ISRM Newsletter No. 65 - Spring 2024

ISRM International Symposium 2024 and ARMS13, 22-27 September 2024, New Delhi - Full paper submission deadline extended to 31 May 2024

The International Society for Rock Mechanics (India) is hosting the prestigious ISRM International Symposium 2024 and the 13th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS 13) from 22 to 27 September 2024 in New Delhi.

The symposium theme is “Advances in Rock Mechanics—Infrastructure Development.” The venue is The Eros Hotel, Nehru Place, New Delhi.

The symposium will organize various interesting workshops, short courses, and technical visits. Several keynote speakers have already been confirmed.

The symposium will provide excellent opportunities for industrial organizations, equipment manufacturers, entrepreneurs, consulting organizations, and construction organizations to publicize themselves by being sponsors of the symposium. Exhibition stalls will be available at the Symposium venue.

Take advantage of the unique chance and become a sponsor and exhibitor of the Symposium. For more information, click here to visit the ARMS13 website, click here to download the Symposium brochure or email the Symposium Secretariat at or

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45th ISRM Online Lecture by Dr. Jonny Rutqvist

The 45th ISRM online lecture will be delivered by Dr. Jonny Rutqvist, from USA. The lecture title is: “Coupled Processes Modeling in Energy Geosciences”. It was broadcast on March 21st at 10 A.M. GMT, from the Online Lecture's page, where it remains available.

Dr. Jonny Rutqvist is a Senior Scientist and Head of Hydrogeology Department, Energy Geosciences Division, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, California. He holds a PhD degree in Engineering Geology from the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. For over 30 years, Dr. Rutqvist’s research has been focused on geomechanics and modeling of coupled thermal, hydraulic, mechanical, and chemical (THMC) processes in geological media. He developed the TOUGH-FLAC simulator for coupled multiphase fluid flow, thermal and mechanical processes analysis from the late 1990s. Since then the simulator has been further improved by himself and collaborators for a wide range of challenging geoscientific and geoengineering applications, including geologic carbon sequestration, nuclear waste disposal, geothermal energy extraction and underground energy storage.

Dr. Rutqvist is President of the ISRM Commission on Coupled Thermal-Hydro-Mechanical-Chemical Processes in Fractured Rock. He has authored over 250 peer-reviewed journal papers and is a four-time recipient of the American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA) Awards.

All online lectures are available on this page.

Eurock2024, Alicante, Spain, 15-19 July 2024 - early bird registration until 30 April

Dear Colleagues,

The ISRM European Rock Mechanics Symposium is scheduled to take place in Alicante, Spain between 15 and 19 July 2023. 

To date, we have received an overwhelming response from the global rock mechanics and rock engineering community, with more than 300 contributions submitted for presentation at the conference.

The following three pre-symposium workshops will be organised:

  • Workshop 1. Mapping rock mass discontinuities from 3D point clouds, chaired by Adrián Riquelme
  • Workshop 2. Microstructural characterization of rocks, chaired by David Benavente
  • Workshop 3. Practical use of structural geology in rock tunnels, chaired by Philippe Vaskou

The following keynote lectures are confirmed:

  • Eduardo Alonso. Heave of anhydritic claystone. Dealing with spatial heterogeneity
  • Michel Jaboyedoff. Toward the assessment of the rockfall sources hazard failure using 3D point clouds and remote sensing techniques
  • Andrea Segalini. Practical challenges in designing monitoring systems in rock masses: from parameters selection to data elaboration and management
  • Philippe Vaskou. Embedding structural geology in all rock engineering projects: wishful thinking or future reality?
  • José Muralha. Shear strength of rock discontinuities: from field investigations to design parameters

Two technical visits will take place:

  • Mt. Coto limestone quarry in Pinoso (Alicante) and an ornamental stone factory in Novelda (Alicante)
  • Geological cruise along the northern coast of Alicante

To stay updated on conference developments, we invite you to visit our official conference webpage

We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to come together in Alicante, where we can exchange knowledge, engage in productive discussions, and forge new connections. Your contributions and presence at the conference are invaluable to the success of this event, and we look forward to welcoming you to Alicante.

