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No. 18 - June 2012


Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the ISRM

The ISRM was founded in Salburg in 1962 and is now commemorating its 50th anniversary. The celebrations started last October during the 12th Congress in Beijing, and continue during one year, with a number of initiatives, until they are closed in Salzburg at the 61st Geomechanics Colloquy next October. At the 2012 ISRM International Symposium, in Stockholm, last May, a Commemorative Book was launched and an Historical Exhibition was displayed.

The Commemorative Book has been compiled to celebrate ISRM’s 50-year anniversary by outlining the background to the formation of the ISRM and the most significant activities during the 50 years. Click here to download the book leaflet with the contents and information on how to purchase it .

The Historical Exhibition is composed of six panels, describing the main milestones in the development of the ISRM during these 50 years. It will be displayed at the forthcoming ISRM sponsored events during 2012 and it has also been made available to the National Groups for printing and displaying. Click here to see the panels on the ISRM website .

Invitation to the 2nd SASORE, Costa Rica, 7 to 9 August 2012

The International Society for Rock Mechanics together with the Costa Rican Association for Geotechnics (ACG) are very proud to invite you to gather with us at the 2nd South American Symposium on Rock Excavation - SASORE . If you are a Rock Mechanics Professional, working in mines or civil works in South and Central America or the Caribbean, this is an extraordinary opportunity to meet your colleagues, to improve your skills and to actualize your knowledge in almost any important field in

The Symposium will have three main speakers from Europe. First, Professor Manuel Romana will give 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. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering.

Three main speakers from South American will join the event. Professor Tarcísio 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.

Topics of the 2nd SASORE are:

  • Rock mass characterization
  • Soft and weak rocks
  • Underground excavations on fractured and faulted rocks
  • Rock slope stability analysis and reinforcement
  • Measurement of in situ stresses
  • Numerical analysis of rock excavations
  • Foundations on rock

For full details about the 2nd SASORE visit the conference website at .

Let’s meet at Costa Rica, one of the most peaceful, democratic and joyful countries of the world. Join us to share experiences and knowledge. Be part of the South American community of professionals involved in the passionate world of rocks.

Welcome! We hope to meet you at the Second South American Symposium on Rock Excavations.

2nd SASORE Organising Committee

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Invitation to ARMS 7, Seoul, Korea, 15-19 October 2012

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 Korea. We have received over 260 abstracts from 30 countries so far and we will make every effort to make the event successful. On behalf of the KSRM, I am delighted to welcome all of you and look forward to meeting you in Seoul.

Dr. Kong-Chang Han
President of KSRM

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International Conference for Effective and Sustainable Hydraulic Fracturing - HF2013
20-22 May 2013, Brisbane, Australia

This conference will advance the effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing for the energy producing and mining industries and beyond. HF2013 is co-organised and sponsored by CSIRO, the University of Utah's Energy and Geoscience Institute, the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) and the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS). This ISRM Sponsored Specialized Conference will focus on three technical themes:
  • Advancing Effectiveness presenting the latest advances in simulation, theory, field procedures, laboratory experimentation and case studies.
  • Exploring Versatility presenting methods and lessons from a diversity of application domains.
  • Promoting Sustainability driving toward differentiation between real and perceived risks, deployment of viable controls and beneficial public engagement.
Abstract submissions are due by 1 August 2012. For further information, please click here to visit the conference website .

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ISRM International Symposium EUROCK 2013 - Abstract submission has been opened

The EUROCK 2013 ' Rock Mechanics for Resources, Energy and Environment ' will take place in Wroclaw, Poland, 26 to 26 September 2013, organised by the Polish Society for Rock Mechanics and the Institute of Geotechnics and Hydrotechnics of the Wroclaw University of Technology. This conference will be the 2013 International Symposium, where the ISRM Board, Council and Commissions will meet.

Abstracts can be submitted online at the conference website until 15 October. For complete information on the conference click here to visit the EUROCK 2013 website .

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ISRM sponsored meetings

  • 7-9 August 2012, San José, Costa Rica – 2nd SASORE – South American Congress on Rock Excavations : the 2012 ISRM South American Regional Symposium
  • 15-19 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
  • 18-20 June 2013, Shanghai, China Rock Characterization, Modelling and Engineering Design Methods : 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 2013 ISRM International Symposium
  • 26-28 May 2014, Vigo, Spain - Rock Engineering and Rock Mechanics: Structures in and on Rock Masses : the 2014 ISRM European Regional Symposium
  • 15-17 October 2014, Sapporo, Japan – ARMS 8 – Rock Mechanics for Global Issues - Natural Disasters, Environment and Energy: the 2014 ISRM International Symposium
  • 10-13 May 2015, Montreal, Canada: 13th International Congress on Rock Mechanics
  • 7-9 October 2015, Salzburg, Austria, EUROCK 2015 – the 64th Geomechanics Colloquy : the 2015 ISRM European Regional Symposium

Click here to view the list of ISRM Sponsored Conferences .

