ISRM Newsletter No. 60 - December 2022


Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

A new year is beginning, and it is a great pleasure for me to address a few words of appreciations to Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering Society. First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks for the strong involvement of the ISRM Vice Presidents and ISRM Secretary-General, the ISRM Commissions and the three ISRM Committees, ISRM Past Presidents and ISRM Fellows, our Secretariat, the Webmaster and the Co-editor of the ISRM News Journal, and the contributions given by our National Groups and our individual and corporate members for the success of ISRM, as well as the National Laboratory for Civil Engineering (LNEC) in Lisbon for providing the ISRM Secretariat facilities since its foundation. Thank you for your support and dedication toward ISRM.

Although 2020 and 2021 were marked by Covid19 lockdowns, travel restrictions and we had to comply with the new living circumstances and adjust ISRM activities to the new situation, 2022 was a chance to restart the normalization of the ISRM activities as we did before 2020 and to continue our performance and to enhance ISRM services and to grow. 2022 was a positive year for the ISRM, a year where we achieved several goals proposed for the current Board's tenure and all ISRM activities in 2022 were held as scheduled. It is a great happiness that this year all ISRM conferences, workshops, Board and Council meetings were successfully organized as face-to-face events and we had opportunity again to see each other in these events after two years. In 2022, ISRM also continued to pay attention to the use of web-based tools, such as video conferences, webinars, and online conferences.

The Society has been steadily growing. Last year the total number of individual members was 8629, while it became 8900 in 2022. Sri Lanka also joined ISRM in 2022 as the most recently established ISRM National Group. We also expect to receive an application from Bangladesh.

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15th International ISRM Congress, Salzburg, Austria

The Austrian Society for Geomechanics is happy to invite you to the 15th International ISRM Congress in Salzburg, Austria in October 2023. Salzburg is the city where the ISRM was founded in 1962.

The ISRM Congress will be held in conjunction with the 72nd Geomechanics Colloquium, which has always been a perfect and prestigious meeting place for researchers and practitioners since its foundation in 1951. The success of this concept is reflected not only in the continuous meetings over more than 70 years, but also in the regular attendance of about 1000 participants.

Since 2020, we have been hosting our conferences digitally in addition to the on-site event - so the ISRM Congress will also be a hybrid event.

We have received over 800 abstracts and the deadline for submission of the full papers is 31 January.

Do you want us to keep you updated? Join the mailing list here.

If you have questions, ask us. We are ready at

If you want to see the venue of the Congress and the city click here.

Wulf Schubert
President of the Austrian Society for Geomechanics
Chairman of the ISRM Congress 2023

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40th ISRM Online Lecture by Dr José Delgado Rodrigues

The 40th ISRM online lecture was delivered by Dr José Delgado Rodrigues, from Lisbon, Portugal. The title of the lecture is: “Stone in Cultural Heritage - From the rock mass to the stone piece”. It was broadcasted on 15 December 2022 and will remain available on the online lectures dedicated webpage.

Dr José Delgado Rodrigues graduated in Geology from Coimbra University. In 1967 he started his career at LNEC (National Laboratory of Civil Engineering), where he got the “Specialist” degree in 1976 and Principal Research Officer in 1985. He served as President of the Scientific Council and Head of the Geotechnical Department, in this same institution.

He served as President of the Portuguese Association of Geologists, President of the Portuguese Geotechnical Society, and ISRM Secretary General. He was one of the pioneers of the introduction of Engineering Geology studies in Portugal.

Dr Delgado Rodrigues served as a member of the International Permanent Committee for the Organisation of Congresses in Stone Conservation, member of several RILEM and ICOMOS working groups, member of the Scientific Commission of the Association World Monuments Fund-Portugal, and member of the governing bodies of the Portuguese Organisation of Scientific Workers.

He was a lecturer at the ICCROM courses in Stone Conservation, invited professor in New University of Lisbon. He delivered presentations and short courses on stone conservation at over 15 universities and ten countries around the World. He supervised or co-supervised more than a dozen doctoral and master theses. 

Dr Delgado Rodrigues is the author or co-author of about 170 LNEC internal reports and around 200 papers in scientific journals and proceedings of scientific events.  He has been a permanent or ad hoc peer reviewer for over a dozen scientific journals.  He was mentorand guest scholar of The Getty Conservation Institute (LA, USA), and delivered the XV Manuel Rocha lecture for the Portuguese Geotechnical Society. He is a Fellow of the International Society of Rock Mechanics and Engineering.

Click to open the  online lectures dedicated webpage.

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2022 ISRM Council, Board and Commission meetings took place in Asunción, Paraguay

The ISRM annual Council, Board and Commission meetings took place in Asunción, Paraguay, in conjunction with the Latin American Rock Mechanics Symposium LARMS2022 and 2022 ISRM International Symposium. These were the first physical meetings since 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic started.

