No. 6 - June 2009


Prof. Xia-Ting Feng elected as ISRM President for the term 2011-2015

Three nominations for President of the ISRM for the term 2011-2015 were received: Prof. Xia-ting Feng (China), Dr Claus Erichsen (Germany) and Prof. Francois Heuze (USA). Election took place during the Council meeting held in Hong Kong, China, on 18 May. Prof. Xia-ting Feng was elected as the next ISRM President. He will start his term of office after the 12th International Congress of the ISRM, which will take place in Beijing, China, in 2011. Click here to view Prof. Feng's 10 minutes video with his background and intentions, as well as his nomination documents .

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EUROCK'2009 - Rock Engineering in Difficult Ground Conditions:
Dubrovnik-Cavtat, Croatia, 29-31 October

The Croatian Geotechnical Society is proud to organize the ISRM Regional Symposium EUROCK’2009 in Cavtat-Dubrovnik on 29-31 October 2009.

120 papers and 7 keynote lectures will be presented. Early bird registrations at a reduced price can be done until 1 July.

The Second Bulletin will be published on the website of the Symposium on August 1, 2009, and the hard copies will be distributed on August 15, 2009. Until then, all new information will be published on the website at .

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

Ivan Vrkljan
EUROCK'2009 Chairman

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Update on the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory Project (DUSEL)

In mid-May, the mining team working on the rehabilitation of the old Homestake Mine, site of the future Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), successfully completed dewatering to a depth of roughly 1500m below surface. It is at this depth that scientists and engineers will establish the Sanford Laboratory, the first research facility of what will ultimately become a major underground campus. This level will also serve for construction staging as the miners strive to reopen the mine to its full depth, some 2.4 kilometers below surface. This dedicated facility is being designed to support a broad spectrum of fundamental and applied research at depth in the earth’s crust. Research partners include physicists, biologists, geo-chemists, rock engineers and mechanics.

One major physics experiment proposed for DUSEL is the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE). This experiment calls for the construction of single or multiple, large-span (50m+) rock caverns, sited at depths well in excess of a kilometer. The experiment will support the performance of “frontier research” into the fundamental behavior of neutrino and proton particles. To support this initiative, rock engineers and mechanics must deliver large-deep excavation(s) that meet stringent demands for long-term environmental and structural stability, mined within a heavily folded metamorphic rock mass. Site investigation work is on-going to identify potential sites for the caverns, with characterization, modeling and detailed design work targeted to allow for a construction start in 2013.

The State of South Dakota is currently performing initial shaft re-entry work to re-establish access to shallow and intermediate mine depths, install pumps, and perform an initial round of basic tunnel rehabilitation tasks. The University of California at Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology are responsible for the design of the full facility under a grant from the US National Science Foundation.

(graphics sources: US National Science Foundation, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority)

Additional information

For information on the deep science initiative go to:

For information on the on-going work of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority go to:

For information on the design of DUSEL go to:

Homestake Shaft Headhouse

Homestake Mine - Geologic Section

Baseline Neutrino Experiment Cavern: Depth-Span Graphic

DUSEL A Multidisciplinary Underground Laboratory

Lab Development Plans - 4850L

Chris Laughton and Zbigniew Hladysz

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Dr J. Christer Andersson selected as the 2010 Rocha Medal winner

Ten PhD theses from all over the world were short listed for the Rocha Medal 2010 of the ISRM, which distinguishes the best PhD thesis in Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. After a thorough analysis of all the candidates’ theses, the Award Committee selected Dr J. Christer Andersson, from Sweden, as the 2010 Rocha Medal winner, for the thesis "Rock Mass Response to Coupled Mechanical Thermal Loading. Äspö Pillar Stability Experiment, Sweden". Dr Andersson will be awarded the Rocha Medal 2010 at the ARMS6 in October 2010, in New Delhi, India.

Acknowledging the value of other two theses, the Rocha Award Committee decided to award runner-up certificates to Dr Yoon Jeoung Seok, from Korea, for the thesis “Hydro-mechanical coupling of shear-induced rock fracturing by bonded particle modelling” and to Dr Abbas Taheri, from Iran, for the thesis “Study on shear strength and deformability properties of rock masses by in-situ and laboratory testing methods”.

Click here to go to the Rocha Medal page, where the CVs and Summaries of the winning theses are available.

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ISRM 1st technical and cultural field trip to the Florence region

The 1st Annual ISRM Technical and Cultural Field Trip will take place on 21-22 September 2009, in the Florence region, Italy. It is devoted to the Carrara Marble quarries and the historical quarrying and mining activities which have taken place in Tuscany since Etruscan times (about 700 B.C.).

Organisation is by Prof. Geol. Massimo Coli, Department of Earth Sciences, and Prof. Geol. Carlo Alberto Garzonio, Department of Restoration and Conservation of Architectural Heritage of the University of Florence.

A brochure ( download here ) with the main information was released and it includes the application form. Please be reminded that the number of participants is limited and that the deadline for payment is 20 July.

A Guide Book ( download here ) was prepared with detailed technical information on the sites that will be visited.

