The Congress was opened in the morning of October 18. The Congress chairs, Academician Qihu Qian and Professor Jian Zhao, the deputy minister of Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Zhenglin Feng, the deputy minister of Ministry of Railway, Mr. Chunfang Lu, the party secretary of China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), Mr. Qin Zhang, the vice chairs of the Congress, Professor Xiating Feng, Professor Yingxin Zhou and Professor Chung-In Lee (Korea), the ISRM president Professor J.A. Hudson (UK), the ISRM vice-president for Asia, Professor A. Ghazvinian (Iran), the ISRM secretary-general, Dr. L. Lamas (Portugal), the past presidents of Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering, Academicians Jun Sun and Sijing Wang, the president of the ISRM national group for China, Professor Chun’an Tang were seated on the podium.
The current and newly-elected ISRM board members, the past ISRM presidents and board members, the international advisory board members for the Congress, the Müller Award and Rocha Award winners, the prestigious academicians, experts and scholars from China and other countries, the organizing committee members and the leading secretariat staff attended the opening ceremony and were seated in the VIP seats.
The vice-chair of the Congress, Professor Xiating Feng hosted the opening ceremony.
The Congress was opened with the traditional Chinese lion dance performance. Academician Qihu Qian and Professor J.A. Hudson painted the lion’s eyes, pushing the congress to a climax. Professor Xiating Feng introduced the guests seated on the podium. Academicain Qihu Qian and Professor J.A. Hudson made the opening addresses on behalf of the organizing committee and ISRM, respectively. Professor A. Ghazvinian introduced the history and development of rock mechanics in Asia. The Executive Secretary of CAST, Mr. Qin Zhang addressed the Congress and wished the Congress a great success. Professor Chun’an Tang read the list of more than 30 organizations, departments and individuals who sent congratulatory letters to the Congress, including the president of Chinese Academy of Engineering, Professor Ji Zhou and thanked them for their congratulations.
Immediately after the opening ceremony, the past ISRM president, Professor Ted Brown delivered a keynote lecture on “50 Years of the ISRM and Associated Progress in Rock Mechanics” and reviewed the history of ISRM and the international rock mechanics field in the past 50 years. Professor J.A. Hudson presented a keynote on “The Next 50 Years of the ISRM and Anticipated Future Progress in Rock Mechanics”. He predicted the future 50 years of ISRM and the prospects of rock mechanics in the next 50 years.
Following that, Professor J.A. Hudson presented the ISRM Müller Award to Professor N. Barton. Professor N. Barton presented the Müller lecture.
Academician Qihu Qian made a keynote presentation on “New Development of Rock Engineering and Technology in China”. In his presentation, Academician Qian reported the splendid achievements of rock engineering and technology in large-scale rock engineering projects in China, which received widespread concerns from the international rock mechanics community.
In the afternoon, four parallel sessions were held, namely, Analysis and Design Methods, Dynamics and Blasting, Field Measurement and Site Investigation, and Laboratory Testing and Rock Properties. The delegates had extensive discussions on the presentations.
The welcome banquet was held in the evening of October 18. Before the banquet, the ISRM announced the induction of ISRM fellows. The ISRM president, Professor J.A. Hudson announced the list of the first 8 ISRM fellows and presented the distinctive certificates and medals to Professor Franklin, Professor T. Brown, Professor Sunshuke Sakurai and other fellows who were present. The ISRM national groups for China and Singapore exchanged gifts and congratulated the successful opening of the Congress. Subsequently, a Chinese cultural show was performed during the banquet, which brought joys to the intensive academic exchanges.
During 19 to 21 October, another 11 professors delivered keynote lectures, including the Rocha lecture. Another 20 parallel sessions were held in four meeting rooms, which demonstrated the latest achievements in international rock mechanics and engineering field in recent years.
