More workshops will be added later


Geology for Rock Engineering Projects

The Authors

Dr. Vaskou and Dr. Vibert, have both more than 35 years of experience in the field of site selection, site investigation (programme, follow-up & interpretations), design and construction supervision of rock engineering projects for dams as well as tunnels and caverns. They will share with the short course participants their extensive and practical knowledge on site characterisation including the investigation methods and equipment to be used, data acquisition and data validation, as well as design methodologies used for industrial projects.

Main Goal

The course is suitable for any practitioner (engineer or technical staff) working in the field of rock mechanics and rock engineering, wishing to learn or strengthen their knowledge in the process of validation of input data for rock engineering projects. It is even recommended to those performing geotechnical computer modelling, who wish to take care of the representativeness and pertinence of input parameters for their computer simulations. The course is given by practitioners for practitioners: it is organised for helping rock engineers in defining and quantifying the most relevant parameters of rock masses, before or during construction, as well as the methods to be used in modelling and design. Understanding the behaviour of a rock mass requires some basic knowledge of the genesis of rock masses and especially fractures (joints, shear fractures, faults) which is approached through structural geology. Additionally, the knowledge of rock mass characteristics is presented through geotechnical description, in-situ testing and laboratory testing, also in the light of structural geology. The role of fractures regarding the two main issues of underground works – stability and water flow – is emphasized and the existing investigations or design methods to characterise them are addressed. Classical mistakes and traps are pointed out on the basis of real cases. Performing, interpretation and reliability of water tests are presented and the classical approach using Darcian flow is compared to more recent discrete fracture approach via DFN models. The process of design is described along with the aspects and difficulties of hydromechanical (HM) coupling during the modelling phase. Then, the construction problems are addressed including monitoring for the validation of design selected parameters and practical application of the observational method. Various examples illustrate the different subjects of the course, all of them being real case studies from various geological situations, worldwide. 

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The Many Faces of Q – Rock Mass Characterization for Tunnels, Caverns, Slopes, TBM Prognosis, Deformability, Shear Strength, Seismic Velocity, Permeability

A live Version of Dr. Barton’s ISRM on-line course of four lectures, that includes the Q-system with examples, numerous TBM case records and the prognosis Method Qtbm, shear strength of rock joints and rock masses, and also a lecture on new methods of predicting cliff, mountain wall and mountain heights, involving observations from highly stressed tunnels. (A tensile strength and Poisson Ratio equivalent to the rule-of-thumb ‘0.4 x UCS’ used for predicting tunnel spalling).

The course will last about 6 hours with questions, and consists of five extremely well-illustrated lectures (the first in two parts) with numerous examples  from Dr. Barton’s long experimental and consulting  career from 1970 to 2020 (and on-going). Suitable for graduate-level and above engineering geology, rock mechanics, tunnelling, cavern, and dam engineering students and professionals.

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Modern Rock Engineering Principles 

Personal Profiles

Prof. John Harrison is professor W.M. Keck Chair of Engineering Rock Mechanics at the University of Toronto. He is the co-author with Prof. John Hudson of the seminal textbooks ‘Engineering Rock Mechanics Parts I & II’ which are used extensively in both academia and industry. He has over 30 years’ experience as a Rock Engineer and has advised and consulted on engineering projects from around the world. He has published extensively in this field and since 2010, has been heavily involved with the development of Eurocode 7 for rock engineering design. He currently chairs the ISRM Commission on the evolution of Eurocode 7.

Prof. John Cosgrove is professor of Structural Geology in the Department of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Imperial College London. He has received awards for excellence in teaching from Imperial College and was responsible for the Masters course in Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics for over 20 years. His co-authored book (Price N.J. & Cosgrove J.W. 1990 ‘Analysis of Geological Structures’) has been used worldwide. He has over 30 years’ experience as a structural geologist advising internationally on complex rock engineering projects and he has worked extensively in consulting activities for rock mechanics and rock engineering projects. His co-authored book with Prof. John Hudson, (‘Structural geology and Rock Engineering’) specifically links structural geological principles with those of rock mechanics and rock engineering.

The fractured rock Mass – Its geological evolution and Rock Engineering implications 

This brief course presents the fundamental link between Rock Engineering and Structural Geology. It begins with a discussion of the gradual build-up of the fracture network within the rock mass by the superposition of several fracture sets, each linked to a particular tectonic event in the rock’s history. This enables the detailed 3D geometry of the network to be determined. It then shows how the Rock Engineer can combine this information with site specific tests on the properties of the individual fracture sets to begin to quantify the likely physical behaviour of the rock mass on an engineering scale. 

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Recent ISRM Suggested Methods and Future Prospects


Re┼čat Ulusay (ISRM President and Chairman of the ISRM Commission on Testing Methdos)


To provide a forum of discussions with the aid of presentatios on the content of some selected new and revised ISRM Suggested Methods and the methods which can be future prospective Suggested Methods. It is also hoped that this workshop will serve a platform to initiate and enhance further interests among the members of ISRM to propose new SMs as well as to understand the thinking and needs for practicing engineers and scientists of our society. 

Click here to see the preliminary programme!