Recent developments

  • Rock Mechanics Principles, a video course by Prof. Jian Zhao. Available from the website.
  • ISRM Suggested Methods on video.
  • ISRM sponsored an investigation of the Nepal earthquake, chaired by VP He Manchao from China.

Board and Council meetings

The ISRM held its 2016 Council meeting in Ürgüp, Turkey, on 28 August, in conjunction with the EUROCK 2016, organised by the Turkish ISRM National Group. Out of the 60 National Groups, 49 were either present or represented. The Council was also attended by Past President Prof. Shunsuke Sakurai, Chairmen of several ISRM Commissions and a representative of the IAEG. Michael du Plessis represented South Africa and Omberai Mandingaisa represented Zimbabwe. William Joughin represented Tunisia on behalf of Essaieb Hamdi.

The ISRM board meeting was held on the 27th August and William Joughin represented the African region.


The ISRM has 7 796 individual members and 150 corporate members, from 60 National Groups. Iceland and Malaysia had joined the Society since the last meeting. Forty-one percent of the members come from Europe and thirty-two percent from Asia, which has been the fastest growing region in the recent years.


Several of the 17 ISRM Commissions met on 28 August. The Technical Oversight Committee, which coordinates the work of the Commissions, presented a report on the activities of the Commissions during the past year, with an assessment of the work they develop and recommendations for the future, namely concerning communication and relevance of the Commission products.

William Joughin, Michael du Plessis and Jaco Le Roux attended commission meetings.

Rocha Medal

The Rocha Award Committee selected the winner of the Rocha Medal 2017 and decided to award two runner-up certificates:

  • Winner – Bryan Tatone (Canada), with the thesis “Investigating the evolution of rock discontinuity asperity degradation and void space morphology under direct shear” (University of Toronto);
  • Runner-up – Robert Bewick (Canada) with the thesis “Shear Rupture of Massive Brittle Rock under Constant Normal Stress and Stiffness Boundary Conditions” (University of Toronto);
  • Runner-up – Gabriel Walton (Canada) with the thesis “Improving continuum models for excavations in rock masses under high stress through an enhanced understanding of post-yield dilatancy” (Queen’s University).

The award will be given during the 2017 ISRM International Symposium in South Africa where the winner will be invited to deliver the Rocha Lecture.

The Rocha Medal has been awarded annually by the ISRM, since 1982, for an outstanding doctoral thesis in rock mechanics or rock engineering, to honour the memory of Past President Manuel Rocha, while stimulating researchers. Up to two runner-up certificates may also be awarded.

Starting in 2017, the amount of the cash prize increases from 1 000 to 2 000 Euros.

Nominations for the Rocha Medal 2018 are to be received by the ISRM Secretariat by 31 December 2016. Click here to download the announcement with details on the Rocha Medal 2018.

Suggested Methods

Three new suggested methods have been approved by the ISRM Board:

  • ISRM SM for Uniaxial-strain Compressibility Testing for Reservoir Geomechanics
  • ISRM SM for Determining Thermal Properties of Rocks
  • ISRM SM for Laboratory Acoustic Emission Monitoring

Digital Library

The ISRM Digital Library ( is hosted in cooperation with the Society of Petroleum Engineers. It currently includes 8 400 papers (60 000 pages) from 42 ISRM sponsored events since 1966. Individual members may download up to 100 papers per year at no charge.

Online lectures

Two new ISRM Online Lectures are available for viewing or downloading on the ISRM website (

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

Multilingual rock mechanics glossary

The rock mechanics glossary includes 1000 rock mechanics terms in 15 different languages. More languages will be available soon.

ISRM Conferences

The following ISRM Conferences are scheduled:

Event title Start date End date Country City
ARMS9 - the ISRM 9th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium 2016-10-18 2016-10-20 Indonesia Bali
VII Brazilian Rock Mechanics Symposium - an ISRM Specialised Conference 2016-10-19 2016-10-22 Brazil Belo Horizonte
RARE 2016 - Recent Advances in Rock Engineering - an ISRM Specialised Conference 2016-11-16 2016-11-18 India Bangalore
YSRM 2017 - the 4th ISRM Young Scholars’ Symposium on Rock Mechanics and NDRM 2017 - the 5th International Symposium on New Development in Rock Engineering - an ISRM Specialised Conference 2017-05-11 2017-05-13 Korea Jeju
EUROCK 2017 - the ISRM European Rock Mechanics Symposium 2017-06-20 2017-06-22 Czech Rep. Ostrava
GeoProc 2017 - 6th International Conference on Coupled THMC Processes in Geosystems - an ISRM Specialised Conference 2017-07-05 2017-07-07 France Paris
Shaoxing lnternational Forum on Rock Mechanics and Engineering Geology - an ISRM Specialised Conference 2017-09-20 2017-09-20 China Shaoxing
AfriRock 2017 – the 2017 ISRM International Symposium 2017-10-02 2017-10-07 South Africa Cape Town
EUROCK 2018 - the ISRM European Rock Mechanics Symposium 2018-05-22 2018-05-26 Russia Saint Petersburg
RockDyn-3 - 3rd International Conference on Rock Dynamics and Applications - an ISRM Specialised Conference 2018-06-26 2018-06-27 Norway Trondheim
ARMS10 - the ISRM 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium 2018-10-29 2018-11-03 Singapore Singapore
ISRM 14th International Congress on Rock Mechanics 2019-09-20 2019-09-27 Brazil Foz do Iguaçu

African Region

Tunisian Society for Rock Mechanics

Dr Essaieb Hamdi is the current president of the recently established Tunisian Society for Rock Mechanics (TSRM). The membership for the previous year and current comprises 10 members.

Meetings of TSRM members were held in order to discuss the possibilities for promoting the TSRM activities.

New Initiatives: TSRM is organizing a one-day seminar on "Reinforcement of Civil Works and Historic monuments" in collaboration with French and Lebanese colleagues. The seminar is planned to be held in the Northern suburbs of Tunis Gammarth on 19 October 2016.


Mr Omberai Mandingaisa is the current president of the recently established ZINIRE. Membership increased from 19 to 35 members from 2015 to 2016 (845 growth). ZINIRE is actively involved in the training and development of young rock mechanics practitioners through the universities and the COMREC.

The Young Rock Engineers Foundation (YREF) was launched at the Zimbabwe School of Mines on 3rd May 2016. Eighty-seven Delegates attended the launch and forty-two YREF subscriptions were obtained.

ZINIRE arranged the donation of support products teaching aids to School of Mines Laboratory.

The main annual event and AGM was held in June 2016 and attended by 72 delegates, and 4 technical papers were presented.

The original 6-member interim council completed their term after three years and a new council was formally elected.