In recent years, a large number of rock engineering projects, for instance, the Three Gorges Project, the Jinping Hydropower Stations, the South-to-North Water Diversion Project and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, have been constructed in China. China ranks number one in the world in terms of the large project scale, the complexity of geological conditions and the difficulty in construction. In the afternoon of 21st October, a special session “China-Afternoon” was organized. 11 experts in rock mechanics field, including Academicians Jun Sun and Liang Yuan made presentations on the great achievements in rock mechanics theory, engineering technology and construction in China.
The ISRM 50th anniversary celebration was held in the evening of 20th October. Professor N. Grossmann introduced the foundation and development history of ISRM, the hosting time, country and city of previous ISRM congresses and the past board members. During the banquet, the ISRM president, Professor J.A. Hudson, the ISRM secretary-general, Dr. L. Lamas, the Congress chair, Academician Qihu Qian and the Congress secretary-general, Professor Zhongkui Li gave a toast to all the attending delegates. Junior and senior experts and scholars in rock mechanics got together, contemplated the present and recalled the past, and created harmonious atmosphere in the international rock mechanics community. Chinese and foreign-style cultural shows were performed during the banquet.
The closing ceremony was hosted by the ISRM secretary-general, Dr. L. Lamas, starting from 5pm on 21st October. The newly-elected board members took over from the current board members. Professor Xiating Feng received the scepter and ribbon from Professor J.A. Hudson and officially became the ISRM president. He then delivered his inaugural speech and expressed his determination to expand the ISRM, to improve the benefits to national groups and members and to improve effectiveness of the ISRM services.
The ISRM2011 Congress is a grand event in the rock mechanics community and a top platform for the rock mechanics and engineering field. It showcased the latest advances in the international rock mechanics theory and engineering technology. Various new theories, new ideas and new methods struck a spark of innovation. The ISRM2011 Congress is the one with the largest scale since the foundation of ISRM. The great achievements in rock mechanics and engineering in China have received attentions from all over the world. The rock mechanics in China is gradually moving toward the top of the world. The Congress will serve as a link between the past and the future and bring glory to rock mechanics in China.
Appraisals on the success of the Congress
The success of the ISRM2011 Congress has been commonly recognized and praised.
The Congress chair, Professor Jian Zhao congratulated Academician Qihu Qian on the success of the Congress. He said that “The Congress was a success and received a lot of appraisals”.
The ISRM secretary-general, Dr. L. Lamas, in his letter to Professor Qihu Qian, said that “I would like to congratulate you, the CSRME and all the Organizing Committee of the 12th ISRM International Congress for the excellent event that you organized. It was a great success from the technical and the social points of view, and the ISRM was very well served.”
The former ISRM president, Professor J.A. Hudson, in his email to Professor Xiating Feng, indicated that “The Congress went very well without any major problems. ……The CNCC hotel room was really comfortable. The CNCC halls were fine, and the two banquets were excellent. We were especially impressed by the big banners across the back of the stage in each case -- which came out well in the photographs. Also, the 2007-2011 ISRM Board's initiatives were implemented well, especially the ISRM Fellows' induction and the Advisory Forum. So, it was a great time and a fitting welcome to you as the new ISRM President. Good luck to you and the new Board in your work during 2011-2015. I am sure that it will be successful.”
The former ISRM vice president for Asia, Professor Chung-In Lee from Korea, in his email to the new ISRM vice president for Asia Professor Yingxin Zhou, said that “The 12th International Congress on Rock Mechanics would be ranked as excellent in every aspect including its high-quality contents, number of participants and systematic operation during the conference.”
The president of the ISRM national group for China, Professor K.G. Sharma, in his email to Professor Yingxin Zhou, said that “I congratulate you and your team for organizing the Congress very successfully. The venue was excellent and was within the reach of the hotels. The arrangements for the Congress were excellent. The selections of Keynotes were very good.”
Professor Yunmei Lin, one of the veterans in Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering, the teacher of the new ISRM president Professor Xiating Feng, emotionally said that “The Congress is great. The senior generation in rock mechanics is pleased and feels extremely proud of you.”
