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Commission on Underground Research Laboratory (URL) Networking


Joseph S.Y. Wang
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory



John A. Hudson (United Kingdom)
Gilles Armand (France)
Alessandro Bettini
Paul Bossart
Rolf Christiansson (Sweden)
Maurice B. Dusseault (Canada)
Derek Elsworth
Sandra Fahland (Germany)
Yves Guglielmi (USA)
Chang Kee Jung
Peter K. Kaiser (Canada)
Kimmo Kemppianen
Chris Laughton
Shaojun Li
Xiangling Li
Guido Nuijten (Finland)
Azra Tutuncu (USA)
Xia-Ting Feng (China)
Eda Freitas de Quadros (ex officio), ISRM President
Doug Stead (ex officio), ISRM VP North America

Terms of reference

Purpose of the Commission

The URL Networking Commission will establish and enhance international, inter-disciplinary interactions among URLs worldwide to maximize the science and engineering research that may be completed at these protected underground environments. The URLs engage in wide range of research and assessments on waste disposal, resource production, and particle-physics searches. Rock mechanics challenges include the design and construction of large-span excavations at depth and at high-stress.  This URL Networking Commission will contribute to the future development of rock mechanics, both with current and planned URLs. This will include virtual, ideal and generic URLs designed for collecting and exchanging information and for integrating in situ testing in URLs with validation, modelling, and laboratory measurements. These observations are crucial to advance the state of science and engineering for multi-disciplinary studies involving the complex physical feedbacks present in the subsurface. Both scientific and engineering challenges and practical aspects of networking and outreach will be addressed by the Commission. Additional experts from different disciplines will be approached to address innovative challenges. We plan linkages with other ISRM Commissions (including current commissions on Rock Dynamics, Testing Methods, Radiactive Waste Disposal, Application of Geophysics, and  proposed commissions on Petroleum Geomechanics [Maurice B. Dusseault, Chair], Coupled Processes [Jishan Liu, Chair], Triaxial Testing, Crustal Stress/Earthquakes, Case Histories), international programs and other initiatives to develop and generate useful results.

Product of the Commission

Workshop Proceedings, meeting summaries, annual reports, and proposed ISRM Book on URLs.


2015 Activities:

Following the 2003 Johannesburg, the 2007 Lisbon, and the 2011 Beijing workshops, we plan to organize the following activities associated with 2015 Montreal Congress of the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) on Underground Research Laboratory (URL) related studies. 

4th International Workshop on Underground Research Laboratory - Download the Preliminary Agenda (as of 6th May 2015)