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No. 16 - December 2011


President’s 2012 New Year Address

Dear ISRM Members and Representatives of ISRM National Groups,

The New Year is around the corner! As the new president of ISRM, here I would like to share some good news with you. Thanks to your involvement and contributions, our ISRM community has expanded its dimension to 6514 enrolled individual members. In the past year, the ISRM Fellowship has been granted to all living past Presidents, the first ISRM Advisor Forum and Young Members’ Presidential Group have been very well organized, and the Commissions delivered important outputs. The virtual library, videos, slide collections and ISRM lectures can be found on the ISRM website Also, due to your active involvement and kind support, one of the most important ISRM events - the 12th ISRM Congress on Rock Mechanics - had been successfully held in Beijing in October16-21, 2011.

After the Beijing Congress-2011, the new ISRM Board has formally taken over his office. With a wide survey and many discussions among the Board, some National groups and members, we have launched a Modernization Program 2011-2015, which is dedicated to:
  • making the ISRM even more REAP (Responsible, Effective, Attractive, and Publicly aware) through injecting proper dynamisms,
  • improving benefits to the ISRM members and National Groups,
  • enhancing the communication and collaboration among the ISRM members and with the sister societies,
  • attracting more members and more young people to become more involved in the activities of the ISRM,
  • supporting rock mechanics and rock engineering activities in less developed countries,
  • enhancing the influence and recognition of the ISRM Suggested Methods, and
  • fostering the ISRM development.
So far, 14 ISRM Commissions have been set up to develop or to revise guidelines and Suggested Methods, to collect more education materials, and to organize a series of symposia and lecture tours. In addition, some new Commissions will be established for other technical works.

The ISRM website has been improved, and many new contents have been added, including the introduction of ISRM videos and lectures, items such as ISRM Fellows, ISRM Annual Lectures, application for ISRM Congress, ISRM International/ Regional/ Specialized Conferences, explanation, approval procedure and preparation guideline of Suggested Methods, Commission web pages, news, videos and other materials. All these materials are currently available online.

In the coming year, we will have several important ISRM symposia, such as the 2012 ISRM International Symposium - Eurock 2012, the ISRM Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium - ARMS 7 and II South American Symposium on Rock Excavations. Remarkably, with conjunction with Eurock 2012, the ISRM Council Meeting, the Board Meeting, the celebration of the 50th ISRM Anniversary, the Commission meetings, Workshops and short courses will also be held. Let us meet there to share our knowledge and progress of rock mechanics and rock engineering and exchange our ideas for our future.

We always need your contribution and involvement in our ISRM activities. We would very much appreciate your time and effort in this regard.

Finally, I wish you a Happy New Year!

Xia-Ting Feng
President, ISRM

New Board of the ISRM elected for 2011-2015

Following the election of Prof. Xia-Ting Feng from China for ISRM President 2011-2015 two years ago, the Council elected in Beijing the six Regional Vice Presidents. The newly elected Board appointed three Vice Presidents at Large. The composition of the new Board is the following:
  • President: Prof. Xia-Ting Feng, CHINA
  • 1st Vice President and Vice President for South America: Dr Antonio Samaniego, PERU
  • Vice President for Africa: Mr Jacques Lucas, SOUTH AFRICA
  • Vice President for Asia: Dr Yingxin Zhou, SINGAPORE
  • Vice President for Australasia: Dr David Beck, AUSTRALIA
  • Vice President for Europe: Prof. Frederic Pellet, FRANCE
  • Vice President for North America: Dr John Tinucci, USA
  • Vice President at Large: Prof. Yuzo Onishi, JAPAN
  • Vice President at Large: Prof. Ivan Vrkljan, CROATIA
  • Vice President at Large: Dr Manoj Verman, INDIA
  • Secretary General: Dr Luís Lamas, PORTUGAL
Click here to go to the Board webpage of the ISRM website , where the curricula vitae and the contacts of the Board members can be found.

The 50th anniversary of the ISRM

The International Society for Rock Mechanics was founded in Salzburg in 1962. The celebrations to commemorate its 50th anniversary began in October 2011, at the 12th ISRM Congress in Beijing, China, a nd will end in the ISRM International Symposium in Stockholm, in May 2012 . These celebrations will include a number of special events and initiatives.

One of the initiatives consisted of a competition, open to the ISRM Members, to create a logo to be used by the ISRM during the period of celebrations, which was won by Dr Ludger Suarez-Burgoa from Bolivia. This imaginative and attractive logo is shown here and is used in all the ISRM events and activities throughout the commemoration period.

Another initiative consisted of a 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 .

During the 50th anniversary commemorative banquet held during the 12th ISRM Congress in Beijing on 21 October 2011, Dr Nuno Grossmann, 1st Vice President and Vice President for Europe, made a presentation on the life of the Society during its first 50 years. Click here to download the presentation .