Thank you for your ongoing support and dedication to the field of rock mechanics and rock engineering.

Eurock2024 organizing committee

Volume 26 - 2023 of the ISRM News Journal is online

The 2022 issue of the ISRM News Journal is available on the website. This issue of the News Journal reports the ISRM activities in 2022 and presents technical articles.

Since a new Board was inaugurated at the end of the 15th International Congress on Rock Mechanics in Salzburg, the News Journal includes the Past President's farewell message by Resat Ulusay and the President's inaugural message by Seokwon Jeon, as well as information about the new Board.

You will also find information about the Board and Council meetings and activities, the President's and Vice President's reports on the ISRM activities, the Secretary-General's report displaying the evolution of ISRM National Groups and ISRM's membership in recent years, the new ISRM Fellows and the awards, the reports of the Technical Oversight Committee, of the Education Fund Committee and of the Young Members Committee, the Online Lectures, the anual review, conference announcements and reports and many other articles of interest for the rock mechanics community.

The technical articles are the ISRM Müller Lecture 2023 delivered by Dr Derek Martin from Canada and the Rocha Medal presentation by Dr Jun Zhao, from China, winner of the Rocha Medal 2023.

Click here to read the News Journal directly on our website or download it.

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5th European Rock Mechanics Debate on 8 April

The 5th European Rock Mechanics Debate, chaired by Philippe Vaskou from France, Charlie Li from Norway, and Robert Galler from Austria, will take place on 8 April 2024 at 2 p.m. CET. It will be streamed to the ISRM YouTube channel, where it can be watched.

The title is "Rock Bolting: approaches in Mines and in Tunneling". Download the flyer with complete information or follow the link to register for the debate. Other debates will follow and will be announced on the ISRM website.

Muriel Gasc-Barbier, ISRM VP for Europe

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International Workshop on Recent Advances in Rock Mechanics in San José, Costa Rica, with the ISRM Board

The Geotechnical Society of Costa Rica hosted the "International Workshop on Recent Advances in Rock Mechanics" in San José, on 1 March, in conjunction with the ISRM Board meeting. This was the first ISRM activity organised in a Central American country.

A rich program with presentations by all Board members and several experts from Costa Rica and a fruitful discussion of technical issues on topics of interest took place.

This first meeting of the 2023-2027 ISRM Board, which took place on 29 February and 2 March, had the main objective of defining and starting the implemention of new initiatives for its 4-year term of office.

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Professor Jun Sun passed away

It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that we convey the news of the passing of Professor Jun Sun. Professor Sun departed peacefully due to illness at 21:58 on March 1, 2024, at Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai, at the age of 98.

The ISRM owes Professor Sun a lot from his enormous and constant dedication to the Society during many years, as the Vice President at large from 1995 to 1999, as well as a Fellow of ISRM from 2015.

Professor Sun's lifelong commitment to teaching, research, and engineering applications in geomechanics, tunneling, and underground engineering has left an indelible mark on our community. His leadership and contributions will be remembered with deep respect and gratitude.

During this challenging time, our thoughts and condolences go out to Professor Sun's family, friends, and colleagues. We share in the grief of his loss and celebrate the profound impact he had on the global rock mechanics community.

New ISRM Suggested Method Video

A video exemplifyying the application of the ISRM Suggested Method for Determining Mode I Static Fracture Toughness using Semi-Circular Bend Specimens was prepared by the Laboratorio de Mecánica de Rocas of the Universidad da Coruna.

Click here to watch this video on the ISRM website.

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Eurock2025, Trondhei, Norway, 16-20 June 2025 - call for abstracts

The Norwegian Group for Rock Mechanics welcomes you to Norway for EUROCK 2025, the International Symposium of ISRM. The event will take place at the Clarion Hotel & Congress in the beautiful city of Trondheim from June 16th to 20th.

