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No. 13 - March 2011


ISRM 2011 Congress, Beijing - paper submission and program update

Paper listing to the Scientific and Publications Committee started streaming in from January and the current list totals 419 titles received from 45 ISRM National Groups and regions. We would like to thank all representatives of the NG’s for their excellent collaboration and management of the paper submission and review process.

All extended abstracts and full papers should reach the Scientific and Publications Committee by 15 April 2011 or they cannot be included in the conference proceedings. Once again, we need to rely on the help and cooperation of all concerned to meet another important deadline. Please hurry!

Currently, the technical program assumes 28 oral sessions and 6 poster sessions and the preliminary presentation schedule is expected to be announced sometime in May 2011. You can find this and other updates (registration information, speaker guides, tours, etc) on the congress website ( ). Remember to save this URL for your own reference.

Makes plans to attend ISRM2011 and be prepared for an exciting time in Beijing!

This year, the ISRM kicks off its 50th Anniversary Celebration at the 12th Congress in Beijing. The ISRM Commissions have organized quite a few special sessions. Look out also for the “China Afternoon” where our colleagues in China will showcase some challenging large-scale projects, featuring technological advances in rock mechanics and rock engineering. Additional offerings include four short courses and seven technical workshops. While keeping busy at the congress, do also make time to enjoy the array of sightseeing activities in Beijing and post-congress tours to Korea and various parts of China.

Don’t miss the Plenary Sessions! Come and be enthused by our eminent Müller Lecturer, Keynote Speakers and the Rocha Medal winner.

Müller Lecture
"From Empiricism Through Theory To Problem Solving in Rock Engineering", Nick BARTON

Keynote Lectures
"50 Years of the ISRM and Associated Progress in Rock Mechanics", Ted BROWN
"The Next 50 years of the ISRM and Anticipated Future Progress in Rock Mechanics", John HUDSON,
"New Development of Rock Engineering Technology in China", Qihu QIAN
"Support of Excavations Subjected to Dynamic (rockburst) Loading ", Dick STACEY
"Advances in Rock Dynamics and their Applications", Jian ZHAO, Yingxin ZHOU, and Kaiwen XIA
"Deep and Mega Underground Excavation Practices in Japan", Jiro YAMATOMI
"New Development of Rock Mechanics in China", Xia-Ting FENG
"Discontinuous Deformation Analysis in Rock Engineering - Advances and Challenges", Guowei MA
"Discontinuum Models For Dam Foundation Failure Analysis", José V. LEMOS
"Risk Oriented Design and Construction of Tunnels", Wulf SCHUBERT
"Synthetic Rock Mass Applications in Mass Mining" , Matthew PIERCE & Charles FAIRHURST
"Rock Strength and Failure: Some Common and Uncommon Issues and Cases", Álvaro J. GONZALEZ-GARCIA
"How to Select Rockmass Parameters for Analysis and Design" T. Ramamurthy, Abdolhadi GHAZVINIAN

Rocha Medal Lecture
"Reduction of Blast-induced Vibration In Tunnelling Using Barrier Holes and Air-deck", Dohyun PARK

Yingxin ZHOU, Chairman
Scientific and Publications Committee
ISRM 2011 Congress Organising Committee

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Japan earthquake - ISRM expresses condolences to the Japanese colleagues

16 March 2011
To: Dr Soichi Tanaka
Japanese Committee for Rock Mechanics
Japanese Geotechnical Society

Dear Dr Tanaka

I am writing on behalf of the entire Board of the ISRM to express our shock at the news of the dreadful earthquake which took place recently near Sendai. The pictures we viewed on television of the destruction and consequential loss of life and property were absolutely horrific. Not only is there the immediate effect, but the consequences will continue to be experienced for many years into the future.

The Board of the ISRM should like to send yourself, the Japanese Committee for Rock Mechanics and all the Japanese people our sympathy and truly heartfelt condolences. I am sure that the entire membership of the ISRM will also join me in this message. Recovery from such an event is not easy. All our prayers and good wishes are with you at this time and for the future.