Also integrated in the ISRM 50th anniversary commemorations, a book will be launched in Stockholm, next May, during the ISRM International Symposium Eurock 2012. This commemorative book outlines the background to the formation of the ISRM and the most significant activities during the 50 years, in a compilation of contributions from distinguished members of the ISRM.

The first group of Fellows of the ISRM was inducted in Beijing

The ISRM Council decided at its New Delhi meeting in October 2010, to create the status of Fellow, as the highest and most senior grade of membership of the ISRM. It is conferred on individuals, affiliated with the ISRM, who have achieved outstanding accomplishment in the field of rock mechanics and/or rock engineering and who have contributed to the professional community through the ISRM.

An ISRM Fellowship is a lifetime position. It is intended that the title of ISRM Fellow will carry a clear recognition of his or her achievements. Thus, the induction of ISRM Fellows creates a group of experts that can provide strong support and advice to the ISRM, and can be called upon as appropriate for ISRM activities.

The first group of Fellows was inducted in Beijing, during the 12th International Congress on Rock Mechanics. They are: Charles Fairhurst, John A. Franklin, Pierre Habib, Marc Panet, Shunsuke Sakurai, Nielen van der Merwe and Walter Wittke.

ISRM International Symposium Eurock 2012, Stockholm, 28-30 May - an update

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 Scientific Committee has received 155 papers so far, divided into 10 themes.

Accepted papers will be presented at Technical Sessions and Poster Sessions. The annual Rocha Medal winner will hold a keynote lecture, and the winner of the intermediate award will present his ISRM lecture. This keynote will be the first to be given in this new award category and will award a person for a significant contribution to a specific area of rock mechanics and/or rock engineering.

Two pre-symposium workshops will be held on 27 May: “Design Standard Practice” and “Rock Mechanics in Deep Underground Excavations in hard rock”.

The 3rd ISRM Annual Technical and Cultural Field Trip will take place 24-25 May.A Panel Discussion ”Incorporation of Structural Geology Information into Rock Mechanics Modeling" will take place on May 28, parallel to the Technical Sessions of that day.

Three Technical Tours will be offered on 31 May. A visit to the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company’s (SKB) underground hard rock laboratory on the island of Äspö, a visit to Dannemora Mine and visits to Stockholm City Line project. These are currently planned for and more details will be updated on the website.

The social program includes a welcome reception, a Gala Dinner and a Spouses program. The on-line registration to the Symposium is now open on the website.

For updated information you can to visit the conference website ( ).

2nd SASORE, Costa Rica, 7 to 9 August 2012 - an ISRM Regional Symposium

The Second South American Symposium on Rock Excavations, 2nd SASORE, will take place in Costa Rica. The event will be from 7th to August 9th, 2012. In this opportunity, this event is the only regional experience sponsored by the ISRM. The Symposium, as well as other events of 2012, will be part of the Fiftieth Anniversary of ISRM. The National Group Costa Rica, part of the Geotechnical Costa Rican Association is in charge of organizing the 2nd SASORE.

The objective of the 2nd SASORE is to establish the exchange of knowledge and results of the new technologies application and to discuss recent experiences in rock excavation. The activity includes researchers, designers and builders from the South American Region, Central America and the Caribbean. Also, we count with the contribution of experts from the region and other countries.

The Symposium will have three main speakers from Europe. They will be in charge of several sessions. First, Professor Manuel Romana will develop a lecture about the issue of rock slope stability. Then, Professor Piergiorgio Grasso will be addressing the issue of underground excavations and finally, Professor Arno Zang will discuss the issue of in situ stress.

Three main speakers from South American will join the event during the 2nd SASORE. Professor Tarsicio Celestino will deliver a lecture about the rock mass characterization. Next, Professor Carlos Carranza Torres will discuss about the modeling and numerical analysis of rock excavation. Afterwards, Professor Milton Kanji will be in charge of the lecture about soft rocks and associated problems. Finally, the Professor Duncan Wyllie, from the North American Region, will deliver the lecture about rock foundation.

The participants of the 2nd SASORE will have the opportunity to experience the importance of the industry through the ExpoRock, where they will have access to the main information from expert companies.

According to the 1st newsletter that will circulate in January 2012, the last date for submission of abstracts is March 30th, 2012. The date for full paper submission is May 30th, 2012. For further details including fees for the participants, please visit the website

We hope to meet you at the Second South American Symposium on Rock Excavations in Costa Rica.

ARMS 7, Seoul, 15 to 19 October 2012 - an ISRM Regional Symposium

The Korean Society for Rock Mechanics (KSRM) - Korean National Group of ISRM - extends a cordial invitation to the international community to attend the 7th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, an ISRM regional symposium. The event will be held on October 15-19, 2012 in Seoul, Korea; it is a timely celebration of the 1st Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium that took place fifteen years ago in the same location.

