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ISRM 11th International Congress on Rock Mechanics


The ISRM 11th International Congress on Rock Mechanics, jointly organized by the Sociedade Portuguesa de Geotecnia (SPG) (the ISRM NG PORTUGAL) and the Sociedad Española de Mecánica de las Rocas (SEMR) (the ISRM NG SPAIN), was held in Lisbon PORTUGAL, in 2007 July 09-13. The venue of the Congress was the Lisbon Congress Centre, situated near the 25th of April bridge, over the river Tagus, which provided good infrastructures and a warm atmosphere for the success of the Congress.

The 25th of April bridge and Christ, the King
monument seen from the Lisbon Congress Centre

Inside the Lisbon Congress Centre

During the 2 days before the Congress, 2007 July 07-08, the ISRM Board, Council, and Commission meetings, some other meetings, a short course on Geomechanical Parameter Evaluation in Rock Engineering Practice, an international DUSEL workshop, and the 7th International Workshop on Application of Geophysics to Rock Engineering, took place at the LNEC Congress Centre.

The lobby of the LNEC Congress Centre

The Council welcome reception

The Congress gathered about 550 participants, from 41 countries, who contributed to the success of the event. Three volumes of proceedings, with 1505 pages, and two CDs were published.

The extensive technical programme, which reflected today’s awareness and lines of interest in rock mechanics and rock engineering, included plenary sessions, for the invited keynote lectures and general reports of the 7 themes, parallel sessions, for the presentation and discussion of selected papers (an award was given to the best paper of each theme), and poster sessions.

The head table during the Opening Session

A plenary session

Furthermore, 10 specialized sessions, organized in cooperation with the ISRM Commissions, the ISRM Interest Groups, the ISRM NGs, and the ITA, were held, and a technical exhibition, with 25 exhibitors from all over the world, took also place.

The head table of the ISRM/ITA joint session

The ISRM booth at the technical exhibition

One of the highlights of the Congress was the presentation of the Müller lecture, by Prof. E.T. Brown, and the 2007 Manuel Rocha medal recipient did also introduce his award-winning thesis.


The ISRM President has presented the Müller medal

Mrs Teresa Rocha has awarded the 2007 Rocha medal

In conjunction with the Congress, the following 3 workshops took also place:
- the International Workshop on Underground Works under Special Conditions, organized by the Spanish Society for Rock Mechanics (SEMR), in Madrid SPAIN;
- the 2nd International Workshop on Volcanic Rocks, organized by the Regional Laboratory for Civil Engineering (LREC), in Ponta Delgada (Azores) PORTUGAL; 
- the International Workshop on Preservation of Natural Stone and Rock Weathering, again organized by the Spanish Society for Rock Mechanics (SEMR), in Merida and Madrid SPAIN.

The welcome reception

The main table at the banquet

On the last day of the Congress, 6 technical visits to the new extensions of the Lisbon underground railway, the Somincor copper and zinc mine, the Clona rocksalt mine, some marble quarries in the Estremoz-Borba-Vila Viçosa anticline, the multipurpose Alqueva dam project, and the Rossio tunnel rehabilitation works took place.

A new extension of the Lisbon underground railway

The right abutment of the Alqueva dam

The Social programme was an important part of the Congress, and included a welcome reception in the Almada Negreiros room of the Alcântara landing station, on the river Tagus, and a banquet in the exhibition pavilion of the Ajuda park, a well known place for its wonderful view over Lisbon. Six different tourist tours, for the accompanying persons, were also offered.