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ISRM President’s 2013 New Year Address

Dear ISRM Members,

Another year full of activities passed and the New Year is now starting. As usual, it is time for a balance of what we did at the ISRM in the last 12 months and for announcing our plans for 2013.

The year 2012 was marked by the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the ISRM, which had started during the 12th Congress in Beijing, in October 2011. A commemorative anniversary book and a historical exhibition were launched during our International Symposium in Stockholm. They were displayed at all the ISRM conferences of 2012, at the 46th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium and also at the 61st Geomechanics Colloquy, in Salzburg, the town where the Society was founded by Professor Leopold Müller in 1962, and where the one-year-period of celebrations was symbolically closed. Throughout the year we have been using the commemorative logo that won a competition open to young members.

The new Board started its functions right after the end of the 12th Congress, but it wasn’t until January 2012 that the team was complete, with the joining of Manoj Verman, from India, as Vice President at Large.

The ISRM International Symposium was held in May, in Stockholm, in conjunction with the Eurock 2012. Two Regional Symposia took place: the II South American Symposium on Rock Excavations in Costa Rica and the Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium – ARMS7 in Korea.

The Young Members Presidential Group – YMPG was established, comprising of a young member nominated by each National Group. The team presented a number of excellent suggestions for tasks to the President in November for an initial discussion.

The Board of the Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies (FedIGS) from which the ISRM is a member, met in May, in Stockholm, where inter-society cooperation was debated.

The number of ISRM Commissions was enlarged to the current number of 15. In November, the Board approved two new ISRM Suggested Methods prepared by the Commission on Testing Methods, which were published.

Two new countries joined the ISRM as National Groups: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania. The ISRM reached 50 National Groups and an all-time record of individual members, which is now over 6,750.

The website was continuously updated with new materials. We published the 2011 issue of the ISRM News Journal in January and four quarterly Newsletters. The ISRM Digital Library was constantly updated and we now have the proceedings of 25 past conferences available for download.

Sadly, we received the news that our Past President Prof. John Franklin deceased in July. One of the last decisions of the Board in 2012 was to honour John Franklin by renaming the existing ISRM Lecture as the ISRM Franklin Lecture. We were also saddened by the loss of Dr. François Heuzé, who served as Vice President for North America from 2003 to 2007.

The Board discussed many new initiatives, such as an ISRM book series, a foundation for education, a multilingual rock mechanics dictionary, an ISRM online lectures series, or an international platform on underground nuclear power plants. You will hear about their development during the coming year.

In 2013, we will have a comprehensive programme of ISRM sponsored conferences. The International Symposium will take place in Wroclaw, Poland, in September, in conjunction with the Eurock 2013. This is where the ISRM Council, Board and Commission will meet. Before the symposium, a number of short courses will take place. Let us gather there to share our experiences and exchange our views for our future.

Three Specialised Conferences on relevant topics will also take place in 2013:
- the International Conference for Effective and Sustainable Hydraulic Fracturing in May, in Brisbane, Australia,
- the 3rd SINOROCK on Rock Characterization, Modelling and Engineering Design Methods in June, in Shanghai, China, and
- the 6th International Symposium on In Situ Rock Stress in August, in Sendai, Japan.

Finally, it is important to remember that your contribution and involvement in the ISRM activities are essential for the development and the success of our society. We would very much appreciate your time and effort in this regard.

I wish you a Happy New Year!

Xia-Ting Feng
President, ISRM