Progressive Rock Failure

5 – 9 June 2017

The situation

Geological materials change their strength properties through time, which has significant implications for the stability of natural and artificial slopes, surface or subsurface excavations, and deep boreholes used for energy production.

The challenge

While some of these mechanical property changes lead to slow phenomena like creep, consolidation and swelling, others lead to rapid and hazardous deformations and failure of geological materials. Time-dependent aspects of weakening and failure in natural systems are, however, difficult to study as internal damage is not visible to the naked eye, and the underlying processes can last from several seconds to many thousands of years.

Conference goal

Better understanding and predicting these processes represents a great challenge to those involved in the preservation of existing structures, future development of critical transport and energy infrastructure, and the assessment of natural hazards in response to a changing climate. By bringing together participants from diverse backgrounds, this event will provide an exciting opportunity to address processes controlling the degradation and failure of brittle rock across an exceptional range of spatial and temporal scales.

Conference setting


The view across Lake Maggiore from the Conference Centre of Monte Verità

 PRF 2017 will be financially supported and hosted by the ETH, and Congressi Stefano Franscini at Monte Verità, which offers accommodation, restaurant facilities, and world-class conference facilities on a unique site overlooking Lake Maggiore on the Swiss / Italian border. Click here to find out more about this spectacular location.


Organizing committee

International advisory board

Mauri McSaveney

GNS Science

Prof. Philip Meredith

University College London

Prof. Heinz Konietzky

TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Prof. Mark Diederichs

Queen's University

Prof. Eduardo Alonso

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Pre-registration now open

PRF 2017 registration
280.00 CHF

Four-day conference participation

Mid-conference excursion

Conference dinner at local restaurant

Copy of conference proceedings


Book Now
Workshop pass

Full-day pass to numerical modelling workshops

Topics and providers to be decided

Contact us to get involved

Price to be confirmed


Book Now