www.shirms.com.

Keynote presentations will be given by Ted Brown, Golder Associates Pty Ltd, Australia; Peter Cundall, Itasca Consulting Group Inc, USA; Maurice Dussealt, University of Waterloo, Canada; Peter Kaiser, Laurentian University, Canada; Alex Mendecki, ISS International Ltd, South Africa; Phillip Pells, Pells Sullivan Meynink Pty Ltd, Australia; Boris Tarasov, University of Western Australia.

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International Symposium on Conservation of Ancient Sites 2008 (ISCAS2008)
an ISRM Regional Symposium

ISCAS-2008 is to be held in Dunhuang, China, 22-24 September this year. With effective support from ISRM, the Organizing Committee headed by Prof. Li Zuixiong has been making great effort for hosting the ISCAS-2008 successfully. Up to now, more than 50 papers were received and are under review. More than 120 experts, coming from U.S., U.K, Iran, Japan, Korea, Portugal, China etc. have registered and Prof. J. A. Hudson, President of ISRM, has kindly accepted our invitation to attend the Symposium.

As everybody knows, Dunhuang – a famous World Cultural Heritage site, is abundant in both historical and tourist resources. All participants could take this opportunity to enjoy not only a large amount of wonderful murals, but also could have a technical discussion on job sites of some important grottoes which are preserved or under preservation.

Currently, we are ready with respect to the accommodation, simultaneous translation, post-Symposium tours and so on. In a word, all of the preparatory work is in good progress.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we would like to create a favorable atmosphere for academic discussion on some problems common concerned, and also to provide more convenience for all participants to enjoy a comfortable and unforgettable cultural tour along the Ancient Silk Road.

We are looking forward to meeting you in Dunhuang.

Prof. Li Zuixiong
President, ISCAS 2008

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EUROCK'2009 in Dubrovnik-Cavtat, Croatia
an ISRM Regional Symposium

On behalf of the International Society for rock Mechanics, the Croatian Geotechnical Society is proud to announce the organization of ISRM International Symposium EUROCK’2009 to be held in Cavtat on 29-31 October 2009.

It will be our great pleasure and honour to meet you in the vicinity of the old Croatian town of Dubrovnik, one of the exquisite pearls of the Mediterranean, so that we can continue to build the bridges of friendship and professional dialogue in a combined atmosphere of work and leisure.

Since the Symposium is being held from Thursday 29, why not take the opportunity and explore the city during the weekend, take one of the post-symposium excursions, or even sit on the beach of the beautiful hotel Croatia and enjoy the swimming in the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea!

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Croatia, a small country with largest karstic polje in the world and whish you a very happy stay in the Mediterranean region as it once was.

For more information on the conference, please visit the Website at www.eurock2009.hr.

We look forward to seeing you in Dubrovnik in October 2009!

Ivan Vrkljan
EUROCK'2009 Chairman

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Rock Mechanics Symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland
an ISRM Regional Symposium

The ISRM Regional Symposium of Rock Mechanics will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland, 23 to 25 June 2010. More information on this conference will be available soon.

The proposed topics to be covered are: rock mechanics theory and fundamentals, constitutive relations and strength criteria; development in numerical methods and numerical modelling techniques; site investigation, in situ stress measurements, and geophysical methods; laboratory experiments and physical modelling techniques; rock mass characterization and classification for design; rock excavation, drilling, blasting, TBM and new excavation technologies; rock support and reinforcement, ground-structure interaction; rock dynamics, seismicity, earthquake and time dependence behaviour; rock engineering applications in foundations, slopes, tunnels and caverns.

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