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No. 22 - June 2013


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

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 Wrocław University of Technology, will take place in Wrocław, Poland, at the Sofitel Wrocław Old Town Hotel, 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 – "The mechanical behavior of salt and salt caverns"
  • Józef Dubiński – "The mechanisms and consequences of strong mining tremors that occur 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 – "Optimization, sensitivity and robustness analysis – Applications and trends in geomechanics"
  • Xiaochun Li – “Geomechanical modeling of CO2 storage in deep saline aquifers – A review”

The 2013 ISRM Franklin Lecture on the engineering aspects of geotechnical tunnel design will be delivered by Dr. Andreas Goricki from Austria and the Rocha Award presentation will be given by Dr. Matthew Pierce from Canada.

In total, 285 abstracts were received for EUROCK 2013 from universities, research institutes, consulting firms and industrial enterprises in 39 countries. Of these, 260 were tentatively accepted for the Symposium. The full papers that arrived in fewer numbers were reviewed by members of the International Scientific Committee in order to determine their eligibility for publication in the Symposium Proceedings and subsequent presentation during the Symposium. Finally, 146 papers have been accepted. These include contributions from Asia (27), Australia (8), Europe (94), North America (10) and South America (7).

All the accepted papers, as well as keynote lectures and the 2013 ISRM Franklin Lecture, will be published by Taylor & Francis/Balkema, CRC Press in the proceedings volume. 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.

The Organizing Committee will inform the presenting Authors about the detailed schedule of oral and poster sessions by mid-July.

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),
  • two underground hard coal mines 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 the actual mining and geo-engineering activities in Poland.

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

For complete information on the Symposium, please visit the EUROCK 2013 website at

The 3rd ISRM Online Lecture will be given by Prof. Pierre Duffaut on 13 September 2013

For the third Online Lecture the ISRM President invited Prof. Pierre Duffaut, and the title of his lecture will be “Rock Mechanics Lessons from Dams”. It will have two main parts. 1 Rock mechanics problems on some major French Dams, before and after 1959; 2 – Malpasset Arch Dam: history, 1959 foundation failure, research, lessons, traps, H&O factors.

The lecture will be broadcast on 13 September, at 10 a.m. GMT, and it will remain online so that 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.

Pierre Duffaut is a retired geological engineer. Graduated from Saint Étienne School of Mines, France, in 1948, he served EDF, the French Authority for Electricity, first as geological engineer and later as civil engineering expert. He spent some years as Head of the Geotechnical Department at the French Geological Survey; then Head of Civil Engineering at the Continuing Education of École des Ponts et Chaussées. From 1983 he worked worldwide as a free lance consultant. From the Malpasset dam failure he has followed the growth of civil Rock Mechanics, as a founder member in 1967 and later Chairman of the French Committees on Rock Mechanics. He performed research mainly on Concrete, Rock Mechanics, and Underground City Planning, being active in Dams, Tunneling, and all Geotechnical Societies, through conferences, working groups, papers, and lectures. Among his latest work was the coordination of a Manual of Rock Mechanics, in 4 volumes from 2000 to 2013. He is a founding member of ISRM Commission on Underground Nuclear Power Plants.

The first and the second ISRM Online Lectures were given in February by Prof. Wulf Schubert and in May by Prof. John Hudson, respectively. All the ISRM Online Lectures will remain available on the ISRM website in this dedicated webpage (click to open in a new window).

6th Rock Stress Symposium RS2013 - Sendai, Japan, 20-22 August

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. 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.

ARMS8 – 2014 ISRM International Symposium, Sapporo, Japan, 14-16 October 2014

The Japanese Committee for Rock Mechanics (JCRM) – Japan National Group of ISRM – is pleased to extend an invitation to you to the 8th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium “ARMS8”, the 2014 ISRM International Symposium. The symposium will be held on 14-16 October, 2014 in Sapporo, a modern and beautiful city in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan. The theme of the symposium is ‘Rock Mechanics for Global Issues – Natural Disasters, Environment and Energy’. The goal 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.

The Symposium topics are:
  • Mitigation of Geo-hazards
  • Environmental Issues
  • Energy Resources
  • New Technologies and Fundamental Aspects
The symposium includes seven keynote lectures, plus the 2014 Franklin Lecture of the ISRM and the 2014 Rocha Lecture. Several workshops and short courses will be held in collaboration with the ISRM commissions and in connection to the symposium. Several technical tours will take place after the symposium, and a Student's Night is being organized to encourage the active participation of young members.

Prospective authors are kindly asked to submit an abstract related to one of the proposed symposium topics to participate in the symposium, before 31 December 2013.

For further information, click here to download the Bulletin No. 2, or visit the website at

Dear Colleagues,
On behalf of the organizing committee I am delighted to invite you to participate in the 2014 ISRM European Rock Mechanics Symposium (EUROCK 2014) to be held in Vigo, Spain, on May 27-29, 2014. This Symposium is a common endeavour of the University of Vigo and the SEMR (Spanish National Group of the ISRM), who are doing their best to offer a pleasant and interesting event.
We have prepared an appealing program with a good number of keynote lectures by some of the world’s leading experts on rock mechanics. Two short courses and a Workshop will also take place before the congress and some interesting visits to different mine and civil engineering works are in preparation for the aftermath.
You will also have the privilege to visit our town and region. Lively and dynamic, Vigo is a young and modern city, very famous for the beauty of its bay and the quality of their fish and shellfish delicacies. Located in the always green region of Galicia in North Western Spain, it is also very close to the Portuguese border and Porto. Santiago de Compostela and its “Camino” are only 45 minutes away.
It is a special honour for me to host for the first time in Spain the Symposium EUROCK and I strongly hope that an exciting program and the charms of this far-west beautiful part of Europe will combine to make this a successful and memorable event.
I look forward to meeting you in Vigo in May 2014.

