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No. 15 - September 2011


Valedictory Message from Professor John A Hudson, ISRM President, 2007–2011

My four-year tenure as ISRM President began at the end of the ISRM Lisbon Congress in 2007 and will finish at the end of the ISRM Beijing Congress, i.e., at about 18.00 on Friday 21 October in 2011. So, I am saying goodbye now through this Newsletter—which is the last during my Presidential period.

It was an honour to have been voted into the Presidential position and I hope that, together with the 2007–2011 ISRM Board, I have served you all well. My theme was ‘modernisation’ and we have indeed implemented almost 30 initiatives over the four years, including

  • the launch of the ISRM Virtual Library hosted at,
  • the creation of ISRM Fellows,
  • the introduction of the ISRM Annual Lecture,
  • running ISRM Lecture Tours and ISRM Field Trips,
  • ensuring that the ISRM Commissions are productive, and
  • organising the ISRM 50-year Anniversary celebrations,

the full list being given on page 6 of the 2010 ISRM News Journal.

One needs a great deal of help to achieve all these goals and I wish to especially acknowledge the ISRM Board members for their inspiration, resourcefulness and support in the generation and implementation of the initiatives. Additionally, the ISRM Secretariat headed by Dr Luis Lamas has provided invaluable advice, assistance and hard work over the four years.

Finally, I should like to assure all ISRM members that my successor, Professor Xia-Ting Feng of the Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, will provide exemplary ISRM Presidential leadership for the next four-year period.

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Preparation of ISRM 12th International Congress on Rock Mechanics

ISRM 12th International Congress on Rock Mechanics (ISRM2011) will be held at the China National Convention Center (CNCC) during Oct.18-21, 2011. With the joint efforts of ISRM NGs for China and Singapore, as well as the ISRM2011 International Advisory Committee, International Scientific Committee and the Organizing Committee, the preparation of the Congress has been nearly completed.

Seven organizing committee meetings have been held since the kick-off one at the ARMS2006 in Singapore. Under the organizing committee, seven working groups have been established, including Working Groups for General Guidance, Finance, Business Reception, Liaison, Documentation & Publicity, Technical Visit and Publication. The last organizing committee meeting was held on Sept. 24, 2011.

So far, the venue, the technical program and the program of ISRM 50th Anniversary Celebration have been determined. The Final Program is in the process of finalization and will be published soon. As of Sept.13, 2011, 450 representatives from 45 countries and regions have registered online, including VIPs, members, non-members, students, exhibitors, accompanying persons. Considering that the registration system is continuously updated, the number of registrants may exceed 1000. The routes of the Post-Congress Technical Visits have been determined. “you & me (the song of 26th Olympic Game in Beijing)” will be the song offered to the next host country.

The logo of ISRM and the logo of the congress will be used onto rock pieces taken from the Three Gorges Dam site which will be the souvenirs of ISRM2011.

Emblems with the Logo of the 50-year Anniversary of the funding of ISRM is under producing in Beijing.

There will be 15 keynote/Muller Award/Rocha Award speakers, and their topics have been submitted. 384 papers from 48 countries and regions have been received. Taylor & Francis Group will publish one volume of hardcopy proceedings containing full papers of all keynote lectures, Muller lecture, Rocha Medal lecture, and 2-page extended abstract of other papers. Full papers will be contained in a CD-ROM. The cover of the Proceedings has been finalized as the follows. For more information, please visit the website of the congress:

The ISRM2011, a milestone of the development of rock mechanics discipline, will be the summary of the past development of international rock mechanics and the forecast of the future development of international rock mechanics. On behalf of the ISRM2011 Organizing Committee, I deeply thank the support of the ISRM, the ISRM National Groups, the authors as well as those who have made unselfish contributions. Herein, we cordially welcome colleagues of rock mechanics and engineering from all over the world to participate the grand event!

Professor Qihu Qian
Chairman, Organizing Committee of the ISRM 12th Congress

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Election of the Regional ISRM Vice Presidents 2011-2015

Election of the ISRM Regional Vice Presidents 2011-2015 will take place at the Council meeting to be held on 17 October 2011 in Beijing, China. As part of the current ISRM Board’s modernisation programme, the Board wishes to ensure that ISRM members have the opportunity to learn about the candidates’ experience and intentions. Accordingly, we have asked the candidates to provide 10 minute videos of their background and intentions. These videos are available on the ISRM website, from where the candidates’ nomination documents can be also downloaded.

You can click on the images below to watch the videos

Mr. Jacques Lucas, South Africa
Nominated for VP Africa
Prof. Yuzo Ohnishi, Japan
Nominated for VP Asia
Dr Zhou Yingxin, Singapore
Nominated for VP Asia
Dr David Beck, Australia
Nominated for VP Australasia
Prof. Scott Kieffer, Austria
Nominated for VP Europe
Prof. Gian Paolo Giani, Italy
Nominated for VP Europe
Prof. Frederic Pellet, France
Nominated for VP Europe
Dr John Tinucci, USA
Nominated for VP North America
Dr Antonio Samaniego, Peru
Nominated for VP South America

 Click here to go to the Vice President's election page on the ISRM website.

