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No. 21 - March 2013


The 2nd ISRM Online Lecture will be given by Prof. John Hudson on 28 May 2013

For the second Online Lecture the ISRM President invited the ISRM Immediate Past President Prof. John Hudson, and the title of his lecture will be "Solving the Unsolved Problems in Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering".

The Lecture will be broadcast on 28 May, 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.

As usual, 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.

Professor John Hudson is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College in the UK. He has spent his career working on rock mechanics and rock engineering for both civil and mining engineering applications. In addition to teaching rock mechanics at many universities and completing more than 150 consulting assignments worldwide, he has written many papers and books on the subject. He was President of the International Society for Rock Mechanics from 2007 to 2011 and is currently responsible for the ISRM Commission on Modern Design Methodology. Professor Hudson has a particular interest in new approaches to solving rock mechanics and rock engineering problems.

The first ISRM Online Lecture was given in February by Prof. Wulf Schubert. We received a positive feed back of the lecture and of this new initiative approvel by the Board. All the ISRM Online Lectures will remain available on the ISRM website in this dedicated webpage (click to open in a new window) .

Election of the ISRM President for 2015-2019

The ISRM Council, at its meeting in Wroclaw, Poland, on 22 September, during the 2013 ISRM International Symposium, will elect the ISRM President for the term of office 2015-2019. The deadline for submission of nominations was 22 March 2013. The deadline is now over an the Secretariat received one nomination, of Dr Eda Freitas de Quadros from Brazil. Dr Quadros was nominated by the ISRM National Groups of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. The nomination documents and the video presentation by the candidate will by made available soon on the ISRM website.

Young Members Section

The new section of the newsletter will cover events, issues, training opportunities and from time to time issues affecting young members. Our intent is for the section to be sourced from members, so please forward any useful information for young members you would like shared to

Young Members Presidential Group (YMPG)
The YMPG is a special ISRM group, comprising of a young member nominated and supported by each National Group for a 4 year term, formed for the following purposes:
  • To provide a liaison between young members and the ISRM board, in order to ensure the perspectives of the Young Members are properly appreciated.
  • To development of future leaders for the ISRM, by encouraging participation in the organization, tasks and leadership of the ISRM
  • From time to time to address in a practical manner, the special needs of young members that might not otherwise be addressed by the larger ISRM
  • To foster relationships between young future leaders across National Groups
The objective of each YMPG cohort is to ensure these essential tasks are met.
Last year, the YMP held several online meetings to establish priorities for their term, and recently the results of those meetings were presented to the President and secretary for discussion by the board.

Sydney: Australian Geomechanics Society Young Geotechnical Professional’s Night (13 July 2013)
The Young Geotechnical Professionals’ Night is an opportunity to see four selected presentations by young geotechnical professionals discussing interesting and challenging aspects of their work. After the presentations, you will have a chance to catch up with friends and the presenters over drinks and finger food, and see additional posters prepared by YGP’s. The following presentations will be given during the evening.

Paris: Fifth International Young Geotechnical Engineering Conference – 5iYGEC’13 (31 Aug-1 Sept. 2013)
The iYGEC aims at bringing together young people who may be studying for a PhD or Msc or at the early stage of their career in industry or academia. The idea is to enable participants to communicate with others who are doing research or starting out in the geotechnical profession and to share their experiences.
Traditionally, the participants are nominated by their respective member society. For this 5iYGEC, it has been decided to extend the participation to all young geotechnical engineers.

New Zealand Geotechnical Society Young Geotechnical Professionals Fellowship
This fellowship is awarded to the author of the best paper by a New Zealand representative at each Australia-New Zealand Young Geotechnical Professionals conference. The recipient must be a member of the New Zealand Geotechnical Society and be below the age of 35 at the time of presenting the paper at the conference.

ISSMGE Outstanding Young Geotechnical Engineer Award
This award will be presented to one individual or to a team of young individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the practice or research in geotechnical engineering. Candidates must be less than 36 years of age on 31 December of the year of the quadrennial ICSMGE conference.

The Rocha Medal
The ISRM Board decided at its Tokyo meeting in September 1981, to institute an annual prize with a view to honour the memory of Past-President Prof. Manuel Rocha.
The Rocha Medal is intended to stimulate young researchers in the field of rock mechanics. The prize, has been annually awarded since 1982 for an outstanding doctoral thesis selected by a Committee appointed for the purpose.
Starting with the 2010 award, one or two runner up certificates (Proxime Accessit certificates) may also be awarded.

