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No. 20 - December 2012


President’s 2013 New Year Address

Dear ISRM Members,

Another year full of activities passed and the New Year is now starting. As usual, it is time for a balance of what we did at the ISRM in the last 12 months and for announcing our plans for 2013.

The year 2012 was marked by the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the ISRM, which had started during the 12th Congress in Beijing, in October 2011. A commemorative anniversary book and a historical exhibition were launched during our International Symposium in Stockholm. They were displayed at all the ISRM conferences of 2012, at the 46th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium and also at the 61st Geomechanics Colloquy, in Salzburg, the town where the Society was founded by Professor Leopold Müller in 1962, and where the one-year-period of celebrations was symbolically closed. Throughout the year we have been using the commemorative logo that won a competition open to young members.

The new Board started its functions right after the end of the 12th Congress, but it wasn’t until January 2012 that the team was complete, with the joining of Manoj Verman, from India, as Vice President at Large.

T he ISRM International Symposium was held in May, in Stockholm, in conjunction with the Eurock 2012. Two Regional Symposia took place: the II South American Symposium on Rock Excavations in Costa Rica and the Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium – ARMS7 in Korea.

The Young Members Presidential Group – YMPG was established, comprising of a young member nominated by each National Group. The team presented a number of excellent suggestions for tasks to the President in November for an initial discussion.

The Board of the Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies (FedIGS) from which the ISRM is a member, met in May, in Stockholm, where inter-society cooperation was debated.

The number of ISRM Commissions was enlarged to the current number of 15. In November, the Board approved two new ISRM Suggested Methods prepared by the Commission on Testing Methods, which were published.

Two new countries joined the ISRM as National Groups: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania. The ISRM reached 50 National Groups and an all-time record of individual members, which is now over 6,750.

The website was continuously updated with new materials. We published the 2011 issue of the ISRM News Journal in January and four quarterly Newsletters. The ISRM Digital Library was constantly updated and we now have the proceedings of 25 past conferences available for download.

Sadly, we received the news that our Past President Prof. John Franklin deceased in July. One of the last decisions of the Board in 2012 was to honour John Franklin by renaming the existing ISRM Lecture as the ISRM Franklin Lecture. We were also saddened by the loss of Dr. François Heuzé, who served as Vice President for North America from 2003 to 2007.

The Board discussed many new initiatives, such as an ISRM book series, a foundation for education, a multilingual rock mechanics dictionary, an ISRM online lectures series, or an international platform on underground nuclear power plants. You will hear about their development during the coming year.

In 2013, we will have a comprehensive programme of ISRM sponsored conferences. The International Symposium will take place in Wroclaw, Poland, in September, in conjunction with the Eurock 2013. This is where the ISRM Council, Board and Commission will meet. Before the symposium, a number of short courses will take place. Let us gather there to share our experiences and exchange our views for our future.

Three Specialised Conferences on relevant topics will also take place in 2013:
  • the International Conference for Effective and Sustainable Hydraulic Fracturing in May, in Brisbane, Australia,
  • the 3rd SINOROCK on Rock Characterization, Modelling and Engineering Design Methods in June, in Shanghai, China, and
  • the 6th International Symposium on In Situ Rock Stress in August, in Sendai, Japan.
Finally, it is important to remember that your contribution and involvement in the ISRM activities are essential for the development and the success of our society. We would very much appreciate your time and effort in this regard.

I wish you a Happy New Year!

Xia-Ting Feng
President, ISRM

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ISRM 50-years anniversary celebrations closed in October in Salzburg, at the Geomechanics Colloquy

The celebrations of the 50-years anniversary of the ISRM started in October 2011 in Beijing, during the 12th ISRM Congress, had a peak during the EUROCK 2012 in Stockholm, last May, and symbolically closed in October 2012 during the 61st Geomechanics Colloquy in Salzburg, the same city where ISRM was founded, in 1962.

