Eurock 2009

The Regional Symposium of The International Society for Rock Mechanics, EUROCK 2009, was organised by the Croatian Geotechnical Society. It is a continuation of the successful series of regional ISRM symposia for Europe, which began in 1992 in Chester, UK, and will be continued next year with the 14th symposium to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland. EUROCK 2009 was chaired by Ivan Vrkljan.
This EUROCK 2009 focuses on recent developments in rock mechanics and rock engineering in difficult ground conditions, with an emphasis on soft rocks and karst conditions. The behaviour of weak rocks can be explained through the principles of rock mechanics and soil mechanics alike, and so it may rightly be stated that the study of this specific class of rock creates a strong link between these two scientific disciplines. The karst is an interesting phenomenon offering images of extraordinary beauty in underground and on surface, but, on the other hand, posing enormous risks, often bringing unexpected challenges in the course of construction activities.

In addition to experts dealing with rock mechanics and rock engineering, the role assumed by engineering geologists is also significant. In fact, the theme that is the focus of this symposium is a good example of beneficial co-operation among the various scientific and engineering disciplines, that is promoted through the establishment of FedIGS (Federation of International Geo-engineering Societies) founded by the three Societies: the ISSMGE, ISRM, and IAEG. Furthermore, the fact that most papers submitted for this symposium are related to the theme “Rock properties, testing methods and site characterization” indicates that present-day engineers and scientists are fully aware of the problem of determining the mechanical properties of the rock mass, and that they recognize this problem as a key pre-condition for successful modelling of every geotechnical assignment in or on the rock mass.

Professor John A. Hudson, ISRM President, Dr. Nuno F. Grossmann as ISRM V.P. for Europe and Professor Ivan Vrkljan as symposium chairman, gave a warm welcome address in the opening ceremony.

Seven section were organized with following topics:
1. Geological and hydrogeological properties of karst regions
2. Rock properties, testing methods and site characterization
3. Design methods and analyses
4. Monitoring and back analysis
5. Excavation and support
6. Environmental aspects of geotechnical engineering in karst regions
7. Case Histories

Eight excellent keynote presentations were given during the Symposium:

– Some rock mechanics aspects of subaqueous tunnels. Georgios Anagnostou, ETH Zurich
– Innovative tunnelling construction method to cope with squeezing at Saint Martin La Porte Access Adit (Lyon-Torino Base Tunnel). Giovanni Barla, Politecnico di Torino – Innovative tunnelling construction method to cope with squeezing at Saint Martin La Porte Access Adit (Lyon-Torino Base Tunnel)
– Metro construction at the most unfavourable depth caused a major metro station collapse in Brazil due to a unique sub-surface structure. Nick Barton, Nick Barton & Associates
– Rock engineering for structures in unstable slopes. Heinz Brandl, Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Geotechnics .
– Tunnelling in overstressed rock. Evert Hoek, Evert Hoek Consulting Engineer Inc. and Paul G. Marinos, National Technical University of Athens .
– Stresses in rock masses: a review of key points. John A. Hudson, ISRM President, Imperial College
– Site characterization and rock testing for the evaluation of design parameters. José Muralha, Luís Lamas and Nuno F. Grossman, Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC), Portugal.
– Rock engineering in Croatia: history, current status and special problems. Ivan Vrkljan, Institut IGH, Faculty of Civil Engineering University of Rijeka.

Exactly 234 participants from all over the world such as many countries from Europe, China, South Africa, Iran, Turkey, Australia, Brasil, Japan, Colombia, Egypt, South Korea, Russia, Nepal, India etc attended the symposium.

For oral presentation 70 papers were selected. They have been presented in two parallel sections. In poster section 54 papers have been presented.

One volume of the proceedings, edited by Ivan Vrkljan, containing 7 keynote papers and 129 ordinary papers. It was published by CRC Press / Balkema, a member of The Taylor & Francis Group (ISBN: ISBN: 978-0-415-80481-3 (hbk); ISBN: 978-0-203-85653-6 (eBook), 841 pages). Balkema has all right regarding to proceedings distribution. Proceedings are also available in electronic format within a CD.

During the symposium European Council meting has been held.

During the symposium an exhibition has been organized. Totally 13 company participated in exhibition.

The social programme included two excursion for accompanying persons and one day excursion for all participants on Pelješac peninsula.

The Croatia Hotel in Cavtat provided high standard facilities which included halls for plenary and parallel sessions, space for exhibition and poster section, welcome cocktail, banquet, accommodation for all participants and others.

The Croatian Geotechnical society extends its warmest thanks to the International Society for Rock Mechanics for the trust it has placed in it when selecting the organizer of the Regional Symposium. A special thanks is extended to Professor John A. Hudson for useful suggestions and support given to us during preparations for this significant gathering. We would also like to thank Dr. Nuno F. Grossmann, ISRM Vice-President for Europe, and to Secretary General, Dr. Luís Lamas, for their work with us on the concept and in the preparation of the symposium.

Our gratitude and thanks also go to all sponsors that have given us support in these hard times marked by the global economic crisis, and especially to Institut IGH for the general sponsorship.

We also wish to thank exhibitors who have found interest in taking part in this event, and who have certainly contributed, to the success of the symposium.

Finally, we owe special thanks to all authors who have decided to share with us their knowledge and experience, with the purpose of improving current knowledge and expertise in the field of rock mechanics and rock engineering.

Ivan Vrkljan
Chairman of the Organising Committee

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