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Report from the ISRM International Symposium EUROCK 2012

The yearly ISRM Technical and Cultural Filed Trip took place 24-25 May, before the actual Symposium started. With Ove Stephansson as tour guide the 24 participants went to the mining districts of the north.

The two technical Workshops on Sunday 27 May had many participants and were followed by a Welcome Reception in the evening. Chairman of the ISRM National group of Sweden, Eva Hakami, had a personal welcome speech.

Monday morning 28 May started with the opening ceremony at the Golden Hall. Per Tengborg, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, opened the Symposium, followed by a welcome address by the Swedish Minister of Infrastructure Ms Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd. The ISRM President Xia-Ting Feng had an opening speech and thereafter Past President John A Hudson gave a summary of the past 50 years since ISRM was founded.

The Rocha medal was awarded Dr Maria Teresa Zandarin from Argentina and handed over by the ISRM President. An introduction to the technical program was made by two keynote lectures; Robert Sturk, Skanska-Vinci, on Environmetal Issues in Civil Engineering Construction and Roger Flanagan, University of Reading, UK on Risk Management. Both lectures were innovative, interesting, very well presented and appreciated.

Tuesday 29 May , in the morning the ISRM Lecture was presented by José Muralha from LNEC, Portugal and the ISRM President handed over the award. The program continued with two keynote lectures; Johan Andersson, SKB, on the topic ”Interface between Geoscience, Safety and Underground Design. Experiences from the Spent Nuclear Fuel Repository Project in Sweden” and Håkan Stille, KTH, on ”Rock Grouting in Tunnel Construction – Models and Design”. In the evening a ”Young Members Presidential Group” meeting was arranged together with the ISRM.

The Symposium Gala Dinner took place in the Vasa museum and 180 persons participated. After a welcome drink and greeting, a guided tour of the Vasa sail ship from year 1628 took place. After a delicious dinner around the ship a big band jazz orchestra was entertaining.

Wednesday 30 May , at the closing ceremony, Frederic Pellet as ISRM Vice President for Europe handed over the ”Eurock Award” for the best paper presented by a young researcher/engineer to Mashuqur Rahman at Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm. Thereafter, Frederic Pellet thanked the organizers for a well performed event. Per Tengborg closed the event by thanking everybody involved.

Technical sessions were Monday to Wednesday on ten different topics.
Poster presentations took place on Tuesday and Wednesday in an area near the exhibition.
Company exhibition was open from Monday to Wednesday in an area where the coffee was served.
An ISRM historical exhibition with six panels was exposed in the main lecture hall during the whole symposium.

Thursday 31 May four different technical tours were made in and outside of Stockholm.

Per Tengborg & Eva Friedman
Eurock 2012 Organising Committee

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ISRM membership all-time record

The ISRM has now 6,783 individual members (an all-time record) and 140 corporate members, belonging to 49 National Groups. This represents an increase of 4% in the number of individual members since the last year. 46% of the members come from Europe, while Asia has been the fastest growing region in the last years.

The evolution of the total membership of the ISRM since its creation in 1962 is characterised by an initial fast growth—resulting from the impact of the 1st Congress and the creation of the National Groups, which catapulted the membership to over 4,000 in 1970—followed by a slower increase, with some oscillations. These are mainly connected with specific circumstances of some National Groups, the influence of the economic cycles, and the impulses given by the major meetings of the ISRM.

Europe, which at the beginning was by far the most important region, still accounts for 46% of the members. Asia, with a steady growth, is now the second most important region, with 26%, followed by North America, with 11%. Africa and Australasia have both 6%, and South America accounts for the remaining 4%. The number of National Groups had a steep increase to 36 in the years 1966–1979, and thereafter a slow growth, reaching now 49. The
ISRM has currently 140 corporate members, predominantly from Europe and Asia.