A number of activities took place during this year of celebrations:

  • A competition, open to ISRM members, to create the 50th anniversary logo, which was used throughout the year of 2012, won by our member Dr Ludger Suarez-Burgoa.
  • A competition open to young members of the ISRM to present their vision of “The Future Directions for Engineering Rock Mechanics”, won by Dr Ricardo Resende.
  • A 50th anniversary commemorative banquet held during the ISRM Congress in Beijing on 21 October 2011, where Dr Nuno Grossmann made a presentation on the life of the Society during its first 50 years.
  • The publication of the "ISRM 50th Anniversary Commemorative Book - 1962-2012", edited by Prof. John Hudson and Dr Luís Lamas. This 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. It includes contributions from the living Past Presidents of the ISRM and from the Regional Vice Presidents. This full colour book, with 200 pages, can be purchased from the ISRM Secretariat.
  • A Historical Exhibition including six panels describing the main milestones in the development of the ISRM during these 50 years, starting with the constitutional meeting on 25 May 1962 in Salzburg and the First Congress in Lisbon in 1966. Reference is made to the main technical achievements, namely through the ISRM Commissions and Congresses, to the most important publications and to the main technical concerns of the Society along the years. The evolution of the membership and the location of the venues of the ISRM conferences are also presented.
  • The Commemorative Book and the Historical Exhibition were displayed at all the ISRM conferences of 2012, at the 46th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium and also at the 61st Geomechanics Colloquy, in Salzburg.
  • A commemorative session at the Geomechanics Colloquy in Salzburg, with the presence of Dr Franz Pacher, one of the founders of the ISRM,

Closing session of the 50th anniversary celebrations in October 2012, in Salzburg, during the 61st Geomechanics Coloquy:
addresses by Prof. Wulf Schubert, Dr Nuno Grossmann and Prof. Xia-Ting Feng.

Dr Franz Pacher—that together with Prof. Leopold Müller put forward the idea of creating the ISRM—gave an interview
allusive to the foundation of the ISRM and was present at the commemorative ceremony.

ISRM Franklin Lecture instituted to honour the memory of late Past President Professor John Franklin

The ISRM Board decided to institute the ISRM Franklin Lecture to honour the memory of Professor John Franklin (1940-2012), President of the International Society for Rock Mechanics from 1987 to 1991.  Among his uncountable contributions to our Society, John Franklin has organised and directed the preparation of most of the ISRM "Suggested Methods" for rock testing.

The purpose of the ISRM Franklin Lecture is to recognise a mid-career ISRM member who has made a significant contribution to a specific area of rock mechanics and/or rock engineering. It will be given in every year, at the ISRM International Symposium, except for those years when the 4-yearly ISRM Congress is held. This lecture will replace the existing ISRM annual lecture.

The ISRM Franklin Lecturer will be selected by the Board. He shall be based in the region where the ISRM International Symposium is being held that year, and will be required to give a keynote presentation on the subject of his/her expertise.

The ISRM Franklin Lecture will be published in the ISRM News Journal.

The 2013 ISRM Franklin Lecture will be given in Wroclaw, Poland, during the 2013 International Symposium, by Dr Andreas Goricki from Austria.

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ISRM Online Lectures Series: a new initiative to start in February 2013

The ISRM Board has discussed a number of initiatives to be implemented in the short term, in order to give more benefits to the members and to serve better the rock mechanics community. One of them, which will start very soon, is the ISRM Online Lectures Series. Experts in different fields of rock mechanics will be invited to give a lecture on a specific topic. Each lecture will be broadcast from the ISRM website at a predefined date and time, and the attendees will be able to ask questions to the lecturer by e-mail, on the topic of the lecture, during the subsequent 48 hours. The ISRM Online Lectures will remain available on the ISRM website in a dedicated webpage.

Our plans are to organise four Online Lectures per year. The first one will be broadcast on 19 February, at 10 a.m. GMT, and it will remain online so that those those unable to attend at this time will be able to do it later. In order to know what is the correspondence between GMT and your local time, just look for GMT in your Internet search engine.

For the first Online Lecture the ISRM President decided that it would be a good opportunity to listen to the developments in the well-known New Austrian Tunnelling Method, now that it formally completed 50 years of existence. The invited speaker will be Prof. Wulf Schubert from Austria, and the title of his lecture will be "50 years NATM - from a construction method to a system".

Prof. Schubert is head of the Institute for Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling at the Graz University of Technology, where he teaches in the Bachelor and Master program, as well as in the post-graduate course “NATM Engineer”. Under his guidance about 70 Master theses and 20 PhD theses have been prepared.  Besides the University activities he consults on international projects as a partner of 3G - Gruppe Geotechnik Graz Consulting Engineers. He served as Vice President at Large for the ISRM from 1999 to 2003 and is President of the Austrian Society for Geomechanics since 2007.

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Former ISRM Vice President Dr François Huezé passed away

Dr François Huezé, former ISRM Vice-President for North America (2003-2007), passed away on 8 October 2012 after fighting a long illness, at the age of 70.