The historical city of Trondheim was founded in 997 as a trading post during the Viking Age and served as the capital of Norway until 1217. Today it is the third largest city in Norway and known as the technological hub of Norway, hosting the largest university, the Norwegian University of Science and Tehnology (NTNU), as well as the Foundation for Science and Industrial Research (SINTEF), St. Olavs University Hospital and several other technology-oriented institutions.

Trondheim offers easy access by direct flights from several European airports, as well as direct flights from all major Norwegian airports and several daily departures by train and bus from Oslo.

Call for abstracts has already started and the abstract submission deadline is 30 June 2024.

Main Topics:

  1. New Tools and Techniques​ 
  2. Rock Support Design​ 
  3. Rock Mass Characterization​ 
  4. Prognosis Models in Rock Tunneling​ 
  5. Fluid Flow in Rock Mass​ 
  6. Ground Investigations​ 
  7. Laboratory Testing of Rock 
  8. Brittle Failure​ 
  9. Rock Mass Monitoring​ 
  10. Geohazards​ 
  11. 3D modelling and Visualization​ 
  12. Rock Mass Grouting​ 
  13. Sustainability in Rock Engineering 

For more information visit the Eurock2025 website

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Webinar on the Second Generation of Eurocode 7 and Rock Engineering

Eurocode 7 is known as the European standard for geotechnical engineering design and is widely considered as a great success story. The second generation of the standard is currently being drafted by the subcommittee CEN/TC250/SC7 of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). It will represent a significant step towards further harmonization and efficient guidance for geotechnical design. 

This online webinar, organised by ISSMGE ERTC10, CEN/TC 250/SC7, and delivered in partnership with NEN, will focus on specific aspects related to rock engineering design and will take place on 24 April from 3:00 to 5:00 PM (CEST).

The Rock Engineering Platform (REP) of CEN/TC 250/SC7 was asked to coordinate the presentations, and the International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM) was invited to co-sponsor the webinar. This webinar encourages geotechnical engineering professionals working with rock engineering design worldwide to engage with the Eurocode 7 experts.

Learn firsthand about the upcoming changes and meet the experts digitally as they present the improvements and challenges. Participating in this webinar is free. Just register at the following link:

Luís Lamas
ISRM Secretary General, CEN/TC 250/SC7/REP Convenor

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13th ISRM Young Members' Seminar

The 13th ISRM Young Members' Seminar took place on 21 February 2024 with the presentations:

  • Numerical modeling of rock fracture processes: Investigating mechanisms of rock fracture under dynamic loading in laboratory and small-scale tests - Gyeongjo Min (Jeonbuk National Univ., South Korea).
  • Forecasting potential rock slope failure in open pit mines using the state of the art of technology - Rachmat Musa (Ground Probe, Indonesia).
  • Numerical simulations of hydraulic fracturing using water or CO2 for volcanic rock under geothermal conditions - Yutaro Maeda (Osaka University, Japan).
  • Laboratory earthquakes decipher control and stability of rupture speeds - Peng Dong (China University of Geoscience, China).

Click here to download the flyer and read their bios at the ISRM Young Members Seminar series page. Click here to watch the seminar's recording on the Young Members Youtube Channel.

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Workshop on Definition of Rockbursts hosted by the ISRM Commission on Rockbursts

From February 1st to 4th, 2024, the ISRM Commission on Rockburst successfully hosted a focused workshop in the field of rockbursts in Beijing, focusing on the theme of "Definition of Rockburst."  This workshop marks the inaugural session of a series of workshops, which were jointly initiated by Professor Manchao He, the Chairman of the ISRM Commission on Rockburst, in collaboration with three other professors during the ISRM Congress held in Austria in October 2023.