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ISRM Board meeting in Stockholm before the Eurock 2012

The ISRM Board met on 26 May in Stockholm, Sweden before the 2012 ISRM International Symposium, Eurock 2012. Among other issues, the current modernisation initiatives were discussed. In particular, the Board focused on the Young Members Presidential Group, which has recently been formed with members appointed by the NGs up to 35 years of age, on the steps being given towards the creation of the ISRM Foundation for Education and on the creation of an ISRM book series where books produced by the Commissions can be published.

The ISRM Board 201-2015: ltr Zhou Yingxin, António Samaniego, David Beck,
Yuso Onishi, Frederic Pellet, Sofia Meess (executive secretary), John Tinucci,
Ivan Vrkljan, Xia-Ting Feng, Luís Lamas, Manoj Vermon and Jaques Lucas.

Rocha Medal 2013: winner and runners-up were selected

The ISRM Rocha Award Committe decided to award the Rocha Medal 2013 to Dr Mathew Pierce from Canada for the thesis “A model for gravity flow of fragmented rock in block caving mines” presented at the University of Queensland, Australia. He will receive the award at the 2013 ISRM International Symposium in Wroclaw, Poland.

Two runner-up certificates were also awarded to Dr He Lei, from China, for the thesis “Three dimensional numerical manifold method and rock engineering applications” presented at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and to Dr Andrea Perino, from Italy, for the thesis “Wave propagation through discontinuous media in rock engineering” presented at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

Membership certificates can now be obtained online

The ISRM has been implementing a new membership management system, which facilitates the way the Society manages the members' data and also the way members interact with the Society. One important step was given earlier this year with the direct link between the databases of OnePetro, where our digital library is stored, and ours.

One more step was now given. ISRM members can obtain their membership certificate automatically online. To obtain your certificate, login using your member number and password, click on "My Account" and then on "Generate Certificate", on the bottom of the page.

A new browser window with a PDF file of your ISRM Membership Certificate for the last year paid. Click "Save file as", in your browser to save it in your computer.

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Technical journal launched by the ISRM National Group of India

ISRM (India) Journal is a half yearly journal of the Indian National Group of the ISRM, which is involved in dissemination of information on rock mechanics, and its related activities in the field of foundation and abutments of dams, tunnel engineering, mining, underground works, rock slope stability, road works, etc.

The aim of the journal is to encourage exchange of ideas and information between rock mechanics practitioners worldwide. The journal provides an information service to all concerned with Rock Mechanics about the development of techniques, new trends, experience gained by others to enable updating of knowledge. The original manuscripts that enhance the level of research and contribute new developments to the Rock Mechanics are encouraged. The journal is expected to exchange ideas and information between Rock Mechanics practitioners, help researchers, technologist and policy makers in the key sector of Water Resources, Infrastructure Development (including underground works), Hydro Power, Mining and Petroleum Engineering, etc. to enhance their understanding of it. The Journal has both print and online versions. Being peer-reviewed, the journal publishes original research reports, review papers and communications screened by the Editorial Board, consisting of renowned experts.

"Hydrogeology for Rock Engineers" by Gunnar Gustafson published by BeFo with ISRM sponsorship

The book "Hydrogeology for Rock Engineers" by Gunnar Gustafson, originaly written in Swedish, was translated into English and published by BeFo, the Swedish Rock Engineering Research Foundation, with ISRM sponsorship.

The book provides a review of the current knowledge about the hydrogeology of the crystalline basement, and explains how this can be applied in practical methods for use in site investigations, layout and design, as well as in the operation of tunnels and underground facilities.

Gunnar Gustafson (1945–2011), Professor Emeritus of Geology at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, was a successful hydrogeologist and civil engineer. He was active as a researcher, lecturer and consultant.

News from Europe

Eurock conference, held from May 28th to May 31st in Stockholm, Sweden was a success with more than 350 participants. During this conference, the Eurock award was given to M. Mashuqur Rahman from the Royal Institute of Technology - Stockholm for his paper entitled “Grout pump characteristics evaluated with the ultrasound velocity profiling”.

On May 3rd, the French group, organized in Paris a half day conference on hydraulic fracturing. During this conference, organized by Marc Panet, Prof. François Cornet presented two presentations on hydraulical stimulation for deep geothermal reservoirs.

