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The Korean Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (KSRM) seeks to host the 16th Congress of ISRM in 2027. 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 excavations in civil and mining engineering
  • Slope stability for rock engineering
  • Rock mechanics for environmental impact
  • Sustainable development for energy and mineral resources
  • 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 & innovations of rock mechanics
  • Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Big data and Mobile (AICBM) applications in rock mechanics
  • Smart Mining and Digital Oil field for rock mechanics
  • Rock Engineering as an appropriate technology
  • Geomechanics and Rock Engineering for Official Development Assistance (ODA) program
  • Rock mechanics as an interdisciplinary science and engineering
  • Future of rock mechanics and geomechanics

Our motto for the congress is “Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering Across the Borders”. This logo embodies the interdisciplinary nature of rock mechanics and challenges of ISRM across all countries and generations.


Proposed dates of the Congress: October 17 (Sun) – October 23 (Sat), 2027

Oct 17 (Sun) Short Courses Workshops ISRM Board Meeting Cultural Visits
Oct 18 (Mon) Short Courses Workshops ISRM Board Meeting Cultural Visits
Oct 19 (Tue) Commission Meetings ISRM Council Meeting Welcome Reception
Oct 20 (Wed) Opening Ceremony Plenaries Technical Sessions Exhibition
Oct 21 (Thu) Plenaries Technical Sessions Early Career Forum Exhibition Banquet
Oct 22 (Fri) Plenaries Technical Sessions Advisory Forum Exhibition Closing Ceremony
Oct 23 (Sat) Technical and Cultural Visits


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. Expected registration fees are as follows.

ISRM Members / Non-members €800/€900
Students / Retirees €150
Accompanying Persons €150

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
  • Educational activities for university such as booth for rock mechanics, geomechanics and engineering geology education
  • 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 also hosted eight Emerging Scientists Plenary Lectures during CouFrac2020 which were highly successful. We will continue the tradition of promoting young and early career members’ activities in the ISRM Congress. We realize that there is no female ISRM fellows out of thirty six and we will strive to foster future female leaders through creative programs. Tentative programs and ideas for early career members that can be included in the Congress are as follows:

  • Students’ Night, Rock Bowl Competition, Early Career Forum, and recent PhD thesis poster exhibition
  • Job & PhD opportunity Fairs
  • Special female scholars program such as special lectures and luncheon
  • A significant reduction of registration fees for young members
  • Comprehensive scholarship program for young members in underdeveloped countries
  • Standard and advanced short courses for early career members

By nature, senior members’ role in rock mechanics is critical, and we will arrange a special honorary program for our senior members. We will prepare programs that can allow for active participation from senior members, and effective interaction with future generation.

Tentative senior members programs are as follows:

  • Discounted registration fees for senior members (first initiative in ISRM Congress)
  • Senior member rock mechanics round table which is open for all to deliver the lessons learned in the past generations
  • Free registration for all thirty ISRM Fellows

4) ISRM Expansion Initiatives

As of 2020, we have around 8620 individual members and 61 National Groups in ISRM. We are hoping that 2027 ISRM Congress can become a platform for expansion of ISRM.

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 individual and national group memberships. In close consultation with ISRM board members, we plan to provide various scholarly and financial supports to underrepresented nations in rock mechanics and rock engineering.
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
    - ISRM on-line lecture hall, ISRM for students, and ISRM member survey
  • Reduced registration fees for the members in underrepresented nations
  • Coordinated activities with sister societies in conjunction with FedIGS
    - Invited speakers from sister societies and joint special sessions,
  • Special invitation for ISRM candidate national groups with full support
  • ISRM future leaders’ forum for networking for younger generations in association with ECF (Early Career Forum)

5) Innovative and Family-friendly Congress

We need to adopt new normal for congress with the CORONA pandemic. Korean National Group Successfully hosted the CouFrac2020 as the first hybrid online-offline ISRM sponsored symposium where 228 participants from 25 countries participated. South Korea is one of the leading countries in Information Technology, and we are committed to maximize the benefit of online conference for ISRM Congress through state-of-the-art fully functional online conference platform.
Furthermore, 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. We consider the cultural event as a very important networking opportunity among ISRM members, and we will promote participation of cultural event with additional financial support.
Tentative programs and ideas that can be included in the Congress are as follows:

  • Fully functional simultaneous online symposium
  • 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


1) History

KSRM is the fountainhead of rock mechanics in Korea. KSRM was established on August 29, 1981, as a non-profit organization to promote the development of rock engineering technology by exchanging technical information and academic research products. Since 1982, the NG Korea of ISRM has represented the KSRM with more than 1,200 individual members. In 2021, the KSRM provided 125 individual and 10 corporate members for ISRM. The KSRM organizes two national symposia each year, which are usually held in Spring and Autumn and they attract more than 200 participants. In addition, the KSRM publishes a bi-monthly academic journal, Journal of Korean Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (Tunnel and Underground Space)’ and the electronic newsletter ‘U-Space’.

The KSRM has been actively supporting ISRM’s activities by organizing and coorganizing numerous international symposia and conferences including:

  • The 1st Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS), Seoul, October 13-15, 1997
  • The Korea-Japan Joint Symposium (an ISRM Regional Symposium), Seoul, July, 2002
  • The 7th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS), Seoul, October 15-19, 2012
  • 2017 ISRM Young Scholars’ Symposium on Rock Mechanics (YSRM) & 2017 International Conference on New Development in Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (NDRMGE), (an ISRM specialized conference), Jeju, May 10-13, 2017
  • 2nd International Conference on Coupled Processes in Fractured Geological Media (CouFrac2020), Seoul, Nov 11-13, 2020

The KSRM also produced two ISRM Vice-presidents for Asia, Professor Chung-In Lee for the office term 1999-2003 and Professor Seokwon Jeon for the office term 2015-2019. The KSRM played a key role in launching the Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS) and honorably hosted the 1st ARMS in Seoul, October 13-15, 1997 in Seoul.

2) Sister Societies

There are several rock mechanics-related societies in Korea and the KSRM has maintained close relationship with them, thereby leading to successful activities of common interest.

Rock mechanics-related societies Established year Number of Members Title of Journal
Korean Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (KSRM) 1981 1,200 Tunnel and Underground Space (1991~, Bimonthly)
Korean Geotechnical Society (KGS) 1986 11,000 Journal of the KGS (1985~, Monthly) Internation Journal of Geo-Engineering (2015~, Open Access)
Korean Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (KTA) 1992 2,650 Journal of Korean Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (1997~, Quarterly)
Korean Society of Mineral and Energy Resources Engineers (KSMER) 1962 1,163 Journal of the Korean Society of Mineral and Energy Resources Engineers (1962~, Bimonthly)
Geosystem Engineering (1988~, Quarterly, in English)
Korean Society of Engineering Geology (KSEG) 1993 450 Journal of Engineering Geology (1991~, Quarterly)
Korean Society of Civil Engineers (KSCE) 1951 26,000 Journal of the KSCE (1981~, Bimonthly) KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering (1997, Monthly)

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 Hanguel, the best Korean invention of all time People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)to the north. The total population of Korea is approximately 52 million as of August 2020 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. Every year, approximately 10 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, 2002 Korea/Japan FIFA World Cup and 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. 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.