Yours sincerely,

Leandro R. Alejano
Chairman of the organizing committee

SINOROCK2013: a great success
An ISRM Specialised Conference held on 18-20 June 2013

The 3rd SINOROCK Symposium was organised by the ISRM Commission on Design Methodology (see photo below) and held at Tongji University in Shanghai, China.

The Symposium was preceded by a Short Course given by John W. Cosgrove, John A. Hudson and Xia-Ting Feng, plus meetings of the Underground Research Laboratory Commission and the Young Members’ Presidential Group. The focus on each of the following three days of the Symposium was Rock Characterisation, Modelling and Design. The SINOROCK Lecture was given by Ted Brown and the remaining Keynote Lectures given by experts from China, Germany, Peru, Swede, Turkey and the UK. An overview of the current status of the ISRM was presented by Luis Lamas.

The Proceedings volume (915 pages) contains a myriad of papers from China and the rest of the world. The best paper prizes were:
  • Best paper from China: To Xingping Lai for the paper “Large 3-D physical simulation experiments for high and steep slope stability of open pit mines”;
  • Best paper from outside China: To Christophe Vibert for the paper “Design methods for pressure tunnels”;
  • Best Young Person’s paper from China: To Y.D. Zhou for the paper “Numerical identification of roll compression induced disintegration modes of a coal prism within a roller mill”; and
  • Best Young Person’s paper from outside China: to L. Uotinen for the paper “Design of sprayed concrete as hard rock reinforcement using yield line theory”.
Dr Fei Tan had been responsible for dealing with the paper submissions and Dr Xiaoying Zhuang for the running of the Symposium itself.

Participants in the ISRM Design Methodology Commission meetingalso held at SINOROCK2013

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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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 two runner-up certificates may also be awarded.

Click here to download the announcement with details on the Rocha Medal 2015.

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Young Members Presidential Group activities

YMPG tasks

After the previous YMPG meeting last year, the potential YMPG tasks formulated by the group were presented to the President by YMPG member Dr Olivier Buzzi. The President confirmed some of the tasks proposed by the YMPG for special priority, and others were noted for further discussion.

The approved tasks follow below. We note that these are goals. The YMPG will develop a plan for each one over the coming months.

Task 1: Education
  • Intended organisation of webinars or lectures on RM on the ISRM website.
  • Work towards the use of the ISRM website for advertisement of academic related rock mechanics positions
Task 3: Increased YMPG participation in ISRM activities
  • Contribution to the Newsletter (250 to 300 word) and the ISRM Journal.
  • A goal of increasing young member participation in commisions
  • Election of YMPG members in each region to liase with the Regional Vice President in running the ISRM locally. This is separate but parallel to the members YMPG activities.
The date for the next YMPG online meeting will be announced shortly, but it will be in the next month or so. At that meeting we will discuss:
  • Forming of groups to investigate how to achieve the confirmed potential objectives.
  • Define and propose additional tasks for this YMPG term
  • Elect a chair, deputy chair and Newsletter contributor
  • Work within task groups to develop a method for achieving each task
Young Members’ Presidential Group Forum, Shanghai, June 17, 2013

The Young Members’ Presidential Group (YMPG) held a forum in conjunction with the ISRM International Symposium SINOROCK2013 “Rock Characterisation, modelling and Engineering Design Methods” in Shanghai, China on 17 June 2013. The forum was open to all young members.

The President of the ISRM, Prof. Xia-Ting Feng welcomed the audience and introduced the participants. The Past President of the ISRM (2007-2011), Prof. John Hudson, Vice President of the ISRM for South America, Dr. Antonio Samaniego and Dr. John Cosgrove of Imperial College gave their perspectives on careers in rock mechanics.

The Chairman of the Young Scholars’ Committee of Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering, Prof. Zixin Zhang introduced the activities of young ISRM members in China and presented his ideas on the activities for the group in future. The YMPG representative of Finland, Dr. Lauri Uotinen and the representative of China, Dr. Zhechao Wang also presented their ideas on the Young ISRM members’ activities in future.

Young Members’ Presidential Group Forums

YMPG forums have been schedule for the Eurock 2013 Symposium in Wroclaw, Poland, 23-26 September 2013, the Eurock 2014 Symposium in Vigo, Spain, 27-29 May 2014, and the ARMS 8 in Sapporo, Japan, 14-16 October 2014..


Thanks to Dr Zhechao Wang from Shandong University YMPG representative of China for assisting with this YMPG report.

David Beck
ISRM VP for Australasia

An unnusual view of New York City Underground

The majority of the population sees the underground as concrete-covered tunnels passing at high speed from the inside of a train. But NYC's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) wants the city's public to know what goes on benneath their feet, so they regularly publish photos of the excavation works. Click here to read about it in a recent Wired magazine issue, or click here to visit MTA's Flickr account

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Journal of the ISRM National Group of India

The ISRM (India) Journal was launched 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.

CRC Press / Balkema: discounts for ISRM members

A special online offer for ISRM members includes a 20% discount in several Rock Mechanics books.

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