Keynote speakers

Monday, 21 June 2021

Keynote address
14:50 – 15:50 UTC
10:50 – 11:50 New York | 09:50 – 10:50 Houston | 08:50 – 09:50 Denver | 07:50 – 08:50 Los Angeles
15:50 – 16:50 London | 17:50 – 18:50 Riyadh | 22:50 – 23:50 Beijing | 00:50 – 01:50 Sydney

Sarah Wilson

Vice President, McMillen Jacobs Associates

Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

Keynote description

Keeping our rising stars interested, learning, and practicing alongside us has never been more important. Retention and recruiting are some of the greatest challenges in our industries today. Engineers at all levels need growth opportunities that include responsibility, accountability, and fun challenges while at the same time providing enough support for success. And non-engineering expertise is an important component in every career: communications, finance, marketing, corporate governance, and interaction with academic institutions and client organizations are not optional. Our colleagues with experience in one aspect of the business may be sparked by an entirely different aspect to keep learning, and to keep getting out of bed in the morning to come to work. The speaker will use examples to discuss how we can foster career growth and hold on to our stars in the process.

Speaker’s biography

Sarah Wilson is a Vice President at McMillen Jacobs Associates, where she has worked in tunnel design and construction management for twenty years. Ms. Wilson’s leadership experience and technical expertise stem from final design roles on transit, dam and water conveyance facilities, and construction management of numerous underground contracts in both soft ground and rock. Ms. Wilson received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was featured on the school’s “40 under 40” list in 2015. She earned her M.S. in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. She has authored numerous professional papers and articles on geotechnical and construction management topics, and also edited the Second Edition of “Recommended Contract Practices for Underground Construction,” published by the UCA of SME. She is currently serving on the board for McMillen Jacobs Associates, where she was the first Board Chair, as well as the UCA of SME Executive Committee and the ARMA Task Force for Gender Diversity. Ms. Wilson also served on the Board of Directors of ARMA for six years, including two years as President. She is a CMAA-certified construction manager and a registered professional civil engineer in California.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Keynote address
14:50 – 15:50 UTC
10:50 – 11:50 New York | 09:50 – 10:50 Houston | 08:50 – 09:50 Denver | 07:50 – 08:50 Los Angeles
15:50 – 16:50 London | 17:50 – 18:50 Riyadh | 22:50 – 23:50 Beijing | 00:50 – 01:50 Sydney

Ahmad Ghassemi

Professor, University of Oklahoma

Some recent advances in reservoir geomechanics

Keynote description

Petroleum rock mechanics, or more generally reservoir geomechanics, has been a major research and development theme since at least the early 1990s when the need to cope with practical challenges in wellbore stability, hydraulic fracturing, and reservoir compaction necessitated accounting for the role of coupled poroelastic and later thermo-poro-chemoelastic processes. The renewed interest in unconventional petroleum and geothermal energy resources has given impetus to a new flurry of experimental and modeling research in reservoir geomechanics with emphases on reservoir creation and management and seismicity mitigation. This keynote will present recent developments with reference to reservoir stimulation and seismicity and resource extraction potential, highlighting the critical role geomechanics continues to play in geothermal and petroleum reservoir development.

Speaker’s biography

Ahmad Ghassemi is the McCasland Chair Professor in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma and Director of the Reservoir Geomechanics and Seismicity Research Group. He has a Ph.D. in Geological Engineering and specializes in geomechanics for unconventional geothermal and petroleum reservoir development. Dr. Ghassemi has been working on modeling and experimental rock mechanics for over 25 years with emphasis on physics-based simulation of multi-stage hydraulic fracturing, coupled geomechanics / fluid flow in naturally fractured reservoirs, wellbore stability, induced seismicity, and experimental characterization of reservoir rocks and their response to injection. His teaching interests include reservoir geomechanics, reservoir stimulation and modeling, and petrophysics.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Panel discussion
14:50 – 15:50 UTC
10:50 – 11:50 New York | 09:50 – 10:50 Houston | 08:50 – 09:50 Denver | 07:50 – 08:50 Los Angeles
15:50 – 16:50 London | 17:50 – 18:50 Riyadh | 22:50 – 23:50 Beijing | 00:50 – 01:50 Sydney

Women in Rock Mechanics

Kate Baker

ARMA Fellow, Retired Industry Leader in Geomechanics

Véronique Falmagne

Senior Mining Advisor to Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.