The Council meeting took place on 16 October. 45 National Groups were represented at the Council, which was also attended by the Board members, Past President Eda Quadros and observers from the National Groups. The ISRM has now an all-time record of 8911 individual members and 174 corporate members, belonging to 58 National Groups.

The ISRM Board met prior to the Council meeting. However, four Board members could not travel and the meeting was also attended by them by videoconference. A detailed discussion on the past activities took place and decisions were taken for future activities.

The application of the Sri Lankan Rock Mechanics and Engineering Society (SLRMES) to become the ISRM National Group of Sri Lanka was approved. The application of the National Group of Norway to organise the ISRM Regional Symposium Eurock 2025 in Trondheim, Norway, in June 2025, was approved. The results of the ISRM survey were presented and discussed; a report on the results of the survey will be issued soon.

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Derek Martin, from Canada, will receive the 9th Müller Award

The Müller Award is the most prestigious distinction of the ISRM, awarded every four years at the ISRM Congress, in recognition of distinguished contributions to the profession of rock mechanics and rock engineering.

Four nominations were received: Derek Martin from Canada, Manchao He from China, Marc Panet from France and Nielen van der Merwe from South Africa.

Prof. Derek Martin was selected by the Council to receive the award. He will deliver the Müller Lecture during the 15th ISRM International Congress in Salzburg, Austria, in October 2023.

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ISRM Award winners were announced

Rocha Medal 2023: The Rocha Award Committee selected the winner and two runners-up.

  • Winner: Jun Zhao, from China, with the thesis "Study on time-dependent failure mechanism and long-term stability of hard rock in deep buried tunnel", presented at the Northeastern University, China.
  • Runner-up: Rupesh Verma, from India, with the thesis "A combined theoretical-experimental-numerical approach to characterization and modelling of rock fracture and rock burst", presented at the University of Adelaide, Australia.
  • Runner-up: Cyrille Couture, from Canada, with the thesis "Mechanical characterization of porous sandstones in true triaxial conditions: diffuse and localized deformation, effect of anisotropy" presented at the Université Grenoble Alpes, France.

John Hudson Rock Engineering Award 2022

  • This award is conferred on individual or corporate members of the ISRM in recognition of achievements in engineering practice and was given to Dr Christine Detournay, USA.

Science Achievement Award 2022

  • This award recognizes outstanding contributions to science and technology in the field of rock mechanics and rock engineering and was conferred on Prof. Jean Sulem, nominated by the NG France.

Young Rock Engineer Award 2022

  • This award acknowledges excellence in the field of rock engineering by ISRM members in early stages of their career and was conferred on Dr Yota Togashi, nominated by the NG Japan.

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Korea to host the 16th ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics in 2027

Three National Groups presented excellent proposals to host the 16th ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics in Beijing, China, in Christchurch, New Zealand and in Seoul, Korea. The Council selected the Korean proposal. The Congress will take place 17-23 October 2017.

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2024 ISRM International Symposium will be in New Delhi, India, 24-28 September

The ISRM National Group of India presented to the Council meeting an excellent proposal to host the 2024 ISRM International Symposium in New Delhi. Being the only application received for this year, the Council approved it by acclamation.

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Third European Rock Mechanics Debate - 25 January, 12:30 GMT

Following the positive opinions received from the two previous editions, with over 100 attendants, the third European Rock Mechanics Debate on "Different approaches for tunnelling: empirical, observational, modelling" will take place online on 25 January 2023 and will be streamed to the ISRM YouTube channel, where it can be watched.

The debate is chaired by Philippe Vaskou from France and features the participation of Nick Barton from Norway and Brazil, talking about "Empirical Methods in Tunnelling including Site Characterization, Day-to-Day solutions, and input for Numerical Discontinuum Modelling" and Yossef H. Hatzor from Israel, talking about "Empirical vs. Analytical Approaches for predicting Rock Response to Tunnelling based on Case Studies from across the World". A flyer with the contents and indicative rules of these debates can be downloaded here. Other debates will follow and will be announced on the ISRM website.

The link to follow the debate will soon be announced on the ISRM website.

Leandro R. Alejano
ISRM VP for Europe








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ACUUS 2023 will take place in Singapore in November

The 18th World Conference of the Associated research Centers for the Urban Underground Space (ACUUS 2023) will be held in Singapore in November 2023. ACUUS 2023 is organised by the ISRM National Group, the Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering Geology (Singapore) and supported by the Singapore Ministry of National Development and Singapore Tourism Board.

The underground is increasingly being seen as a strategic resource for sustainable infrastructure and urban development. Rock mechanics and rock engineering have important roles to play. We invite interested authors to submit abstracts. The deadline for abstract submission is March 2023. More information can be found at:

Zhou Yingxin
Chair of the Organising Committee

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ISRM Sponsored Conferences

Click here to open the conferences webpage

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