Some students, who are not the ISRM members yet, were encouraged by the Congress and consulted the organizing committee members on how to become an ISRM member and expressed their wishes to become a member. It reflects the attractiveness of the Congress to young students. It is gratifying to feel that we have successors for the development of rock mechanics.
Sufficient academic exchanges promoting rock mechanics to a new 50-year
The success of the Congress is also reflected in the sufficient and fruitful academic exchanges. 15 keynote papers were presented, including three keynotes for the 50th anniversary of ISRM, the Müller lecture, the Rocha Medal lecture, and ten invited keynotes. 227 oral presentations in four parallel sessions and 140 post presentations in the foyer were delivered. The papers were divided into 11 topics, covering almost all the hot issues in rock mechanics field, which are:
- Analysis & Design Method
- Numerical Modeling
- Laboratory Testing & Rock Properties
- Field Measurements & Site Investigation
- Dynamics & Blasting
- Fluid & Gas Flow
- Risks & Hazards
- Mining & Rock Support
- Tunneling, rock Caverns & Underground Space
- Rock Slopes & Foundation
The invited keynote lectures, including “Fifty Years of the ISRM and Associated Progress in Rock Mechanics” by Professor Ted Brown, “The Next 50 Years of the ISRM and Anticipated Future Progress in Rock Mechanics” by Professor J.A. Hudson and “New Development of Rock Engineering and Technology in China” by Professor Qihu Qian, are scientific, systematic and forward-looking, which are the typical fruits of academic exchanges during the Congress.
In the last day of the Congress, a special China-Afternoon session was arranged. Invited lectures were given by Academicians Jun Sun, Liang Yuan and other top scientists in Chinese rock mechanics field and technical directors of typical large-scale rock engineering projects. This special session showcased the great achievements in rock mechanics and engineering projects in China to the world.
As Academician Qihu Qian pointed out in his keynote lecture, China is no. 1 in the world in term of rock engineering, with large amount of projects, complex geological conditions and unprecedented technical difficulties. Rich experiences have been accumulated in investigation, design, construction and monitoring. Of course, lessons were also learned. We are willing to share the experiences with researchers and engineers in rock mechanics and rock engineering over the world, and work together towards a new era in rock mechanics and engineering.
The Congress highly valued by government departments and various sectors of society. The success of the Congress is also reflected by the great importance attached by China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), the leading authority of Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering (CSRME) and leaders from other relevant ministries and departments. The party secretary of CAST, Mr. Qin Zhang, the deputy minister of Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Zhenglin Feng, the deputy minister of Ministry of Railway, Mr. Chunfang Lu and leaders from other government agencies attended the Congress. The deputy minister of Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Yong Jiao planned to participate in the Congress even one day before the Congress. Although he was not able to attend the Congress due to some reason, he sent a congratulatory letter to the Congress. More than 30 organizations sent congratulatory letters and mails to the Congress, including Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Beijing Municipal Government and other large-scale state enterprises and organizations.
Mr. Qin Zhang, on behalf of the administrative department, addressed the Congress to warmly congratulate the opening of the 12th ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics and the 50th Anniversary of ISRM, congratulate Professor Xiating Feng to become the ISRM president and appreciate the achievements made by the ISRM national group for China. He stressed that CAST is a mass organization for scientific and technical professionals and attaches great importance to the foreign exchanges. For scientific and technological exchanges, CAST has always advocated free exploration, encouraged academic contention, created academic atmosphere and promoted original innovations, which are expected to be the common recognition among the international rock mechanics community. We hope that the Congress will be an important milestone in the history of international rock mechanics. Let’s work together to bring the international exchange, cooperation, interaction and friendship to a new height.
In addition, the Congress also attracted attentions from various media, including Xihua News Agency, Science and Technology Daily, Science Times, Renren.com, Sina.com etc..