Ghazal Izadi

Global Technical Advisor, Unconventional Reservoirs and Geothermal in the Reservoir Technical Services, Baker Hughes

Kathy S. Kalenchuk

President and Principal Consultant, RockEng, Inc., Member of the ARMA Board of Directors, Panel Moderator

Priscilla P. Nelson

Department Head of Mining Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Cortney Palleske

Principal Geomechanics Consultant, RockEng, Inc.

Marlene Villeneuve

Assistant Professor, Montanuniversität Leoben in the Chair of Subsurface Engineering

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Keynote address
14:50 – 15:50 UTC
10:50 – 11:50 New York | 09:50 – 10:50 Houston | 08:50 – 09:50 Denver | 07:50 – 08:50 Los Angeles
15:50 – 16:50 London | 17:50 – 18:50 Riyadh | 22:50 – 23:50 Beijing | 00:50 – 01:50 Sydney

Matthew Pierce

President, Pierce Engineering

Post-peak and residual strength of rock masses

Keynote description

Estimating the post-peak strength of rock masses remains a challenge for practicing rock mechanics engineers. Different criteria have been proposed, ranging from the use of a disturbance factor or reduced rock mass quality within the Hoek-Brown criterion to the adoption of a Mohr-Coulomb criterion informed by a fully bulked soil or rockfill. This keynote lecture will offer a critical review of existing approaches and will outline the need for a criterion that honors well-established rock mass and rockfill behaviors, including non-linearity of the shear strength envelope, cohesion weakening, frictional strengthening / weakening, and the sensitivity of shear strength to porosity, rock block strength, and rock block angularity. Applications of the criterion to the analysis of tunneling and mass mining will be presented to illustrate the relevance of the underlying behaviors, followed by a discussion of potential directions for future research and development.

Speaker’s biography

Matthew E. Pierce is an independent geological and mining engineering consultant with 25 years of experience in the geomechanical analysis of underground and open pit mines, with specialization in the forecasting of caveability/overbreak, fragmentation, recovery/dilution, infrastructure stability, and surface subsidence and the assessment of hazards related to induced seismicity and inflows. He has pioneered methods for the estimation of rock mass properties and has developed specialized tools and constitutive models for the study of mining-induced rock mass yield, fragmentation, collapse, and gravity flow from tunnel-scale to mine-scale. In 2013, Dr. Pierce received the Rocha Medal for outstanding Ph.D. thesis in rock mechanics from the International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM) for his study of gravity flow and draw control in caving mines.

Friday, 25 June 2021

Early Career Keynote
14:50 – 15:50 UTC
10:50 – 11:50 New York | 09:50 – 10:50 Houston | 08:50 – 09:50 Denver | 07:50 – 08:50 Los Angeles
15:50 – 16:50 London | 17:50 – 18:50 Riyadh | 22:50 – 23:50 Beijing | 00:50 – 01:50 Sydney

Hiroki Sone

Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ductile deformation of seemingly brittle rocks and their importance in modern geomechanical problems

Keynote description

Rocks encountered at engineering depths typically behave as a linear-elastic medium and fail by brittle fracturing when tested at short time scales of most rock mechanics tests. However, at longer time-scales, crustal rocks can also exhibit time-dependent ductile deformational behavior due to their porous nature and/or the presence of some ductile phases. Such ductile behavior must be accounted for in geomechanical analyses for accurate prediction of deformation and stress. This talk will show laboratory data of some crustal rocks that characterize the ductility of seemingly brittle rocks and present analyses that demonstrate their geomechanical significance.

Speaker’s biography

Hiroki Sone is an assistant professor in the Geological Engineering program at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received education in geology and geophysics, and his expertise is in experimental rock mechanics and geomechanics. Research interests include earthquake fault mechanics, geomechanics of unconventional and geothermal reservoirs systems, in-situ stress measurement techniques, and rock physics. Recently, he has focused on studying the long-term ductile properties of clay-rich rocks and fault rocks with implications for stress accumulation/relaxation in the lithosphere over time, long-term productivity of unconventional gas reservoirs, and integrity of waste disposal sites. His teaching interest includes rock mechanics, geomechanics, tectonophysics, and design of underground openings.