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ISRM 50th Anniversary

The International Society for Rock Mechanics was founded in Salzburg in 1962. The celebrations to commemorate its 50th anniversary began in October 2011, at the 12th ISRM Congress in Beijing, China. These celebrations will include a number of special events and initiatives.


Logo Competition

One of the initiatives consisted of a competition, open to the ISRM Members, to create a logo to be used by the ISRM during the period of celebrations. The 50th anniversary logo should include the current ISRM logo and the acronym ISRM, and should include elements that convey the idea of 50 years.

Dr Ludger Suarez-Burgoa from Colombia won the competition with the logo seen on the right. Ludger is a member of the ISRM Young Members' Presidential Group.

The logo will be used by the ISRM during the period of commemorations, which started in a comemorative banquet in the Beijing Congress, in October 2011, and will end in the ISRM International Symposium in Stockholm, in May 2012. Emblems with the logo were distributed in the banquet in Beijing. 


Slide Show Competition “The Future Directions for Engineering Rock Mechanics"

Other initiative consisted of a competition open to Young Members of the ISRM to present their vision of “The Future Directions for Engineering Rock Mechanics”. Candidates were asked to prepare a fully explanatory PowerPoint slide show explaining, illustrating and justifying their ideas.

Dr Ricardo Resende from Portugal won the competition and you can click here to download his winning slide show.

Ricardo is also a member of the ISRM Young Members' Presidential Group and he made a presentation based on his winning slide show at the Second ISRM International Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics, which took place in Beijing, China, immediately before the 12th ISRM International Congress. He also received a certificate during the 50th Aniversary banquet, during the ISRM Congress.



ISRM 50th anniversary presentation by Dr Nuno Grossmann

During the 50th anniversary commemorative banquet held during the ISRM Congress in Beijing on 21 October 2011, Dr Nuno Grossmann, 1st Vice President and Vice President for Europe, made a presentation on the life of the Society during its first 50 years. Click here to download the presentation.





ISRM 50th Anniversary Commemorative Book 1962-2012

During the ISRM International Symposium held in Stockholm in May 2012 a Commemorative Book edited by John Hudson and Luís Lamas, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the International Society for Rock Mechanics was published. This 200-page full-collour book is available for purchase from the Secretariat.

Although the history of mankind’s use of rock as an engineering material is lost in the mists of time, it is only in the last 50 years that the subject of rock mechanics and its use in rock engineering have been formally recognised through the formation of the ISRM in 1962 and its 50-year continued activities through to 2012. During that time there have been many significant advances in the subject, both theoretical and practical, not to mention all the personnel interaction advantages of the many ISRM symposia that have taken place during the period.

This book has, therefore 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. The anniversary celebrations started at the 12th ISRM Congress held in Beijing, China, in October 2011 and continued until the ISRM EUROCK Symposium held in Stockholm, Sweden, in May 2012—when this book was published.

Following Chapters 1–3 on the formation of the ISRM, the founding documents, and an overview of the first 50 years, in Chapters 4–7 there are historical data on the sequence of the ISRM Presidents, the Müller Award recipients and Manuel Rocha medal recipients, plus reminiscences by the successive ISRM Secretaries-General. The book then includes a description of the ISRM in 2012, together with the current status of the six ISRM geographical regions, how rock mechanics developments have supported engineering practice, and the ISRM’s co-operation with related professional Societies. Finally, in Chapter 12, there are predictions for the evolution of rock mechanics and the ISRM over the next 50 years. In the Appendices, there are further detailed historical data.  

Click here to read the Commemorative Book online. 


ISRM 50th Anniversary Historical Exhibition

During the ISRM International Symposium held in Stockholm in May 2012 a Historical Exhibition of the ISRM was inaugurated. The exhibition includes six panels with highlights of the 50-year life of the ISRM, starting with the constitutional meeting on 25 May 2012 in Salzburg and the Firts 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 presented in graphical format. The exhibition will be displayed in several conferences organised by the ISRM National Groups during 2012.

Click on the image bellow to see the exhibition.



Closing Ceremony at the 61st Geomechanics Colloquy in Salzburg

A commemorative session took place at the Geomechanics Colloquy in Salzburg, to close the 1-year celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the ISRM. This venue was chosen symbolically, because Salzburg is the city where the ISRM was founded, in 1962, by Prof. Leopold Müller. The ceremony was attended by Dr Franz Pacher, one of the founders of the ISRM, who gave an interview that was broadcast during the session.

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.