The 4th Traditional International Colloquium on Geomechanics and Geophysics was held in Ostravice, Czech Republic in June 2012. It was dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Institute of Geonics AS CR. This symposium, chaired by Prof. Petr Konicek, was jointly organized by the Czech National Group of ISRM and the Institute of Geonics AS CR in cooperation with Green Gas DPB Inc. General partner of this event was OKD mining company. The International Colloquium enabled meeting of the experts mainly from the mining geomechanics, geophysics as well as geotechnical engineering. At this international colloquium, almost 90 experts met from Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Poland and Slovakia. Main topics of this symposium were reinforcing of mines, dynamic effects of blasting, geomechanical experiments in the laboratory and in-situ, risk of tremors and induced seismicity. One of the main goals of the colloquium was harmonizing the needs of practice with scientific and research areas to set their further effective cooperation.
Four keynote lectures, nineteen oral presentations and four poster presentations of selected papers were presented in the Symposium. Keynote speakers were Prof. O. Stephansson from Germany presenting “World stress databases and rock stress models as resources for rock mechanics and rock engineering” and Prof. Y. Obara from Japan with presentation „Cross-sectional borehole deformation method (CBDM) for measurement of rock stress change“. Prof. J. Drzewiecki from Poland spoke about „Directed rock mass fracturing ahead of long wall face as a consequence of the intensity of exploitation“ and Prof. G. Mutke also from Poland presented the lecture “Registrations of seismic foci under mining coal seam“.

The proceedings of the colloquium contain 28 extended abstracts. Selected papers will be published in the impacted Journal Acta Geodynamica et Geomaterialia (2013, vol. 2). The organizers invite all potential participants to the Czech Republic for the next International Colloquium on Geomechanics and Geophysics in 2014.

The French national conference on geotechnical engineering is going to be held in Bordeaux from July 4th to July 6th ( ).

The 61st Geomechanics Colloquium will be held in Salzburg from October 10th to October 13th, 2012. During the conference, the 50 years of ISRM and the 50 years of NATM will be celebrated ( ). Over 1000 participants are expected this year.

The next Eurock Symposia will be held in Wroclaw, Poland in 2013 ( ), in Vigo, Spain, in 2014 and in Salzburg, Austria, in 2015.

Frédéric Pellet
ISRM Vice President for Europe

International Top-level Forum on Engineering Science and Technology Development Strategy

International Top-level Forum on Engineering Science and Technology Development Strategy — Safe Construction and Risk Management of Major Underground Engineering was held successfully on 18-19 May 2012, Wuhan, China. It was sponsored by Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) and organized by CAE Division of Engineering Management, CAE Division of Civil, Hydraulic and Architecture Engineering, Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Professors John Hudson, Charles Fairhurst, Ted Brown, Peter Kaiser, Yossef Hatzor, Qian Qihu, Zheng Yingren, Ma Hongqi, Zhou Fengjun, Xia-Ting Feng, Ding Lieyun, Tang Chun’an, He Manchao, Li Shucai, Dr. Nick Barton, Mr. Kevin Riemer etc. have been invited to give keynote lectures. Prof. Zhou Ji, President of Chinese Academy of Engineering gave a welcome speech and a summary speech. As co-Chairmen, Professors Hudson and Qian also gave welcome speeches and hosted the roundtable panel discussion. More than 20 Academicians from Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, Canadian Royal Academy of Engineering, Chinese Academy of Engineering and Chinese Academy of Sciences have participated in the Forum and panel discussion.

During the roundtable panel discussion, strategy of science and technology development of underground engineering in the next 20 years, including
1) How to enhance management of the safety and risk in underground engineering
2) Development of science and technology:
a) Mechanism, prediction and control of rockburst and water inrush
b) Design theory for the safety of underground engineering
c) Risk assessment theory

Based on the discussion, the recommendation for strategy of science and technology development of underground engineering in the next 20 years has been made.

Xia-Ting Feng
President, ISRM

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The World largest underground powerhouse will be excavated soon in China

The world largest underground powerhouse at Baihetan hydropower station, Jingshajiang River, China will be excavated soon in the rock masses composed of tuff, interlayer shear weakness zones (Figure 1), and basalt with columnar-shaped joints (Figures 2 and 3). The measured maximum in situ stress is about 30MPa. The underground powerhouse covers both sides of the river in the downstream direction and is composed of a main powerhouse, a transformer chamber and three surge shafts on each river bank, the dimensions of which are about 438m x 34/31m x 86.7m, 368m x 21m x 39.5m, and about 50m x 100m, respectively. The total Installed generating capacity of the hydropower station is 16000MW, consisted of 16 generating sets of 1000MW.

Xia-Ting Feng
ISRM President

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Header image credits:  50th Anniversary of the ISRM Commemorative Book
© 2012 ISRM; Editor: Luís Lamas; Webmaster: Ricardo Resende

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