Corporate Associates Presidential Group

Corporate Associates Presidential Group

Update October 2020

By providing outstanding and unique opportunities for the Corporate Associates to work with the ISSMGE and the global geotechnical community, the Corporate Associates Presidential Group (CAPG) aims to grow the number of Corporate Associates. Details of why and how to join are provided on this link

All Corporate Associates are welcome to call in and participate in the CAPG Core Team scheduled six weekly teleconferences of 1- hour duration.  Further details can be obtained from Sam Mackenzie (GHD, Corporate Associate), 

Planned 2020/ 2021 CAPG Focus Activities

  • working towards a great outcome for our Corporate Associates at the ICSMGE 2021 in Sydney, Australia (12- 17 September 2021)
  • mobilising global support for the “Are we overdesigning survey? through innovative online workshops, that provide promotional opportunities for our Corporate Associates
  • making a significant effort to have a significant Corporate Associates presence at the International Foundations Conference and Equipment Expo (IFCEE 2021), May 10-14, 2021, Dallas, Texas, USA
  • promotion of short videos on geotechnical engineering created by Corporate Associates via ISSMGE Virtual University platform
  • (new) ISSMGE Conversations at the CAPG 




The CAPG will be hosting two sessions at the Sydney Conference

  • a plenary session at which Peter Day and Past President Jean-Louis Briaud will present the findings of the ISSMGE “Are we overdesigning” survey
  • The second is a parallel session at which CAPG members will present 15 papers on Innovations and Achievements in Geotechnical Engineering Practice.  Nineteen abstracts have been provisionally accepted from which the final 15 papers will be selected on merit.

Furthermore, a CAPG dinner is planned at the 20th ICSMGE, and a “save the date” invitation has been sent to all Corporate Associates.

The Technical Committee of the 20th ICSMGE has accepted CAPG's guidelines for the PITs (Powerful, Innovative Talks). Invitations to submit applications for consideration can be expected shortly from the 20th ICSMGE. 


The following online events have been undertaken, in progress and in planning

  • Africa  geotechnical design challenge -  both sessions completed,in August/September 2020, and resulted in over 100 attending, and about 60 respondents to the design challenge from 6 countries in Africa, mainly from South Africa. The online event was sponsored by the SAICE geotechnical division and Keller, Corporate Associate, and presented by CAPG Chair, Dr Peter Day. 
  • Australia/ New Zealand geotechnical design challenge - underway, 1 st online  session held on 14th October had 360 participants, with a second online session planned for November 2020. The event s are sponsored by the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) and Coffey and Gamuda Australia, both Corporate Associates, and presented by Prof Harry Poulos, Senior Consultant to Coffey
  • South East Asia geotechnical design challenge - This event, covering Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, is being organised through the YMPG liaisons in the respective countries, with support from the member societies. It is planned to send  invitations out to Singapore/Malaysia/Indonesia society members to participate in the event by the end of Oct 2020. 
  • Geotechnical Design Challenge (French) - YMPG liaisons from France and Morocco are currently developing a series of online events for November 2020. Questions will be translated  into French and the event will be conducted in French. 
  • Latin America Geotechnical Design Challenge (Spanish) - YMPG liaisons from Paraguay, Chile, and Argentina are targeting to have the event  in November

In addition to the online events, the "are we overdesigning?" survey also had a  great boost from the TC 304, Engineering Practice of Risk Assessment and Management, which has formed several groups to prepare probabilistic/reliability solutions to the survey problems.  This task is now finished, and TC 304 has submitted a comprehensive report to Dr Peter Day, for use along with all the responses from the global survey. 

International Foundations Conference and Equipment Expo (IFCEE), May 10-14, 2021, Dallas, Texas, USA

This is an important event in the geotechnical calendar in the USA. CAPG is very fortunate to be supported in our initiative for securing a speciality session by the ASCE G-I International Activities Council. In May 2020, an immense amount of effort has been made to deliver a proposal to the IFCEE 2021 organising committee.

We expect a decision shortly on our application for a speciality session.

In parallel, we will also consider how we can further capitalise on the effort expended to date on the IFCEE session, to further promote ISSMGE and its benefits to the geotechnical community in the USA. 

Promotion of Videos by Corporate Associates on ISSMGE Virtual University platform

Corporate Associates have the opportunity to contribute to the ISSMGE Virtual University via short videos (10 min) on “How to…”… related to activities from geotechnical engineering practice. The videos are meant for undergraduate students.

In a separate development, CAPG has been asked to support a virtual conference scheduled for Feb 2021, organised by the DFI in the Middle East, focussed around a student day. CAPG plan is to do a  series of presentations on either

  • Life cycle of a project, or,
  • Day in the life of a geotechnical engineer

This seems also an ideal opportunity to create "how to..." videos , with Corporate Associates potentially being able to support the virtual conference as well as contribute to the Virtual University. Corporate Associates will be contacted shortly to assess their level of interest. 

ISSMGE Conversations at the CAPG

The CAPG team is exploring the "why" of engagement with the ISSMGE, from a variety of interested groups, and how the CAPG can act to increase that. A CAPG workbook , initiated by Roger Estephan (DAR) is being built up in our scheduled meetings. Some notable insights from our 27 August 2020 call were as follows:

  • The central idea is that all actions originate from conversations, be it by gesture, word, writing or symbols. It is therefore important that more and targeted conversations take place to enable action. Our workbook (under development) is about how CAPG can initiate and sustain conversations that lead to productive actions.
  • What can be offered by the ISSMGE to the Practitioners , one of the ISSMGE  sub set groups 

    • tools for their daily jobs,
    • know-how (such as webinars),
    • communication platforms to ask questions 
    • hosting the regulations of various countries on the ISSMGE website 
    • Technical info: our library is structured by journals, conferences … (the academia perspective) … a practitioner may better find his need by application (piles, shoring, etc…)… the webinar of the VU could be a solution for that need.
    • State of the art reports
    • guidelines, …
    • ISSMGE being a certifier of geotechnical engineers
    • synchronisation such as ISSMGE guidelines / standards
    • Difficulties with country specific certification and lack of mutual recognition
    • promotion of geotechnical engineers is key (whose task?)
    • we are trying to convert the converted often – need to focus on authorities
    • ISSMGE needs to offer a ‘win’ – short term or long term i.e. a quick benefit. Can ISSMGE structure be used for this?
    • There are short term attractions (to be quoted to the financial controllers to get funding for CAPG), and long term attractions – improving the underlying strength of the geotechnical profession – which is of interest to geotechnical engineers; important to distinguish between both, and tackle both.
  • Three instances of success were noted by the participents, as examples of what is possible
    1. Collaborating with the PIC- creation of an Application (App) for the ISSMGE … the response on “why” we need it was evident … and the proposal was approved by the board short time after that ... now the APP is active. 

    2. YMPG Liaisons  and explore more ways of interacting and connecting with the Liaisons. The Liaisons represent their Member Societies. These are reps from member societies, and are connections to form a network. Part of the role Lucy Wu (Chair YMPG) is doing is educating young people about ISSMGE, which had been very much lacking 

    3. Bolivia – planning to significantly increasing membership – it’s a question of motivation and focussed effort, and setting targets

We look forward to more corporate associates joining our scheduled meetings and contributing to the CAPG discussions. 

Peter Day, Chair CAPG

Sukumar Pathmanandavel, Co-Chair CAPG

Upload to be confirmed by CAPG Core Team Conference Call on 18th Nov 2020

Previous CAPG update (August 2020) placed in Archives (link below)