Dr. Peter Cundall

Dr. Cundall performed his doctoral work at Imperial College, London, where, in 1971, he originated the Distinct Element Method for modeling jointed rock and granular material. In addition to being an independent consultant for several years, he worked for Dames and Moore for five years, was a faculty member at the University of Minnesota for seven years, at which he is now Adjunct Professor. He was employed by Itasca for more than 20 years, and continues involvement as an Associate. Dr. Cundall is the original author of many computer codes, including TRUBAL, FLAC, UDEC, 3DEC, PFC2D, and PFC3D, which all enjoy widespread use. His main interest is in applied computer modeling, particularly in the areas of micromechanics, seismic analysis, plasticity, fracture damage, localization, shock waves and coupled problems. He has written many papers, including the most-cited paper for the journal Géotechnique: "A Discrete Numerical Model for Granular Assemblies." Dr. Cundall has received several awards for his work in rock mechanics, and is Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Update: Dr. Cundall will be presenting his keynote in person.

Dr. Charles Fairhurst

Dr. Fairhurst, Professor Emeritus of the University of Minnesota, has more than 50 years of experience in mining rock mechanics and has consulted on rock stability problems for tunnels, dams, mines and excavations throughout the world. He remains active in consulting, with current emphasis on geological isolation of radioactive waste and on efforts to establish, in the USA, a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) for research in (1) elementary particle physics, (2) micro-biological studies of ancient life and (3) geosciences/ geoengineering. He served as President of the International Society of Rock Mechanics from 1991 through 1995, and has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineers and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Dr. Fairhurst has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from University of Nancy, France; St. Petersburg Mining Academy, Russia; University of Sheffield, England; and University of Minnesota, USA, and is Advisory Professor to Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

Prof. Ge

Prof. Ge started his engineering education in Tsinghua University in 1952. Two years after, he was sent to Soviet Union and received his Diploma in 1959. Since then he has been working with Rock and Soil Mechanics Institute of Chinese Academy of Science. He also spent one year with Prof. Muller at University of Karlsruhe in Germany as a Visiting Research between 1981 and 1982. He is also Advisory Professor of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the fellow of Chinese Academy of Engineering.

The development and application of numerical methodology in the field of Geotechnical Engineering have long been a particular interest to Prof. Ge. The model he performed in 1973 of cavern study for the 511 Power Plant was considered the first application of numerical modeling methodology in geotechnical field in China. In 1980's, he developed infinite element and joint infinite element, which are still driving the study of the methods in this country. Over the past decades, he has provided consulting services for a number of large-scale projects including the Three Gorges Dam, Ertan Hydropower Station, Shenzhen Metro, as well as metal Mines in the Daye area.