ISRM Congress 2023

ISRM Congress 2023


The Korean Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (KSRM) seeks to host the 15th Congress of ISRM in 2023. In accordance with ISRM By-Law No. 4 on ‘Organization of a Congress of the Society’, KSRM submitted this written proposal together with details of scope, dates, expected registration fees, and geographic location.


The scope of the Congress will cover both conventional and emerging topics in broadly-defined rock mechanics and rock engineering. The themes of the Congress include but not be limited to the following areas:

  • Fundamental rock mechanics
  • Laboratory and field testing and physical modeling of rock mass
  • Analytical and numerical methods in rock mechanics and rock engineering
  • Underground excavation in civil and mining engineering
  • Slope stability for rock engineering
  • Rock mechanics for environmental impact and countermeasures
  • Petroleum geomechanics
  • Rock dynamics
  • Coupled processes in rock mass
  • Underground storage for petroleum, gas, CO2 and radioactive waste
  • Rock mechanics for renewable energy resources
  • Geomechanics for sustainable development of energy and mineral resources
  • New frontiers and innovations of rock mechanics
  • Rock Engineering as an appropriate technology
  • Geomechanics and rock engineering for the Official Development Assistance (ODA) program
  • Rock mechanics as interdisciplinary science and engineering

Tentative Program

Proposed dates of the Congress: October 22 (Sun) – October 28 (Sat), 2023

Oct 22 (Sun) Short Courses
ISRM Board Meeting
Oct 23 (Mon) Short Courses
ISRM Board Meeting
Oct 24 (Tue) Commission Meetings
ISRM Council Meeting
Welcome Reception
Oct 25 (Wed) Opening Ceremony
Technical Sessions
Oct 26 (Thu) Plenaries
Technical Sessions
Early Career Forum
Technical Sessions
Advisory Forum
Closing Ceremony
Oct 28 (Sat) Technical and Cultural Visits

Location and Fees

The geographic location of the Congress venue will be Seoul. The Korean Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering will make every effort to minimize the financial burden of participants and provide more opportunities for young members by having moderate registration fees. In particular, we will adopt a new scheme of a discounted registration fee for retired professionals in order to allow more interactions with experienced rock mechanicians. Expected registration fees are as follows.

ISRM Members / Non-members US$800/US$900
Students / Retirees US$300
Accompanying Persons US$300

Organizational Plan

We plan to organize the ISRM Congress to provide the most benefit to both the members and the ISRM by strengthening the existing opportunities and adopting new and effective tailor made programs. We are determined to coordinate all the rock mechanics activities in the most systematic and efficient way in order to present the most up-to-date knowledge and information to ISRM members as well as provide unique networking opportunities. Ultimately, we hope to build a stronger and more inclusive ISRM at the largest scale ever, through the Congress. In proposing to host the ISRM Congress, we list the five guiding principles and associated tentative programs and ideas.

1) Academic Excellency

Academic excellency is the most important aspect of symposia for professional societies. We will adhere to the superb tradition of academic excellence of past ISRM congresses. At the same time, we will strive to strike a balance between traditional and emerging subjects in organizing the academic program. We will make efforts to provide more opportunities to mid-career members seeking professional growth. In addition to traditional Congress proceedings collected by national groups, we will hold numerous mini symposia on topical issues in order to provide swifter and the most up-to-date professional interactions. Tentative programs and ideas that can be included in the proposed Congress are as follows:

  • Deployment of best minds of rock mechanics in the current era
  • Balanced program of traditional and emerging subjects
  • Special programs for mid-career members
  • Introduction of topical mini symposia
  • Top quality pre- and post- symposium activities

2) Tailor-made Industry Programs

We will make conscientious efforts to include the rock engineering and geomechanics industry in the event. A job fair will provide an excellent opportunity fot the industry as well as both young and mature professionals. We will seek both national and international industry members to sponsor various functions to maximize their visibility. Special industry oriented events will be prepared to honor the specific needs in different industry sectors. Tentative programs and ideas that can be included in the Congress are as follows:

  • Rock mechanics Job Fair linked with Congress website - Interviews, internships and employment opportunities will be arranged.
  • Largest Geo-Engineering Booth and Exhibition
  • Diverse sponsorship opportunities – gala dinner, welcome reception, scholarships, etc.
  • Inclusive Tailor-made Programs for civil, mining, petroleum and other industry sectors including unique pre-and post-congress field trips

3) Early Career and Senior Members’ Activities

Symposia provide opportunities to raise the next generation and share the lessons learned by the current generation. The ISRM National Group of Korea is proud to be a long-standing proponent of students’ activities included in past ISRM symposia. We initiated the first students’ night and an extensive scholarship program at the 7th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium in 2012. The Rocha Medalist exhibition, Young Female Scholars’ Luncheon, and recent PhD thesis poster exhibition are other successful examples that the Korean National Group introduced during the Young Scholars’ Rock Mechanics Symposium in 2017. We will continue the tradition of promoting young and early career members’ activities in the ISRM Congress. Furthermore, we will arrange a special honorary program for our senior members, whose role is even more important in rock mechanics. We will provide a significant reduction of registration fees to senior members and arrange special senior members’ programs such as a senior member rock mechanics round table. Tentative programs and ideas that can be included in the Congress are as follows:

  • A significant reduction of registration fees for young members
  • Standard and advanced short courses for students and early career members
  • Networking opportunities for Students & Early Career Members – Students’ Night, Rock Bowl Competition, Early Career Forum, and recent PhD thesis poster exhibition
  • Job Fair, in partnership with industry members
  • Special program for senior members – discounted registration fees and senior member rock mechanics round table

4) ISRM Expansion Initiatives

The Congress is undoubtedly the most important ISRM event. We will maximize the visibility of ISRM through the Congress and make the best use of this opportunity to expand the ISRM membership and member nations. In close consultation with ISRM board members, we plan to provide various scholarly and financial supports to under-represented nations in rock mechanics. We will pay special attention to nations considering membership by exposing them to ISRM in the most comprehensive way through special invitations. In addition to the traditional keynote lecture series from sister societies represented by FedIGS, we will make more substantial interdisciplinary programs to interact with areas of engineering geology, soil mechanics, and hydrogeology. Tentative programs and ideas that can be included in the Congress are as follows:

  • Special program for ISRM activities
  • Various scholarship opportunities for under-represented nations in rock mechanics in conjunction with Education Fund Committee of ISRM
  • Coordinated activities with sister societies in conjunction with FedIGS
  • Free registration and special invitation for ISRM candidate national groups

5) Accessible and Friendly Congress

The Korean National Group’s ultimate goal is to ensure ISRM participants’ satisfaction in both professional and leisurely ways. We will make every effort to make ISRM colleagues’ trip to Seoul the most convenient, memorable, and the most importantly, safe by providing a swift and timely service to meet participants’ specific needs. We are also committed to making the Congress a more family friendly event by providing an on-site child care and children’s program, as well as a very attractive accompanying persons’ program. Tentative programs and ideas that can be included in the Congress are as follows:

  • Swift and timely service for participants
  • One-for-all website
  • A wide range of accomodations and convenient transportations
  • Family friendly program – on-site child-care service & children’s program
  • Unique and attractive accompanying persons’ program


Welcome to Seoul, Korea

1) Korea at a Glance

The Korean Peninsula is located in Northeast Asia. It is surrounded by the ocean on three sides, making it a unique geographical location. With Seoul as its capital city, the landsite is roughly 1,030 km (612 miles) long and 175 km (105 miles) wide at its narrowest point. Total land area of Korea is 100,033 square km, neighboring Japan to the east, China to the west, and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)to the north. The total population of Korea is approximately 51,634,618 as of July 2016 with most Koreans residing in the Seoul Metropolitan Area. Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, refers to the series of letters that form the syllables with which the Korean language is written. History states that King Sejong, the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, sponsored and helped with the scientific creation of the alphabet in the 15th century.
Hanbok is the traditional outfit of the Korean people. Mordern Koreans wear this outfit only on festive days or special anniversaries; however, it was worn daily until just 100 years ago. It is still used as casual wear in villages or districts such as Chunghak-dong where the traditional ways of life are still maintained.

2) Imagine Your Korea, the Land of Morning Calm

With a more than 5,000 year history, from its very first nation to the 21st century, Korea has been a country full of vibrant colors and positive energy. Following its miraculous development over the last 50 years, Korea is now a modernized dynamic nation that still maintains its traditional culture. In 2017, 13.3 million foreign tourists visited South Korea, making it the 20th most visited country in the world, up from 8.5 million in 2010. Modern day Korea, with its trendy K-pop of Gangnam Style, is a great place for touring, shopping, and entertainment but this country is also rich in history. Korea has twelve sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty, Historical Villages of Korea – Hahoe and Yangdong, Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple, Haeinsa, and Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes.

3) Explore Seoul, 600 Year Old Capital City of Korea

Seoul has been the capital of Korea for approximately 600 years, since the time of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Seoul was referred to as “Han Yang” during the Joseon Dynasty, and the newly founded Republic of Korea officially changed its capital city’s name to Seoul. Seoul has developed into a bustling metropolis, acting as the hub for political, economic, social, and cultural matters. The Han River runs through the heart of the city, dividing it in two; the northern part of the city is a focal point for culture and history, while the southern part is well known for its business district. Seoul has hosted many international events including: 1986 Asian Games, the 1988 Olympic Games and 2002 Korea/Japan FIFA World Cup. The success of these events has shown that Seoul is an attractive international city for holding the Congress. Gyeongbokgung, Myeongdong, N Seoul Tower, Dongdaemun, Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House), Bukchon Hanok Village, Changdeokgung, Insadong, Hongdae, and Itaewon are some of the most popular attractions tourists visit in Seoul.