Yours sincerely

John A Hudson
ISRM President

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Christchurch earthquake

On February 22, the first of 458 earthquakes to date, March 8, struck Christchurch, New Zealand. The first quake of magnitude 2.3 occurred at 01:07 at a depth of 2km below the city. Subsequent quakes have occurred at depths from 2km to 15km. The quake having the maximum magnitude of 6.3 struck at 12:51 at a depth of 5km. Aftershocks up to magnitude 4.3 are still occurring to date.

Currently the number of confirmed dead is 165 although authorities expect the number to be significantly greater. Damage to infrastructure is estimated to exceed NZ$15billion. The quake triggered massive rockfalls and landslides. A quake map can be viewed at .

Tony Meyers
ISRM Vice President for Australasia

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EUROCK 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden - 2nd Bulletin was released

The Eurock 2012 conference - Rock Engineering & Technology for Sustainable Underground Construction - will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, 28 to 30 May 2012, and will also be the 2012 ISRM International Symposium, where the ISRM Council, Board and Commission meetings will take place.

The 2nd Bulletin with a Call for Papers and general information on the event was released by BeFo, the Swedish National Group of the ISRM. Abstracts shall be submitted through the conference website by 15 June 2011.

For more detailed information download the 2nd Bulletin or visit to the Eurock 2012 website .

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Maurice Dusseault´s lectures on Introduction to Petroleum Geomechanics available online for ISRM members

The ISRM has started a collection of Lectures in the field of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. ISRM members are allowed to download the lectures for their personal use from the ISRM website .

Following the 15 lectures on Rock Mechanics, prepared by Erik Eberhardt, we have now available on the ISRM website a series of lectures on Introduction to Petroleum Geomechanics, prepared by Maurice Dusseault of the University of Waterloo in Canada.

The set of Presentations comprises an introductory course in Petroleum Geomechanics (Petroleum Rock Mechanics). The presentations start by introducing the basics of rock behaviour and design, initial conditions such as stress and temperature, and then move on to applications in areas such as borehole stability and stress changes in reservoirs. An attempt has been made to cover all of the major issues in Petroleum Geomechanics, but the materials also reflect the interests of the author to some degree.

The Petroleum Geomechanics Commission is being formed (2011) and Maurice Dusseault's involvement as its president is intended to bring this area of rock mechanics more into the ISRM domain.

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Leading rock mechanics journals rated by the Excellence in Research for Australia initiative

The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative ( ) assesses research quality within Australia's higher education institutions using a combination of indicators and expert review by committees comprising experienced, internationally-recognised experts. One indicator is the quality of journal that publications appear in. Over 20,700 journals were reviewed to enable ranking to be carried out.

In the 2010 rankings, the two international journals focussing on rock mechanics issues International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences and Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering were given A* and A ratings respectively.

A Tier A* journal is considered to be one of the best in its field in which to publish and would typically cover the entire field. Virtually all papers published are of a very high quality. These are journals where most of the work is important (it will really shape the field) and where researchers boast about getting accepted. Acceptance rates are typically low and the editorial board is dominated by field leaders, including many from top institutions.

The majority of papers in a Tier A journal are of very high quality. Publishing in an A journal would enhance the author’s standing, showing they have real engagement with the global research community and that they have something to say about problems of some significance. Typical signs of an A journal are lowish acceptance rates and an editorial board which includes a reasonable fraction of well known researchers from top institutions.

Tony Meyers
ISRM Vice President for Austalasia

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ISRM 50th Anniversary Young Members’ Slide Show Competition
“The Future Directions for Engineering Rock Mechanics"
Deadline is 30 June 2011

In October 2011, the International Society for Rock Mechanics will begin the celebrations to commemorate its 50th anniversary; these celebrations will include a number of special events and initiatives.

One of the initiatives consists of a competition open to Young Members of the ISRM to present their vision of “The Future Directions for Engineering Rock Mechanics”. Candidates are asked to prepare a fully explanatory PowerPoint slide show explaining, illustrating and justifying their ideas.