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ISRM 2012 International Symposium - Eurock 2012, Stockholm, 28-30 May
Rock Engineering & Technology for Sustainable Underground Construction

The Swedish National Group of ISRM will host the ISRM Eurock 2012 in Stockholm during 28-30 May 2012, jointly with BeFo, which houses the Secretariat of the Swedish National Group of ISRM. This is also the 2012 ISRM International Symposium. Meetings of the ISRM Board, Commission Groups and the ISRM Council will take place during two days before the Symposium.

The deadline for submission of papers is 1 December 2011. All papers will be peer reviewed by the Scientific Committee and a Review Committee. Authors will receive review comments by 20 January 2012, and the submission date of final paper is 28 February 2012. Authors must be prepared to present their papers or posters in person.

Three pre-symposium workshops will be held on 27 May and a Special Business Workshop “Going Underground” will take place 28 May. A Field Trip to Northern Sweden will take off 24-25 May. Three Technical Tours take place on 31 May. The social program includes a welcome reception, a Gala Dinner and a Spouses program.

For updated information you can click here to download the Bulletin n. 3 or visit the conference website:

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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
  • 15-17 October 2012, Seoul, Korea – ARMS 7 – The present and Future of Rock Engineering: the 2012 ISRM Asian Regional Symposium
  • 20-22 May 2013, Brisbane, Australia – Effective and Sustainable Hydraulic Fracturing: an ISRM Specialized Conference
  • 23-26 September 2013, Wroclaw, Poland – EUROCK 2013 Rock Mechanics for Resources, Energy and Environment: the 2012 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 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 50th Anniversary Young Members’ Slide Show Competition
“The Future Directions for Engineering Rock Mechanics"

Six excellent slide shows were submitted to the competition open to young members of the ISRM to present their vision of “The Future Directions for Engineering Rock Mechanics”. Candidates were asked to prepare a fully explanatory PowerPoint slide show explaining, illustrating and justifying their ideas.

Dr Ricardo Resende from Portugal won the competition and you can click here to download his winning slide show.

Ricardo is a member of the ISRM Young Members' Presidential Group and he will make a presentation based on his winning 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, immediately preceding the 12th ISRM International Congress.

Advances in Rock Dynamics and Applications - a new book edited by Yingxin Zhou and Jian Zhao

Advances in Rock Dynamics and Applications was published by CRC Press and provides a summary of the state of the art in rock dynamics with 18 chapters contributed by individual authors from both academia and engineering fields. The topics of this book are wide-ranging and representative, covering fundamental theories of fracture dynamics and wave propagation, rock dynamic properties and testing methods, numerical modelling of rock dynamic failure, engineering applications in earthquakes, explosion loading and tunnel response, as well as dynamic rock support.

This book is partially a result of the work of the ISRM Commission on Rock Dynamics chaired by Dr Yingxin Zhou.

CRC is offering a discount of 15% for all ISRM members and attendees of the ISRM 12th International Congress on Rock Mechanics, October 18-21, 2011, Beijing, China. Interested readers can use the order form in the leaflet (click here to download), or go to, select the book and enter the promocode 476GB at checkout to receive 15% off their purchase. The offer is valid until 31 December 2011.

Book Contents:
  1. Introduction
  2. An overview of some recent progress in rock dynamics research
  3. Split Hopkinson pressure bar tests of rocks: Advances in experimental techniques and applications to rock strength and facture
  4. Modified Hopkinson bar technologies applied to the high strain rate rock tests
  5. Wave shaping by special shaped striker in SHPB tests
  6. Laboratory compressive and tensile testing of rock dynamic properties
  7. Penetration and perforation of rock targets by hard projectiles
  8. Incubation time based fracture mechanics and optimization of energy input in the fracture process of rocks
  9. Discontinuous approaches of wave propagation across rock joints
  10. Equivalent medium model with virtual wave source method for wave propagation analysis in jointed rock masses
  11. Polycrystalline model for heterogeneous rock based on smoothed particle hydrodynamics method
  12. Finite Element Method modeling of rock dynamic failure
  13. Discontinuum-based numerical modeling of rock dynamic fracturing and failure
  14. Manifold and advanced numerical techniques for discontinuous dynamic computations
  15. Earthquakes as a rock dynamic problem and their effects on rock engineering structures
  16. Constraining paleoseismic PGA using numerical analysis of structural failures in historic masonry structures: Review of recent results
  17. Explosion loading and tunnel response
  18. Rock support for underground excavations subjected to dynamic loads and failure

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Networking among Underground Research Laboratories is for a New ISRM Commission, 2011-2015

The new ISRM Commission is to be launched at Workshop WS5 on 17 October 2011, associated with the Beijing Congress.

