ISRM 2014

Plenary & Keynote Speakers

Setting the stage for the Congress, the plenary session will open with a ceremony led by First Nation officials, followed by powerful speakers selected among industry leaders from around the world. The plenary’s opening ceremony will start at 08:30 on Monday, May 11.

The plenary will provide hard-hitting insight and expertise on the topics that are most important to the global mining industry. The Congress’ theme, Innovations in Apllied and Theoretical Rock Mechanics, will shine through the plenary, through varied and global perspectives.

Every morning on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the Technical program will begin with 2 keynote speakers.

Listed below are our prestigious keynote speakers:

Monday, May 11, 8:30 - 12:00


7th Müller Award Lecture

Dr. John A. Hudson
Emeritus Professor - Department of Earth Science and Engineering Imperial College London, UK

Presentation title:
Engineering in Fractured Rock Masses

ISRM Rocha Medal 2015 Lecture

Dr. Andrea Lisjak Bradley
NSERC Industrial R&D
Fellow Geomechanica Inc, Toronto, Canada

Presentation title:
Investigating the Influence of Mechanical Anisotropy on the Fracturing Behavior of Brittle Clay Shales with Application to Deep Geological Repositories

Monday, May 11 - KEYNOTES


Dr. Erik Eberhardt, P.Eng.
Director - Geological Engineering
Professor - Rock Mechanics & Rock Engineering
Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
University of British Columbia

Presentation title:
Transitioning from Open Pit to Underground Mass Mining: Meeting the Rock Engineering Challenges of Going Deeper

Dr. Erik Eberhardt, P.Eng., is a Professor of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering and the Director of Geological Engineering at the University of British Columbia. He is also the Associate Director of the Rio Tinto Centre for Underground Mine Construction at CEMI, with focus on underground mining infrastructure and footprint reliability. Erik received his B.Eng., M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the University of Saskatchewan, completing his PhD in 1998 in conjunction with Canada’s Underground Research Laboratory studying brittle fracture processes and rock strength degradation. This was then followed by a move to Switzerland and the ETH Zurich where he worked for 6 years as a senior researcher on a series of rock slope and tunnelling projects, leaving in 2003 to accept his appointment at UBC. Erik manages a large research group at UBC specializing in rock mass characterization, innovative geotechnical monitoring and state-of-the-art numerical modelling. His research is driven by a recognition that the tools frequently used in assessing risk are often descriptive and qualitative, and that there is a need to better understand the underlying mechanisms responsible for complex rock mass responses to deep mining and tunnelling. Erik is a registered professional engineer and consults on international projects in North and South America, Europe and Asia. He has published over 160 technical papers, was the 29th Canadian Geotechnical Society’s Colloquium speaker and the 2013 recipient of the CGS's John A. Franklin Award for outstanding technical contributions to the application of the principles of rock mechanics and rock engineering in civil, mining, and petroleum engineering.

Yossef H. Hatzor, Ph.D.
Lemkin Professor of Rock Mechanics
Head, Dept. of Geological and Environmental Sciences
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Presentation title:
Discontinuous Deformation Analysis in Rock Mechanics Practice

Yossef Hatzor is a graduate of the geotechnical engineering program of the civil engineering department at U. C. Berkeley, class of 1992. He did his PhD research in rock mechanics and geological engineering under the supervision of Professor Richard E. Goodman. In 1993 he established the academic program in engineering geology at Ben-Gurion University. Prof. Hatzor currently functions as Chair of the department of geological and environmental sciences, the director of the engineering geology undergraduate and graduate programs, and director of the rock mechanics laboratory at BGU. Professor Hatzor is involved in major geotechnical and geological engineering projects in Israel involving mining, tunneling, rock slope engineering and more recently reservoir rock mechanics. Among his national projects is the analysis of static and dynamic stability in the rock cliffs of Masada World Heritage site, a project for which he was awarded the international Shamsher Prakash award for excellence in the practice of geotechnical engineering. Professor Hatzor is the founding president of Israel Rock Mechanics Association, an ISRM national group and served as IRMA president between 2003 and 2014. He served as president of Israel Geology Society in 2004-5. In 2007 Professor Hatzor was appointed as the Dr. Sam and Edna Lemkin Chair in Rock Mechanics by BGU Senate. In 2011 Professor Hatzor won the competitive visiting professorship appointment for senior international scientists by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and he holds this position at the Rock and Soil Mechanics Institute of the CAS in Wuhan, China where he collaborates with Professor Xia-Ting Feng, ISRM President, on projects involving deep tunnels in various geological conditions. Professor Hatzor has served as co – chair of the ISRM Commission on discontinuous deformation analysis (DDA) between 2011 – 2015. He is the recipient of several national and international research awards and is a member of the editorial boards of both the International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, and Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. He is the editor of two books and author or coauthor of more than 90 articles in scientific journals and peer reviewed collective volumes.