He was born in Algeria in 1941 and started his career in the long-wall coal mines of eastern France in 1962. He moved to the United States at 25, where he graduated from UC Berkeley with a PhD in Civil Engineering. As an educator, researcher and consultant, he worked and published in all areas of Rock Mechanics: in-situ testing and monitoring, numerical and physical modelling and laboratory testing. He was acknowledged as a world-renowned expert in Rock Mechanics and Geological Engineering, and his last position was as Leader of Geotechnical Programs at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

Dr Heuzé was President of the ISRM National Group of the USA, ARMA, a most active ISRM Vice-President for North America during the term 2003-2007 and a candidate to the ISRM Presidency.

The Rock Mechanics fraternity is poorer and, at this time, our thoughts are with his family and close friends.

ARMS7 was held in Seoul, Korea, with great success

The 7th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS7) was held from 15 to 19 October in Seoul, South Korea, organized by the Korean Society for Rock Mechanics. A total of 314 participants from 32 countries, of which 167 were from overseas, enjoyed eight invited lectures, one special workshop, two short courses, and two technical tours.

ARMS7 was preceded by the ‘Students’ Night’ sponsored by ISRM Young Members Presidential Group which is the first initiative by KSRM in order to encourage active participation by young members. KSRM made a special initiative in providing a scholarship to eight young members from Asia. Four members were given full airfares, accommodations and registration waivers, and the other four were given registration waivers only. KSRM sincerely hope that this can be an example for other conferences by a way of encouraging young members in rock mechanically less-developed countries. Short reports by two Scholarship winners can be downloaded here .

The ISRM commission on DDA arranged a special workshop and two two-day short courses were organised: one on Reservoir Geomechanics given by Prof Maurice Dusseault and the other on Mining Geomechanics by Drs Bo-Hyun Kim and Fidelis Suorineni. Two interesting technical tours were organised and well attended.

Eight keynote lectures, 169 papers including 41 posters were presented in 21 sessions including two special sessions on ‘Reservoir Geomechanics’ and ‘Structural Geology’. The ARMS Best Paper Awards were given in the general category and in the young member category. The ARMS best poster awards were also given.

The ARMS7 was highly successful with many participants and a variety of programs. It was shown that Asia was becoming the center of rock mechanics activities with greater potential. This event was indeed a timely celebration of the past Asian rock mechanics activities since the inauguration of ARMS fifteen years ago in the same place, COEX in Seoul.

On behalf of Korean National Group, we thank all the participants and contributors who have helped the success of ARMS7. We look forward to the 8th ARMS which will take place in Sapporo in Japan in Oct 2014.

The ARMS7 Organising Committee

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ISRM 2013 International Symposium EUROCK 2013 - full papers to be submitted by 15 March

The EUROCK 2013 "Rock Mechanics for Resources, Energy and Environment" will take place in Wroclaw, Poland, from 23 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 ISRM 2013 International Symposium, where the ISRM official meetings will take place. The Council and the Commissions will meet on 22 September.

More than 230 abstracts were received and notification of acceptance/rejection will be sent to each first author by e-mail by 15 January. Full papers shall be submitted by 15 March. Five keynote lectures will be presented:
  • Pierre Bérest - " Viscoplasticity of rock salt"
  • Józef Dubiński - " The mechanisms and consequences of strong mining tremors occurring in Polish hard coal and copper mines"
  • Maurice Dusseault - " Geomechanical aspects of shale gas exploitation"
  • John A. Hudson - " An Overview of Underground Rock Engineering Risk"
  • Heinz Konietzky - " Sensitivity analysis and robust design optimisation for geotechnical applications"
The 1st ISRM Franklin Lecture will be delivered by Dr Andreas Goricki from Austria and the Rocha Award presentation will be by Dr. Matthew Pierce from Canada.

For complete information on the conference click here to visit the EUROCK 2013 website .

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An update on the International Conference for Effective and Sustainable Hydraulic Fracturing - HF2013

This conference HF2013 will be held in Brisbane, Australia, during 20-22 May 2013 It 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).

The program will include podium or poster presentations that accompany full-length papers, invited presentations, and an exciting line up of keynote speakers that includes Prof. Charles Fairhurst, Dr Reinhard Jung, Prof Jim Rice, Mr Mike Vincent, Mr Carl Montgomery and Dr Norm Warpinski.

Paper submission deadline is 1 January 2013 for review, and deadline for submission of revised papers for inclusion in the proceedings is 1 March 2013 .