D.H. Trollope Medal
The medal recognises the contribution of David Hugh Trollope as one of the pioneers and leaders of Australian geomechanics research and teaching. The work must have been undertaken in Australia by an author under 35 years of age and reported in a paper published anywhere in the world in the previous four years.
SRMEG (Singapore) Outstanding Paper Award for Young Members
The Award aims to encourage young members to actively participate R&D activities in the area of rock mechanics, rock engineering and engineering geology. Good quality practical papers are as welcome as those of an academic nature. All papers submitted must be original. The sole author of a paper or the first author of a co-authored paper should be at the age of 35 or below, and must be a member of the SRMEG (Singapore). The winner and the first runner-up will receive a monetary award.

EUROCK 2013 - The 2013 ISRM International Symposium
Wrocław, Poland,
23-26 September 2013

The EUROCK 2013 "Rock Mechanics for Resources, Energy and Environment", organized by the Polish Society for Rock Mechanics and the Institute of Geotechnics and Hydrotechnics of the Wroclaw University of Technology, will take place in Wrocław, Poland, from 23 to 26 September 2013. This conference will be the ISRM 2013 International Symposium, where the ISRM official meetings will take place. The Board of the ISRM will meet on 21 September and the Council and the Commissions will meet on 22 September. In addition, three workshops will be held on the eve of the symposium (September 21-22).

Plenary and parallel sessions will be held on September 23-25. During plenary sessions, six 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 optimization for geotechnical applications"
  • Xiaochun Li – “Geomechanical aspects of CO2 geological storage”
The 1st ISRM Franklin Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Andreas Gorički from Austria and the Rocha Award presentation will be given by Dr. Matthew Pierce from Canada.

In total, 285 abstracts were received from universities, research institutes, consulting firms and industrial enterprises in 39 countries, of which 260 have been tentatively accepted for the Symposium. These include contributions from Africa (2), Asia (88), Australia (9), Europe (134), North America (20) and South America (7).

The full papers are currently undergoing a peer-review process in order to determine their eligibility for publication in the Symposium Proceedings and subsequent presentation during the Symposium. Authors will be notified of acceptance, rejection or the need to revise the manuscript prior to final acceptance around April 15. The deadline for final submission of the revised papers is May 15.

All accepted papers will be published in the proceedings volume by Taylor & Francis/Balkema, CRC Press. The proceedings are included in the registration fee and will be available at the start of the Symposium in both hard-cover and CD-ROM formats.

A selection of one-day field trips to:
  • an underground copper mine in the Legnica-Głogów Copper Region,
  • an underground rock salt mine in the Legnica-Głogów Copper Region,
  • the geotechnical monitoring stations at Żelazny Most (the largest post-flotation waste storage in Europe),
  • an underground hard coal mine in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin,
  • an open-cast lignite mine in the Turoszów Brown Coal Basin,
  • open-pit quarries of building and ornamental stones in the Sudety Mountains
has been planned for the last day of the Symposium (September 26) to allow the participants of EUROCK 2013 to get a feel for actual mining and geoengineering activities in Poland.

The social program includes a welcome reception, a concert of chamber music, a banquet and a sightseeing program for accompanying persons.

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

The International Conference for Effective and Sustainable Hydraulic Fracturing (HF2013) will be held 20-22 May 2013 in Brisbane, Australia. HF2013 is aimed at industry practitioners, academics and regulatory specialists from the energy and mining sectors. The conference program is designed to explore and recognise the synergies and versatility of hydraulic fracturing in multiple industries, and promote its sustainable use as a key technology into the future. The program will include presentation of 47 refereed papers divided into 16 technical sessions. These sessions will provide a unique opportunity for researchers and practitioners from petroleum, geothermal, and mining backgrounds to discuss topics of common interest such as hydraulic fracturing of naturally fractured rocks, well completions and fracture initiation, numerical and analytical modelling, and experiments ranging from the laboratory to the field scales.

Each day the technical program will be anchored by 2 keynote presentations. The line up of keynote speakers includes Prof Charles Fairhurst, Dr Reinhard Jung, Prof Jim Rice, Mr Mike Vincent, Mr Carl Montgomery, and Dr Norm Warpinski.

The conference also features a banquet on the first evening, which will be highlighted by an insightful perspective on the impacts of the gas industry on rural communities given by Mayor Ray Brown from the Western Downs Regional Council, Queensland, Australia.

Between sessions delegates will be able to discover the latest in packer and isolation technology, technical and well services, and computer simulation by visiting the booths of the conference’s exhibiting sponsors.

Registration is now open, with early bird rates in effect until 1 May 2013.