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3rd International Workshop on
Rock Mechanics and Geo-engineering in Volcanic Environments

The “Sociedad Española de Mecánica de Rocas” (the Spanish National Group of the ISRM) is organizing the ”3rd International Workshop on Rock Mechanics and Geo-engineering in Volcanic Environments Conference” to be held in the Canary Islands on 31st of May and 1st of June 2010.

This event is complementary to those technical meetings organized in previous years at Madeira and Azores, in 2002 and 2007, respectively.

In this case this Workshop is included in a multidisciplinary Congress, (Cities on Volcanoes 6 – Tenerife 2010), organized by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of Earth Interior. Volcanologists, geologists, disaster mitigation experts, and other specialised professions are expected to participate.

The topics to be discussed in this 3rd Workshop will be related to geoengineering, mining, water resources and infrastructures in volcanic environment. In other words, laboratory and field characterisation of volcanic rock media, slope stability, tunnelling and excavation in volcanic areas will be studied and papers will provide a deeper insight in their knowledge.

For more information click here to download the brochure or go to web pages , or , respectively.

We hope to see you in the Canary Islands.

Claudia Olalla
Co-Chairman of the Organizing Committee

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EUROCK'2010 - Rock Mechanics in Civil and Environmental Engineering

The ISRM European Rock Mechanics Symposium of the ISRM - EUROCK 2010 will take place in 15-18 June 2010 in Lausanne, Switzerland, organised by the Swiss Society for Soil and Rock Mechanics and by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne.

The theme of EUROCK 2010 is “Rock Mechanics in Civil and Environmental Engineering”. It covers all the aspects of rock mechanics, from theoretical research to engineering practices, with emphasis on applications to infrastructural construction, sustainable development, and natural hazards management. A plenary open session will be organised to report and discuss rock mechanics activities in Europe, including education, training, research, and engineering. The objective is to foster a closer cooperation among European countries, to promote future rock mechanics activities in Europe, and to build a stronger rock mechanics community.

Abstract should be about 400 words long, with a title, authors' names, affiliations, and email addresses, and be sent to the symposium organiser by 31 August 2009.

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

Jian Zhao
Chairman of the Organizing Committe

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The 5th International Symposium on In-situ Rock Stress - an ISRM sponsored Specialized Conference

The 5th International Symposium on In-situ Rock Stress will be held in Beijing, China, 25-28 August 2010, organised by the Institute of Crustal Dynamics (ICD), the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) and the Seismological Society of China (SSC) Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering (CSRME).

The conference will deal with topics such as:

  • Methods and theory of in-situ stress measurement
  • Engineering Application of in-situ stress
  • Numerical modeling
  • Crustal stress of strong earthquake
  • Stress-strain observation and earthquake prediction

For more information click here to download the First Announcement or visit the conference website at .

LIU Yuchen
President of the Organizing Committee

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ISRM sponsored meetings

  • 29-31 October 2009, Dubrovnik-Cavtat, Croatia – EUROCK'2009 – Rock Engineering in Difficult Ground Conditions - Soft Rocks and Karst : an ISRM Regional Symposium
  • 30 May-1 June 2010, Tenerife, Canary Islanda, Spain – 3rd International Workshop on Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering in Volcanic Environments : an ISRM Specialized Conference
  • 15-18 June 2010, Lausanne, Switzerland – EUROCK'2010 – Rock Mechanics in Civil and Environmental Engineering : an ISRM Regional Symposiuman
  • 25-27 August 2010, Beijing, China – 5th International Workshop on Rock Stress : an ISRM Specialized Conference
  • 23-27 October, New Delhi, India – ARMS 6 – International Symposium on Advances in Rock Engineering : the 2010 ISRM International Symposium
  • 16-21 October 2011, Beijing, China – ISRM 12th International Congress on Rock Mechanics : the 2011 ISRM International Congress

Click here to view the list of ISRM Sponsored Conferences .

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SINOROCK2009 website updated with photos, videos and keynotes

The SINOROCK2009 Organising Committee has updated the website so that the following items can be viewed:

  • Photos during symposium
  • Video shown during the closing ceremony
  • Keynote lectures in pdf format
  • Best paper awards notice
  • List of Delegates.

Click here to visit the updated SINOROCK2009 website , or view a short report on the conference on the ISRM website .

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Reports on mine accident in Australia

On 25th April 2006 a mining induced seismic event caused rockfalls on the 915m and 925m Levels at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine, in Australia. The main fall on the 925m Level killed one miner and trapped two others. The two miners were freed 14 days later. The rescue effort gained international exposure and made the two miners reluctant celebrities.

The reports into this incident by and to the Coroner make good reading for rock mechanics practitioners. The reports can be found at:,_Larry_Paul_-_2009_TASCD_25.pdf

Todd Russell and Brant Webb breathe fresh air again for the first time in two weeks
(Photo: Ian Waldie, Sydney Morning Herald)

Tony Meyers
ISRM VP for Australasia

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The ISRM Council met in Hong Kong on 18 May

The ISRM held its Council meeting in Hong Kong, China, in conjunction with the SINOROCK 2009, organised by the Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering and the University of Hong Kong.

Click here to download the News Release with the main information.

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