May 2008

The FLAC/DEM Symposium (August 25-27, 2008) will provide a unique opportunity to survey the advanced numerical modeling techniques available from all Itasca software. As with past symposia, it will also provide an excellent opportunity for code users to learn and share techniques, developments, and applications of the software. We hope to see you at the symposium.

– Roger Hart, Director of Software Services


Figure 1. A TDR system built for an Australian mine being tested in the Sudbury office.

Itasca Consulting Canada, Inc. –
Beyond Numerical Modeling

"I've heard of Itasca. You are a numerical modeling company."

That is what most Itasca engineers — here at ICCI and elsewhere — often hear when meeting new clients or colleagues. Yes, we are numerical modeling specialists, but we are also pretty good at other things as well.

Instrumentation systems

Take geomechanics instrumentation, for instance. In the past 10 years Itasca Canada designed, built, and installed many instrumentation systems for mining and civil projects on the surface and underground. Monitoring of rock mass displacements and stresses, monitoring of stope backfilling and flow loop testing, measurements of in-situ stresses, TDR and mine seismic systems are only a few examples of what keeps us busy. Few consulting companies design and build custom sensors and measurement equipment (such as the IGMM shown below). ICCI develops instrumentation software and soon will have its own datalogger.

Figure 2. ICCI's innovative new Ground Movement Monitor, the IGMM (Right) and the hand-held readout unit (Left)

Stress Measurement

ICCI routinely carries out stress measurements using overcoring (and other) methods where these are required. ICCI staff have carried out some of the deepest overcoring tests ever done.

Figure 3. At a recent stress measurement project in the Sudbury basin.

Destress Blasting

ICCI Engineers have also developed a method for designing destress blasts, and have designed and supervised the execution of several of the largest destress blasts ever carried out.

Figure 4. Worldwide records of destress blasts - the largest of which have been designed by ICCI

The above examples of consulting services from just one Itasca office illustrate that, worldwide, Itasca is much more than "a numerical modeling company."

Update Alert:
Current Versions
updated since
Feb. 5, 2008:

FLAC 6.0 Pre-release is available now

New features in this version include:

Detailed descriptions of the double-precision speedup, the auto-rezoning logic, and the new and enhanced grid-generation tools are available. FLAC version 6.0 will also contain a compiled HTML help file (.chm) containing the contents of the Command Reference, FISH in FLAC, and Example Applications volumes from the FLAC Manual, although it is not available in the pre-release at this time.

Sales Note: With FLAC 6.0 approaching release, sales of new licenses of FLAC 5.0 will end June 1. Current owners of FLAC will continue to be able to pre-purchase version 6.0 up to the time of release. Please see the FLAC sales information for purchasing information.

Peter Cundall (Itasca Consulting Group, Inc.) has been elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering, a well-deserved honor. Members are peer-selected outstanding engineers with identifiable contributions or accomplishments in one or both of the following categories: engineering research, practice, or education, including significant contributions to the engineering literature; and pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education. Itasca extends its congratulations to Peter.

HCItasca Denver Inc. is pleased to announce that Robert Sterrett has joined the company in the position of Office Director. Dr. Sterrett has over 25 years of experience in the areas of ground-water and contaminant transport analysis, and soil and ground-water remediation. His expertise includes analysis of the fate and transport of chemicals in the vadose zone and ground water, and the design and analysis of soil and ground-water remediation systems. Dr. Sterrett also has undertaken the analysis of mine and construction dewatering systems. Please join us in welcoming Bob to Itasca.

FLAC/DEM Symposium Preliminary Program Available Now

The preliminary program and the preliminary table of contents of the proceedings are available on the FLAC/DEM Symposium web site. Topics to be covered in the sessions include: Slope Stability, Numerical Techniques, Coupled Processes, Fracture Propagation, Tectonics, Material Behavior, Mining, Fabric, Underground Construction, Dynamic Analyses, Retaining Walls, Foundations, and Soil Structure Interaction. Each day will feature a keynote address, to be given by Loren Lorig (CEO, Itasca), Alan Guest (Independent Consultant), and Peter Byrne (University of British Columbia).

Registration/Accommodation Update: Registrations for the symposium will be accepted until August 1, 2008. Don't wait to register. Registration forms are available online. Also, the deadline for reserving a room at the conference venue (The Depot Minneapolis, A Renaissance Hotel) at the special conference rate is July 24, 2008. We strongly urge attendees to consider making their accommodation arrangements soon. The Republican National Convention will occur the week following the FLAC/DEM Symposium and a recent survey of hotels confirms their availability rates are declining fast.

The FLAC, FLAC3D, and UDEC introductory software training courses at Itasca Consulting Group Inc. in Minneapolis have successfully completed. Thirty-five trainees attended these courses. The two remaining courses are on 3DEC (May 5-7) and PFC2D/PFC3D (May 12-15). Space is still available in both classes for anyone who is interested; registration information and other details are available.

Eberhardt, E., D. Stead, D. Elmo, W. S. Dunbar, M. Scoble, A. van As, A. Moss, A. Vyazmensky, R. Tollenaar, C. P. O'Connor, H. Eissa and M. Sturzenegger. (2007) "Rock Slope Stability Research," in Slope Stability 2007 (Proceedings, 2007 International Symposium, Rock Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, Perth, Australia, September 2007), pp. 321-332, Y. Potvin, Ed. Perth: Australian Centre for Geomechanics.

Ekneligoda, T. C. (2007) Estimation of the Elastic Moduli of Porous Materials Using Analytical Methods, Numerical Methods and Image Analysis. PhD. Thesis, Engineering Geology & Geophysics, Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), ISBN:, February.

Hakami, H. (2006) "Numerical Study of the Shearing of Large Fractures Having Propagating Boundaries," in Rock Mechanics in Underground Construction (Proceedings, International Society for Rock Mechanics International Symposium 2006/4th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, Singapore, November 2006), p. 405, C. F. Leung and Y. X. Zhou, Eds. Singapore: World Scientific.

Hudyma, M., Y. Potvin and D. Allison. (2007) "Seismic Monitoring of the Northparkes Lift 2 Block Cave --- Part 1, Undercutting," in Proceedings, 1st International Symposium on Block and Sub-Level Caving (Cape Town, South Africa, October 2007), pp. 335-354. Johannesburg: SAIMM.

Hudyma, M., Y. Potvin and D. Allison. (2007) "Seismic Monitoring of the Northparkes Lift 2 Block Cave --- Part 2, Production Caving," in Proceedings, 1st International Symposium on Block and Sub-Level Caving (Cape Town, South Africa, October 2007), pp. 335-354. Johannesburg: SAIMM.

Sainsbury, D. et al. (2007) "Three-Dimensional Discontinuum Analysis of Structurally Controlled Failure Mechanisms at the Cadia Hill Open Pit," in Slope Stability 2007 (Proceedings, 2007 International Symposium, Rock Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, Perth, Australia, September 2007), pp. 307-320, Y. Potvin, Ed. Perth: Australian Centre for Geomechanics.

Wang, Z. J., and D. Russell. (2007) "Effect of Forewing and Hindwing Interactions on Aerodynamic Forces and Power in Hovering Dragonfly Flight," Phys. Rev. Letts., 99, 148101-1 to 148101-4.