The theme of the Symposium is 'The Present and Future of Rock Engineering.' The symposium intends to cover all aspects of rock mechanics, from theories to engineering practices, emphasizing the future direction of rock engineering technologies.

The venue for the symposium is located in the heart of Seoul, with convenient access to subways, restaurants and hotels. This event will be an excellent opportunity to contemplate the present and future of rock engineering, as well as to enjoy traditional and modern Seoul.

Click here to download the first circular , or visit the Symposium website at .

New ISRM Membership Management System: members' usernames an passwords were sent

The ISRM has implemented a new Membership Management System, and n ew usernames and passwords have been sent by email to all members with email addresses. Members' data on the database kept by the ISRM will be updated according to the information sent to the Secretariat by the National Groups. If you haven't received such an email, please check your data with your National Group.

With this new system, the members' database has been integrated on the ISRM website. Members no longer need to register on the website, as it is done automatically by the Secretariat. By the end of April, we expect to have implemented an automatic communication between our database and the OnePetro's, where our Digital Library is stored, so that it will be permanently updated with our members' usernames and passwords.

The members' area of our website will now be reached by a much larger number of ISRM members, who we will also be able to contact by email. By April we expect to start issuing downloadable membership certificates to our members through the website, on request. For the future, we foresee several other initiatives, which will make it easier to have access to the benefits given by the ISRM to its members.

Luís Lamas
Secretary General, ISRM

Access to the ISRM Digital Library with OnePetro

One of the advantages of the new Membership Management System is the improved access to the ISRM Digital Lybrary, which is hosted by OnePetro.

From January 3rd, the new ISRM usernames and passwords will be used to validade ISRM membership on the site .

If you never tried this ISRM service, create an account with Onepetro using your email and a password of your choice. Then, once in the site, go to My Account and then click to update your membership information and use your new ISRM username and password to certify your ISRM member status. You will then be able to download up to 100 papers per year, from the many ISRM meetings already uploaded.

If you already use OnePetro, just make sure that you replace your ISRM old credentials by the new ones. Please remember, the new credentials will become active after January 3rd.

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ISRM sponsored meetings

  • 27-30 May 2012, Stockholm, Sweden – EUROCK 2012 Rock Engineering and Technology : the 2012 ISRM International Symposium
  • 7-9 August 2012, San José, Costa Rica  –   2nd SASORE  – South American Congress on Rock Excavations the 2012 ISRM South American Regional 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
  • 20-22 August 2013, Sendai, Japan  –  The 6th International Symposium on Rock Stress : 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
  • 26-28 May 2014, Vigo, Spain    EUROCK 2014  –   Rock Engineering and Rock Mechanics: Structures in and on Rock Masses 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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The 12th ISRM Congress in Beijing was a great success

The 12th ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics (ISRM2011), one of the top events of ISRM, was opened on October 18 at the China National Convention Center, Beijing, after six-year hard-working preparation by the organizing committee. More than one thousand of experts and scholars in rock mechanics field from about 50 countries and regions participated in the Congress.

The Congress was opened with the traditional Chinese lion dance performance. Academician Qihu Qian and Professor J.A. Hudson painted the lion’s eyes and made the opening addresses on behalf of the organizing committee and ISRM, respectively.

Professor Ted Brown delivered a keynote lecture on “50 Years of the ISRM and Associated Progress in Rock Mechanics” and reviewed the history of ISRM and the international rock mechanics field in the past 50 years. Professor J.A. Hudson presented a keynote on “The Next 50 Years of the ISRM and Anticipated Future Progress in Rock Mechanics”.
Following that, Professor Nick Barton presented the Müller lecture "From empiricism, through theory, to problem solving in rock engineering" and Academician Qihu Qian made a keynote presentation on “New Development of Rock Engineering and Technology in China”. During 19 to 21 October, another 11 keynote lectures were delivered, including the Rocha lecture. 227 oral presentations in four parallel sessions and 140 post presentations in the foyer were delivered. The papers were divided into 11 topics, covering almost all the hot issues in rock mechanics.

A special session “China-afternoon” was organized, where 11 rock mechanics experts , including Academicians Jun Sun and Liang Yuan, made presentations on the great achievements in rock mechanics theory, engineering technology and construction in China.

The welcome banquet was held in the evening of October 18, with a
Chinese cultural show . Before the banquet, the first eight Fellows of the ISRM were inducted by the ISRM President. The ISRM 50th anniversary celebrations were inaugurated during the banquet of 20th October, where Chinese and foreign-style cultural shows took place.