An update on the third ISRM SINOROCK Symposium

The third ISRM SINOROCK Symposium on "Rock Characterisation, Modelling and Engineering Design Methods" will be held in Shanghai during 18-20 June 2013. (The first SINOROCK was held at the Three Gorges Dam Project site in 2004 and the second was held at the University of Hong Kong in 2009.) The Symposium will concentrate on developing the rock engineering design process through the linkage of rock characterisation, modelling and design methods, including feedback from the construction process itself. The SINOROCK Lecture will be given by Professor Ted Brown and there is a full associated complement of Keynote Speakers covering the main subject areas. More than 200 abstracts have been accepted. A 1-day short course on “Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics Input to Analyses and Modelling for Rock Engineering” will immediately precede the Symposium.

An update on the 6th Rock Stress Symposium RS2013

The 6th International Symposium on In situ Rock Stress RS2013 is an ISRM Specialised Conference aimed at promoting integration between geophysics, tectonics and rock mechanics through discussion on the topics related to rock stress at a wide variety of depth ranging from tens of meters to tens of kilometers. Please join us for this exciting event in Sendai, Japan!

We are pleased to announce that around 160 abstracts from 20 countries were submitted. Authors will be notified by 31 January of their abstracts acceptance, and full papers shall be submitted by 31 May. Eight invited lecturers have already been selected and t he following five keynote lectures will be delivered:
  • François H. Cornet, France - "Integration of stress data and methods"
  • James J. Mori, Japan - " Earthquake and stress"
  • Shaun Murphy, South Africa - " Mining-induced seismicity"
  • Koji Yamamoto, Japan - " Offshore production test of methane hydrates in Japan"
  • Mark D. Zoback, U.S.A. - " Geomechanics for energy resource development"
A one day workshop on “Earthquake and stress” will take place just prior to the RS2013, sponsored by KANAME and RS2013. KANAME is a research project on super deep drilling to seismogenic zone in Japan: click here to visit the KANAME website . W e expect to have invited and general presentations on the following topics:
  • Reviews of the Tohoku earthquake and other large earthquakes
  • Earthquake cycle model
  • Integration of numerical simulation, in situ measurements and laboratory experiments
  • Evidences to show the role of stress by in-situ observations and laboratory experiment
  • Future strategy
Two field trips will be organised:
  • Area Attacked by the 2011 Earthquake Tsunami & Paleo-tsunami deposition
  • Aratozawa Landslide & Cultural Tour in Hiraizumi

First bulletin of the ISRM 2014 International Symposium - ARMS8, in Japan, was released

The Japanese Committee for Rock Mechanics (Japan National Group for ISRM) is pleased to invite you to the 8th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS8), the 2014 ISRM International Symposium, to be held on 14-16 October 2014 in Sapporo, Japan.

The theme of the symposium is ‘Rock Mechanics for Global Issues - Natural Disasters, Environment and Energy’. The goal of the symposium is to respond to those issues and to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences in various areas of the rock mechanics and rock engineering.

ISRM sponsored meetings

  • 20-22 May 2013, Brisbane, Australia – The International Conference for Effective and Sustainable Hydraulic Fracturing: an ISRM Specialized Conference
  • 18-20 June 2013, Shanghai, China – SINOROCK 2013 – 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
  • 27-29 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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A massive Global Energy Assessment study involved experts from around the world

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria has completed a massive Global Energy Assessment study involving experts from around the world. The report is available for downloading at the following site: .

One of our ISRM Members, Dr Maurice Dusseault, and his graduate student Ali Shafiei, contributed important sections related to non-conventional petroleum energy sources, with a focus on viscous oil production methods and environmental issues. Dr Dusseault is the President of the Petroleum Geomechanics Commission of the ISRM, and the contributions that he has made to heavy oil development engineering have been related to his training and experience in Rock Mechanics.

Dr Dusseault and Ali Shafiei also recently contributed a new Chapter on Oil Sands for the well-known Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, an industry standard knowledge base published by Wiley: Dusseault MB, Shafiei A. 2011. Oil Sands. Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. 52 pages . This chapter evaluates world oil sand resources and summarizes many aspects of resource magnitude and production approaches.

Maurice Dusseault

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Journal of the ISRM National Group of India

The ISRM (India) Journal was launched earlier in 2012. It is a half yearly technical 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.

ISRM Secretariat, c/o LNEC, Av. Brasil, 101, 1700-066 Lisboa, PORTUGAL
Tel: (+351) 218443419; Fax: (+351) 218443021; Website: ; E-mail:
© 2012 ISRM; Editor: Luís Lamas; Webmaster: Ricardo Resende
Header image: Digitalization of natural rock fracture - Ricardo Resende

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