Welcome to the 3rd ISRM Symposium on Rock Characterisation, Modelling and Underground Design Methods: SINOROCK2013, Shanghai, 18–20 June 2013

With three months to go until we open this International Symposium in Shanghai, the work to finalise all the arrangements is in full swing. The purpose of the SINOROCK symposia is to contribute to the further development of the overall rock engineering design process through the sequential linkage of the three themes of rock characterisation, modelling and design methods, including feedback from the construction process itself. We have received over 150 positively reviewed high quality papers to be presented during our three-day Symposium. In addition to the SINOROCK Lecture to be given by Professor E. T. Brown, there will be seven Keynote Lectures on the Symposium themes. The Symposium is being organised by the ISRM Commission on Rock Engineering Design. Two Workshops, on Underground Research Laboratory (URL) Networking and Discontinuous Deformation Analysis, will also be held.

A Short Course on “Structural Geology Input to Rock Mechanics Analyses and Modelling” (presented by Professors Hudson and Cosgrove from Imperial College, London, UK, and Professor Feng from the Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, CAS, China), will immediately precede the Symposium on Monday 17th June. A meeting of the ISRM Young Members’ Presidential Group will also be held during the afternoon of 17th June. A 1-day Field Trip emphasising geology and rock engineering will take place immediately after the Symposium.

Participants who need visas to China are suggested to apply for the visas as early as possible. The Organising Committee will help to issue official invitation letters on request.

So, welcome to Shanghai for SINOROCK2013! Note: Early Bird registration with a reduced fee should be made before 30th April.

Xia-Ting Feng, John A. Hudson, Fei Tan

An update on the 6th Rock Stress Symposium RS2013

The 6th International Symposium on In situ Rock Stress RS2013 will be held in Sendai, Japan, during 20-22 August 2013 as an ISRM Specialized Conference. It is organized, sponsored and co-sponsored by Japanese Committee for Rock Mechanics (JCRM), International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) and American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA). This symposium is 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, such as seismicity, energy development, excavation & mining and latest technology.

More than 160 abstracts were received from 20 countries and the full papers shall be submitted by 31 May. The symposium program will include general oral and poster presentations, keynote presentations by Prof. F.H. Cornet (IPG-Strasbourg), Prof. J.Mori (Kyoto U.), Mr. S.Murphy (Anglogold Ashanti Ltd.), Dr. K.Yamamoto (JOGMEC), Prof. M.D.Zoback (Stanford U.), and invited presentations by Prof. Y.N. Abousleiman (U. Oklahoma), Prof. E.Nordlund (Luleĺ U. Tech.), Dr. I.Oprsal (Seismik Ltd.), Dr. J.Rutqvist (LBNL), Prof. D.R.Schmitt (U. Alberta), Dr. L.Stas (Inst. Geonics AS CR), Dr. K.Tezuka (JAPEX), Dr. Z.Xue (RITE) and Dr. A.Zang (GFZ).

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. The WS program will include general and invited presentations on the topics of (i) Reviews of the Tohoku earthquake and other large earthquakes, (ii) Earthquake cycle model, (iii) Integration of numerical simulation, in situ measurements and laboratory experiments, (iv) Evidences to show the role of stress by in-situ observations and laboratory experiment, and (v) Future strategy.

Two field trips will be organized as (i) Area attacked by the 2011 Earthquake Tsunami & Paleotsunami deposition, and (ii) Aratozawa Landslide & Cultural Tour in Hiraizumi.

Registration site will be open soon by 30 April.

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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Volume 15 - December 2012 of the ISRM News Journal is now online

Last year the ISRM started distributing the ISRM News Journal to all members in electronic version, instead of the printed version. This initiative was well received by the members and also enabled the Society to reduce substantially the cost of the News Journal. We still print a few copies of the News Journal, which are available at our sponsored symposia.

The December 2012 issue of the ISRM News Journal is now available. It includes the ISRM activities in 2012, the Board and Council meetings, reports on the 2012 ISRM Field Trip and on the Eurock 2012, a presentation of the 50-Anniversary Commemorative Book, announcements of futures events, reports of the Vice Presidents and Commission Chairmen, a technical paper on FEM limit analysis on tunnel engineering, and many other articles of interest for the rock mechanics fraternity.

ISRM Rocha Medal 2015 - nominations to be received by 31 December 2013

Nominations for the Rocha Medal 2015 are to be received by the ISRM Secretariat by 31 December 2013. The winner will be announced during the 2014 ISRM International Symposium in Sapporo, Japan, in October 2014, and will be invited to receive the award and deliver a lecture at the 2015 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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© 2013 ISRM; Editor: Luís Lamas; Webmaster: Ricardo Resende
Header image: Professor John A. Hudson, 
plan view of folding of a multi-layer crystal fibres, Llangollen, WalesClick to see full image 

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