NZ Geomechanics News

International Society for Rock Mechanics Report

Voting at 2016 Council Meeting

Three issues required voting at the Council meeting:

  1. Increase in Rocha Medal prize (from €1,000 to €2,000) – passed
  2. Adoption of operational mode with FedIGS (greater interaction between member Societies) – passed
  3. Selection of location for the 2018 International Symposium – Singapore was selected.


Young Professionals:

No progress on whether ISRM will promote a young member (under 35) group in its profile, and it may remain a National Group activity. Fostering of younger members (about 20% of members) is a recognised need, and aside from National Group activities there will be young professional group activities at particular rock mechanics conferences.



There are 17 ISRM Commissions in the 2015 – 2019 term. Commission purposes and anticipated products, along with membership, are given on the ISRM website (links on

The Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) – Doug Stead (chair), Stuart Read and Norikazu Shimizu – has evaluated reports from each of the Commissions covering their activities over the last year (May 2015 – August 2016) and reported to the Board and Council meetings. Some commissions which are less active than others require attention, others need to improve interaction with related technical societies (e.g. undersea tunnels with ITA) or regional breadth of membership (often dominated by Asia), and the task of identifying gaps (mining being is noted as one) or where there is overlap between commissions is in progress.


Rocha medal (2017 & 2018):

Nominations for the 2017 award closed on 31 December 2016, with 14 theses nominated. The winner is Bryan Tatone (Univ Toronto, Canada), with the thesis “Investigating the evolution of rock discontinuity asperity degradation and void space morphology under direct shear”.

The award recognises the most meritorious PhD thesis in rock mechanics, and nominations for the 2018 award are due by 31 December 2017. Further details are on the ISRM and NZGS websites.


ISRM On-line lecture

Two ISRM on-line lectures have been given over the last months:

a) 14th by Prof. Walter Wittke: “Design based on the Anisotropic Jointed Rock Model (AJRM) – Fundamentals and Case Histories”.|
b) 15th by Professor Nielen van der Merwe: “Predicting the probability of failure into the future”.

Copies of the broadcasts are available on the ISRM website



The ISRM website ( has information on the society’s intent, structure and activities, including conferences, commissions, awards, products and publications. For those NZGS and AGS members affiliated to ISRM as individual members there is a members area with access to further products.

The ISRM Digital Library ( is intended to make rock mechanics material available to the rock mechanics community. ISRM individual members can download up to 100 papers per year from the ISRM conferences. Regular means of communication (under ISRM information on the website) are the ISRM newsletter and the ISRM News Journal.

Other recent items on the website include:

a) Video of unconfined compressive strength test (under testing methods, ex Korea University)
b) Video course on “Key Principles in Rock Mechanics” by Prof Jian Zhao – lesson 1 available

NZ Geomechanics News
Stuart Read
NZ Geomechanics News>Issue 92 - December 2016
Society News

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