All of you are welcomed to attend, participate, and contribute to WS5 on Monday 17 October 2011, right before the technical sessions of the Congress during 18-21 October at Beijing. We will have lectures and discussion/updates to address the needs and logistics of the initiative for a worldwide networking effort among Underground Research Laboratories (URLs). It will be an informal and informative gathering during a very busy day with concurrent short courses, workshops, commissions, and executive meetings. You can certainly drop in for the WS5 lectures and topical discussions and provide your inputs. Even if you have schedule conflicts, we welcome your inputs for the new Commission scope and contributions to the Workshop Proceeding which will be published in an ISRM Book series. Please feel free to contact Joe Wang for any details. We appreciate your indications and considerations for availabilities to participate in the workshop, to help in formulating the Commission, and to indicate your interests.

The New URL Networking Commission concept is a relatively recent development, endorsed by John A. Hudson and Xia-Ting Feng, our current and incoming Presidents. You are invited to provide inputs to the Commission scope and to nominate potential Commissioners for consideration by John Hudson and Xia-Ting Feng at the Beijing Congress. We are seeking supports from regional and national groups, from ISRM community at large, and from other related fields.

As indicated below, and to be updated on the Congress web site (, the WS5 agenda has 5 technical sessions to cover 10 topics that are listed in the original workshop announcement. In the morning sessions, we will cover rock mechanics challenges in deep facilities, deep underground laboratories primarily for physics searches, and URLs designated for radioactive waste assessment. We then have afternoon sessions on site characterization, couple process testing, and inter-disciplinary studies. We will have both a pre-commission briefing at the beginning of first session, and a last session on discussions of initiatives to kick off the new Commission. The Workshop Proceedings with preprints, presentations, and proposals files hyperlinked will be periodically updated on

We are looking forward to meeting you at the Workshop, throughout the Congress, and to receiving your indications of interests and inputs in the months and years to come. The World Network of URLs and a call for integration by Professor Charles Fairhurst at the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) Research Association 2010 meeting are illustrated below.

Joseph S.Y. Wang

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Don’t Take Risks: Consider Mining Geotechnics

Article by Dr Tony Meyers
Vice President (Australasia), ISRM
Principal, Rocktest Consulting, Australia.
Published by Quarries and Mines 2012

This century has seen, and will continue to see, significant changes in the size and operation of pits throughout the world. Contributing to these changes has been the increasing demand for minerals as populations increase. Over the same period there has been a significant reduction in the rate at which many mineral resources are being discovered, especially at shallow depths. When they are discovered, alternate land use requirements and environmental pressures often made it difficult to convert the resources into reserves. These issues have been fundamental drivers for existing and proposed pits going deeper. New technologies and techniques can make doing so cost effective. However, going deeper can introduce new geotechnical issues for operators. Historically, these issues may only have been considered when a pit was initially designed and/or if pit wall instability occurred. However, in the past decade, increasingly regulated safety requirements are forcing operators to take an ongoing risk based approach to pit wall design and management. In addition, financial pressures have strengthened the link between the economics of a mining operation and the geotechnical risks associated with it. This article considers some of the geotechnical issues an operator must consider to address these challenges.


The Furnas Type II Stress Measurement Cell: a recent high-tech development in the South American region

The year 2010 the Young Members’ Presidential Group was formed by initiative of the actual ISRM Board. One of the functions of these members is to diffuse a recent high-tech development in rock mechanics.

Ludger Suarez-Burgoa, from the South American Region, present an interesting history, one that was built in silence but with perseverance; it is the history of Dr João Luiz Armelin and his assistants, supported by a thriving state company, which developed the first South American stress measurement cell for rock mass: the Furnas Type II Stress Measurement Cell.

The Furnas Type II Stress Measurement Cell, is a cell that adopted the overcoring concept to measure in a point the in-situ stress tensor in the rock mass, it was developed in around 15 years. The visits of ISRM experts to South America, 35 years ago, infuse young engineers to the great world of rock mechanics; therefore today, one can present this high-tech development for South America.

Click here to download the complete document.

Professor Bezalel Haimson rounded by a group of Brazilian professional in the hydraulic-fracturing measurements campaign for the Serra da Mesa Hydroelectric Project located in the state of Goiâs in Brazil, year 1975 (Doctor Armelin is at the right hand of Professor Haimson)

Ludger O. Suarez-Burgoa
ISRM Young Members’ Presidential Group for the South American Region

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Opening image credits: ISRM Slide Collection, photo by Professor John A. Hudson
© 2011 ISRM; Editor: Luís Lamas; Webmaster: Ricardo Resende

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