This series of workshops will be organized in rotation as part of the ISRM Commission on Rockburst's ongoing efforts. The aim of this is to engage in in-depth discussions on professional issues in the field of rockburst. The four initiators of the workshop are:

  • Professor Manchao He from China University of Mining and Technology (Beijing);
  • Professor Ismet Canbulat from the University of New South Wales;
  • Professor Fidelis T. Suorineni from Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan;
  • Professor Murat Karakus from the University of Adelaide.

This year's workshop is organized by the ISRM Commission on Rockbursts, co-hosted by the State Key Laboratory of Tunnel Engineering and the Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics & Engineering. This workshop aims to define and refine the concept of rockbursts systematically and to bridge the gap in understanding and to resolve ambiguities. During the deliberations, a groundbreaking perspective on rockburst definition emerged: "A rockburst is a sudden failure of rock mass surrounding the excavations caused by the rapid release of stored energy when induced stresses exceed the rock strength." The next workshop is planned to be held in Adelaide.

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eXtended Reality: bridging the gap between education and experience

An engineering professional is educated in aspects of mathematics, natural sciences, and principles of engineering, which are acquired through education and practical experience.  Universities and educational institutions can cover the education portion with limited exposure to experience.  Thus, once graduated, the candidate starts the path of workplace experience. This common practice can easily leave a gap between theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience. In accredited programs, the graduate also exits the program with other skills over and above the knowledge component. 

Extended reality (XR) refers to the collection of technologies associated with virtual, augmented and mixed realities.  With its application in teaching, visualization, and collaboration, XR is a perfect fit to bridge the divide between the classroom and the fieldwork. The technology allows the educator to teach skills by exposing the student to real, or lifelike scenarios, in a 360° immersive and interactive environment.  Even activities that are not so common in the discipline can be developed to expose students to them.

During the International workshop in Costa Rica recently, the vice-president for Africa, Jannie Maritz, presented how the technology can be incorporated as a teaching tool in engineering skills.  He explained how they use immersive technology to expose students and believe that graduates are better equipped to start their new careers and increase their employability.

janny Maritz

Some examples can be viewed following the links below:

Jannie Maritz, ISRM Vice President for Africa

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5th ICITG - International Conference on Information Technology in Geo-engineering, - JTC2 Conference

The Joint Committee 2 (JCT2) on Representation of Geo-engineering Data cordially invites you to the 5th International Conference on Information Technology in Geo-Engineering (5th ICITG), to take place on the campus of Colorado School of Mines in Bolder, Colorado, 5-8 August 2024.

JTC2 is a committee under the Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies (FedIGS), which is an umbrella organization linking international professional societies in the field of “Geo‐Engineering’” including the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), the International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM), the International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG), and the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS).

The conference intends to bring together engineers, scientists, researchers, and educators to discuss and review IT advances in geo-engineering and provide a forum for the discussion of future trends. The first four ICITG conferences were organized by: 1) Tongji University, Shanghai, China in 2010; 2) Durham University, Durham, UK together with Tongji University, Shanghai, China in 2014; 3) the University of Minho and the Portuguese Geotechnical Society in Portugal in 2019; and 4) by Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore in 2022 (online).

For more information visit the 5th ICITG website.

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14th International Symposium on Landslides (ISL Landslides 2024) - a JTC 1 Conference

The 14th ISL will take place in Chambéry, France, 8-12 July 2024. The topic will be “Landslides across the scales: from the fundamentals to engineering applications”. This topic will be addressed through the following items:

  • Multiscale constitutive modeling for soils and rocks
  • Weathering effects on soils and rocks destabilization
  • Permafrost and ground stability
  • Survey techniques
  • Modeling of soil and rock hazards
  • Recent progress in numerical tools for landslide modeling
  • Risk analysis and mitigation
  • Modeling and design of protective structures
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques applied to slope engineering
  • Make researchers, authorities and companies working together and involve inhabitants
  • Case studies

For more information visit the IS Landslide 2024 website.

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ISRM Sponsored Conferences

Click here to open the conferences webpage