Itasca's FLAC/DEM Symposium Addresses Earth Resources Engineering Challenges and Explores the Future of Numerical Modeling

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (April 24, 2013) Itasca's biennial FLAC/DEM Symposium is intended to spark the dialog among those trying to increase the usefulness of numerical modeling in solving a broad spectrum of engineering problems. As the conversation continues and the range of software application expands, addressing the challenges in Earth Resources Engineering continues to be a focal point.

Rock in situ is one of the most complex materials encountered in engineering, and it is not surprising that empirical rules have been a predominant part of engineering design in rock. But when projects go beyond the bounds of experience, numerical codes tested in practice can help pinpoint options to move forward.

One of the keynote presenters, world-renown rock mechanics leader Dr. Charles Fairhurst, believes the timing of the Symposium in Hangzhou this October couldn't be more appropriate when considering these challenges.

"The Symposium in Hangzhou is especially propitious. China is currently involved in a large number of major projects in and on rock that are pushing the envelope of design; some in seismically active regions," Dr. Fairhurst said. "A vigorous dialog at Hangzhou between Chinese colleagues and those from other countries can benefit all, and the practice of rock engineering in general."

Collaboration across disciplines is vital in identifying next steps, and the FLAC/DEM Symposium is a valuable forum.

Dr. Peter Cundall, the key developer of the Itasca software products and also a keynote speaker, will enhance the discussion by fostering a better understanding and exchange of current and future applications of Itasca's state-of-the art technologies.

"In fields such as mining, blasting, civil engineering, radioactive waste disposal, geothermal energy, earthquake engineering and particle transport, the imagination of users in exploiting the codes' flexibility and generality seems boundless," Dr. Cundall said. "The codes have been applied at one extreme to the design of huge constructions in rock and soil, and at the other extreme by students designing new constitutive models at the element level."

By combining this wide range of knowledge and experience, the benefit to attendees and Earth Resources Engineering is limitless.

Itasca software products featured at the event will include FLAC, FLAC3D, UDEC, 3DEC, PFC, MINEDW, KUBRIX and InSite. In advance of the Symposium, several short courses and workshops are being planned. To view more information about this event in Hangzhou, China, October 22-24, 2013, please visit

Itasca is a global, employee-owned, engineering consulting and software firm, working primarily with the geomechanics, hydrogeological and microseismics communities. We solve problems in many industries including mining, civil engineering, oil & gas, manufacturing and power generation.