For a complete list of publications and research projects see:

Tuesday, May 12 - KEYNOTES


Jean Sulem
Professor and Research Director
École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées

Presentation title:
Multiphysics couplings and stability of fault zones' and the topic is in the area of 'Constitutive modelling and deformation processes of rocks

Jean Sulem is Professor at Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, and Research Director. He is leading the Geotechnical Group CERMES at Laboratoire Navier. His research interests are related to Bifurcation Theory applied to stability and strain localisation analyses, Constitutive Modelling of geomaterials, Experimental Rock Mechanics, Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Behaviour of Geomaterials with applications to Tunnelling, Petroleum Engineering, Deep Geological Storage, Fault Mechanics. He has published 2 books (Vardoulakis, I. and Sulem, J. , 1995, Bifurcation Analysis in Geomechanics, Blackie Academic and Professional, 642 citations, and Hatzor Y., Sulem J., Vardoulakis I. 2009, Meso-scale Shear Physics in Earthquake and Landslide Mechanics, Taylor & Francis) and 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has given a keynote lecture at EUROCK 2010, Lausanne, Switzerland, and numerous other invited talks in Europe, America and Australia. He has supervised 15 PhD theses. Jean Sulem is also a member of the Advisory Board of several scientific journals: Acta Geotecnica (Springer), International Journal of Geomechanics (ASCE), Géotechnique (ICE), Geomechanics for Energy and the Environment (Elservier), Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (Springer).

Chris Massey
Senior Engineering Geologist, Natural Hazards Division
The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science

Presentation title:
The performance of rock slopes during the 2010/11 Canterbury (New Zealand) earthquake sequence, and beyond?

Chris's educational and professional background is in Engineering Geology. Chris has 18 years of research and consultancy experience in the investigation and analysis of complex geological and geotechnical data for geohazard assessments, slope stability (including landslide monitoring), foundation, underground/surface rock support and groundwater assessments. He has applied these skills to hazard assessments, highway, town planning, pipeline and mining engineering projects in Malawi, Bhutan, Nepal, Ethiopia, Russia (Sakhalin Island), Tajikistan, Hong Kong, Australia, Europe, UK and New Zealand. Recently Chris has lead a project assessing the rockfall and landslide risk to residential homes in the Port Hills of Christchurch, New Zealand, following the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence. Chris is currently leading a research project to quantify the seismic response of slopes in Christchurch and Wellington, New Zealand. Chris's talk will highlight observations, measurements and modelling results to discuss how rock slopes in the Port Hills of Christchurch, New Zealand, performed during the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquake sequence, and how they might perform in the future? He will then discuss how these results have been used to develop time-variable risk estimates, which have underpinned robust land-use and reconstruction policy in the Port Hills.

Wednesday, May 13 - KEYNOTES


Dr. Francois Malan
Sibanye Gold, South Africa
Senior Consultant, Rock Engineering

Presentation Title:
Hard rock tabular excavations: Historic solutions and future challenges

Prof. Malan joined the Chamber of Mines Research Organisation (COMRO) in Johannesburg in 1993 and worked in the fields of numerical modelling and the physics of rock mass behaviour. During this time, he also gained significant expertise in the time-dependent behaviour of hard rock which he used as a topic to obtain his PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1998. This won him the ISRM Rocha medal in 2001. Other achievements were to be twice awarded the South African National Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE) Salamon prize for the best published paper and South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) silver and gold medals. He currently has more than 20 publications in refereed journals and 30 papers in conference proceedings. After serving for some time as Programme Manager of Rock Engineering at CSIR Miningtek, he joined Groundwork Consulting in 2004 as Principal Consultant. In 2011, he accepted the position as Manager of Rock Engineering at Gold Fields and inherited the same position at Sibanye Gold when the company was unbundled. He is a registered Professional Engineer with ECSA (Engineering Council of South Africa) and a member of the SAIMM and SANIRE. From 2007 to 2011 he served on the Board of the International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM) as a Vice-President for Africa. In 2011 he was also appointed as Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria and in 2012 as Honorary Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand. He currently supervises a number of MSc and PhD students at these two Universities.

Dr. Alejo Oscar Sfriso
Professor of Soil Mechanics and Geology
University of Buenos Aires and SRK Consulting (Argentina)

Presentation Title:
Selecting material parameters for advanced constitutive modeling. An overview.

Alejo O. Sfriso has more than 20 years of experience in geotechnical engineering for infrastructure and mining works, having participated in projects in twelve countries. He is an expert in the application of numerical methods to geotechnical design and analysis with particular focus in underground construction. He is the president of the Argentinian Society for Geotechnical Engineering, chairman of the XV PCSMGE and VIII SACRM (Buenos Aires 2015) and belongs to several professional associations including ISSMGE and ISRM.

Wednesday, May 13 - CLOSING CEREMONY


Professor Chungsik Yoo
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sungkyunkwan University (Korea)

Presentation Title:
Use of Geosynthetics in Underground Works - Fundamentals

Professor Chungsik Yoo is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Sungkyunkwan University in Korea. He obtained his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 1993. He worked as a Geotechnical Engineer at Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers in USA and subsequently became a faculty member at Sungkyunkwan University in 1994. Prof. Yoo is a recipient of 2010 IGS Award from the International Geosynthetic Society (IGS) and has co-authored over 250 technical papers in geotechnical engineering based on laboratory testing, numerical modeling, and field testing. He is currently the Vice-President of International GeosyntheticsSociety and a Vice-President of Korean Tunnelling Association as well as Korean Geosynthetics Society. He is serving as an Editorial Board Member for a number of international journals, such as Geotextiles and Geomembranes, GeosyntheticsInternational, and Computers and Geotechnics. He is also working as the Animateur of Working Group 2 "Research" in International Tunnelling Association.



Director: Lise Bujold
1-514-939-2710 ext. 1308

Congress Coordinator: Chantal Murphy
1-514-939-2710 ext. 1309

Technical Program Coordinator: Janet Sandor
1-514-939-2710 ext. 1320


General Chair: Ferri Hassani, McGill University
Co-Chairs: Jamie Archibald, Queen's University
John Hadjigeorgiou, University of Toronto

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