The winner will be invited to present the slide show at the Second ISRM International Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics, which will take place in Beijing, China, on 14-16 October 2011, i.e. immediately preceding the 12th ISRM International Congress also being held in Beijing. In addition, the winning slide show will be announced and published on the ISRM website. The winner will also be formally acknowledged with a certificate during the ISRM Congress.

It is anticipated that the winner will be granted a financial contribution to the air travel costs (if necessary) plus free registration and inexpensive accommodation at both the Young Scholars’ Symposium on Rock Mechanics and the ISRM Congress in Beijing.

The ISRM invites all its members who are aged 35 years or less during 2011 to submit a PowerPoint slide show on their vision of “The Future Directions for Engineering Rock Mechanics”. The slide show must be presented in English, and consist of exactly 40 slides and shall be submitted to the ISRM Secretariat ( ) not later than 30 June 2011.

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ISRM 50th Anniversary Competition for an ISRM Commemorative Logo
Deadline is 30 April 2011

In October 2011, the International Society for Rock Mechanics will begin the celebrations to commemorate its 50th anniversary; these celebrations will include a number of special events and initiatives.

One of the initiatives consists of a competition, open to the ISRM Members, to create a logo to be used by the ISRM during the period of celebrations, 2011 to 2012.

The 50th anniversary logo must include the current ISRM logo and the acronym ISRM, and should include elements that convey the idea of 50 years. An example of a logo, designed specifically for the 12th ISRM Congress in Beijing, in 2011, is shown here.

The winner will receive a free copy of the ISRM ‘Blue Book’ containing all the ISRM Suggested Methods from 1974 to 2006, plus a free copy of the ISRM ‘Orange Book’ due for publication in 2012 which will contain all the new ISRM Suggested Methods developed since 2006. In addition, the winner will be acknowledged in the ISRM Newsletter and on the ISRM website.

The ISRM invites all its Members to submit a 50th anniversary logo to the ISRM Secretariat ( ) not later than 30 April 2011. The logo should be sent in a high quality digital format suitable for high resolution reproduction.

Click here to download detailed information on the current ISRM logo.

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ISRM Rocha Medal 2013 - nominations to be received by 31 December 2011

Nominations for the Rocha Medal 2013 are to be received by the ISRM Secretariat by 31 December 2011. The winner will be announced during the 2012 ISRM International Symposium in Stockholm, Sweden, in May 2012, and will be invited to receive the award and deliver a lecture at the 2013 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 2 runner-up certificates may also be awarded.

Click here to download the announcement with details on the Rocha Medal 2013 .

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ISRM sponsored meetings

  • 14-16 October 2011, Beijing, China – 2nd ISRM International Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics : an ISRM Specialized Conference
  • 16-21 October 2011, Beijing, China – Harmonizing Rock Mechanics and the Environment : the ISRM 12th International Congress on Rock Mechanics
  • 27-30 May 2012, Stockholm, Sweden – EUROCK 2012 Rock Engineering and Technology : the 2012 ISRM International Symposium
  • 23-26 September 2013, Wroclaw, Poland – EUROCK 2013 Rock Mechanics for Resources, Energy and Environment : an ISRM European Regional Symposium
  • 29 April-5 May 2015, Montréal, Canada – Innovations in Applied and Theoretical Rock Mechanics : the ISRM 13th International Congress on Rock Mechanics

Click here to view the list of ISRM Sponsored Conferences .

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ISRM website conference directory: organisers can submit information online

The ISRM website keeps a conference directory where the Secretariat records data on the conferences on geotechnical engineering and tunnelling that are sent to us. This is an important source of information on the conferences being organised worldwide in fields related to ours.

If you are organizing a conference and wish to publicize it through the ISRM website, you can register your conference directly on the ISRM website by completing a form and submitting it. Please note that the conference will only be displayed on the website after validation by the Secretariat.

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