In the closing ceremony the newly-elected Board members took over from the current Board members. Professor Xia-Ting Feng received the scepter and sash from Professor J.A. Hudson and officially became the ISRM President. He then delivered his inaugural speech and expressed his determination to expand the ISRM, to improve the benefits to national groups and members and to improve effectiveness of the ISRM services.

The ISRM2011 Congress was a grand event in the rock mechanics community and a top platform for the rock mechanics and engineering field. It showcased the latest advances in the international rock mechanics theory and engineering technology.

2nd ISRM International Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics

The 2nd ISRM International Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics was held in Beijing, China in October 2011. The aim of the symposium was t o provide an ideal platform for idea and information exchange, plus knowledge and experience sharing.

The to pics of the Symposium were:
  • Field investigation and observation;
  • Rock constitutive relations and property testing;
  • Numerical and physical modeling for rock engineering;
  • Information technology, artificial intelligence and other advanced techniques;
  • Underground and surface excavation and reinforcement techniques;
  • Dynamic rock mechanics and blasting;
  • Predication and prevention of Geo-environmental hazard;
  • Case studies of typical rock engineering.
  • Proceedings of the Symposium
The proceedings of the Symposium including 193 papers were named “Rock Mechanics: Achievements and Ambitions” and published by Taylor and Francis/Balkema. Professor John. Hudson wrote a preface for the Proceedings.

The symposium was attended by about 250 young scholars and experts from 17 countries attended the Symposium : Afghanistan, Bapua New Guinea, Benin, Brazil, Canada, Chad, China, Cote D'Ivoire, East Timor, England, Gango (Democratic Republic), Hazakhstan, Mongolia, Portugal, Rwanda and Uganda.

Prof. John Hudson, the president of ISRM, Prof. Xiating Feng , the elected president of ISRM and Prof. Peter Caser presented the opening ceremony. Prof. Meifeng Cai, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Symposium made opening speech.

Three keynote lectures, fifty oral presentations of the selected papers, a presentation by the winner of the ISRM slide show competition and a panel discussion about ISRM young scholars issues were made in the Symposium.

Jinping II - The world's largest tunnel group is broken through

On December 8th, 2011, the last one of the world's largest tunnel group is broken through at the job-site of Jinping II Hydropower Project on Yalong River, Sichuan, China. The project is a symbol in the great scheme of Western China Development and the power transmission from west to east. The tunnel group contains four power tunnels, one drainage tunnel and two traffic tunnels. The overall length is about 120km. The other three power tunnels were drilled through respectively on June 6th, August 16th, and October 20th.

The four power tunnels running through the mountain Jinping are in parallel. The average depth of the overburden is between 1,500m and 2,000m (with the maximal 2,525m), the average length of the tunnels from the intake to the surge chamber is 16.67km, and the excavated diameter changes from 12.4m (TBM boring section) to 13.0m (D&B section). These make it the world’s largest and deepest tunnel group.

During four years construction since August 16th, 2007, a series of difficulties including long blind heading, sudden water inflow under high pressure, rock burst under high ground stress, and long tunnel ventilation were overcome. The success in fighting with all these world-class challenges is a huge progress in geotechnical engineering.

Wang Jimin and Jiao Kai
Ertan Hydropower Development Company, Ltd., Chengdu, Sichuan, China,610051.

International Journal of the Japanese Committee for Rock Mechanics - an electronic journal

The International Journal of the JCRM aims to provide a forum for the dissemination of high quality original researches and comprehensive reviews in the field of Rock Mechanics / Rock Engineering, and to enhance the technology by focusing on best practice. The Journal welcomes practical, relevant articles covering the broad range of interests within the field of Rock Mechanics / Rock Engineering. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following: theory, exploration, test, design, analysis, construction, risk management, environmental preservation, and monitoring, for the purpose of surface & underground works such as mines, slopes, tunnels, caverns, dams, bridges, energy facilities, HLW disposal, etc.

Submitted manuscripts should have a high scientific or technological content, and should make a significant contribution to Rock Mechanics / Rock Engineering. At the very least, relevant references to possible sound application, of how the paper contributes to the better understanding of applications should be included in the articles. All original manuscripts are reviewed by at least two appropriate reviewers in the field of the submitted paper.

The researchers and the engineers who have ISRM (International Society for Rock Mechanics) membership or JCRM student membership can have a right to submit their own articles to this journal (At least, one of the authors for the article should be an ISRM member or JCRM student member.). Each article in the web site is stored in the forms of PDF. It is not necessary to register to read all the articles in this journal site. Also the download of the articles is completely FREE.

CRC Press / Balkema - Special Online Offer for ISRM Members

The CRC Press has a special online offer for ISRM Members on selected books for orders before 1 March 2012 . Click here to download the brochure .

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© 2011 ISRM; Editor: Luís Lamas; Webmaster: Ricardo Resende

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