Corporate Associates Presidential Group

Corporate Associates Presidential Group

March 2018 update by Sukumar Pathmanandavel (Chair, CAPG)

ISSMGE Board Meeting, June 2018 

  • Peter Day (Vice Chair), and I will be attending the first face to face Board meeting in 2018 of the ISSMGE in Skopje, Macedonia, on Wednesday 6th June. Corporate Associates are invited to provide us with any messages/ feedback to take to the Board Meeting. 

Disseminating 2017 CAPG/TOC Global Survey on state of art and state of practice in geotechnical engineering

A technical paper authored by Hugo Acosta-Martinez, Pierre Delage, Jennifer Nicks, Kim Chan and Peter Day is being distributed via a number of influential geotechnical engineering publications. 

  • Ground Engineering magazine (UK) has provided on-line coverage on its weekly newsletter, 1 March 2018. This also has the full paper in a link at the end.
  • Australian Geomechanics Journal will be publishing in print the full article in the next issue (March 2018). 
  • The South African institute of Civil Engineering has agreed to publish our paper in their April 2018 edition of their magazine which is a Geotechnical Special Issue. 

Discussions are in progress with NZ Geomechanics magazine, GEOSTRATA (USA) and the Geotechnical News (Canada) for consideration for publication. Please contact us if you would like promotion of this technical note via your favoured geotechnical publication. 

The links below allow access pdf files of the presentations at the Seoul workshop, which contain both general and specific information about the global survey.

Preparation for CAPG workshops/ sessions at the 2019 ISSMGE Regional Conferences - status reports

13th Australia New Zealand Conference on Geomechanics, Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre, Western Australia, April 2019, CAPG session leader - Kim Chan, GHD, YMPG support David Buxton

Our topic is to be “Collaboration in Geotechnical Engineering”, exploring from the view point of various stakeholders the pros and cons of a more collaborative approach to deliver projects and how this can be achieved. The next step of our planning is to decide on the format of the plenary session and what activities we need to do in preparation of the session. The ISSMGE Vice President Australasia, Gavin Alexander has kindly agreed to open the plenary session for us. Current thinking for the structure of the session is as follows:

  1. Open session by VP Australasia
  2. Brief presentation to provide context of the topic and possibly to present a few case histories
  3. Panel discussion by representatives from various stakeholders, i.e. academia, practitioners, suppliers/manufacturers, contractors, asset owners.
  4. Open the floor for comment and discussion.
  5. Discussion closure

Please consider and comment on the above session structure. 

We are also considering organising some debate nights to be held at the regular meetings of the various AGS chapters and NZGS before the ANZ2019 conference.  It would involve this working group contacting their local chapters to organise the debate nights, to chair the session or to take notes during the debate/discussion.  This should generate more interests in our plenary session and provide more ideas.

XVII European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Harpa Conference Centre, Reykjavik, Iceland, September 2019, CAPG session leader- Yuli (Chaido) Doulala-Rigby, Tensar, YMPG support Fabio Tradigo, Arup and Tugce Baser

Our topic will be ‘Bridging the gap between designers and constructors:  how do we ensure effective ‘transfer’ of design into construction?’. With the increasing isolation of contract procurement that lead to contracts being disconnected and delivered in ‘silos’, the risk of misunderstandings or underestimating the importance of various design components when the designs move from the design board to site for execution is becoming higher and higher. We would hope to attract as wide a spectrum of Industry representatives as possible in our CAPG debate, such as,

  • asset owners, who want a simple transfer and transition,
  • consultants, who want their designs to be followed as accurate as possible on site,
  • contractors who want ‘clarity’ of designs,
  • academics, who can better prepare tomorrow’s engineers, and,
  • policy/standards makers, who can make standards less ambiguous.

We plan to have a "dry run" of our topic at the AGS (Association of Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Specialists) Members’ Day 2018, taking place on Wednesday 11th April at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. This session, titled, Bridging the Gap between Investigation, Testing, Design and Construction – Case Study and Panel Discussion, will have Yuli Doulala-Rigby (Tensar International), Dr. Gary Fowmes (Warwick University), Dave Hutchinson (ex Network Rail), Jim Webster (ex Carillion Chief Materials Engineer), Patrick Waterhouse (Bowdon Consulting) and Dimitris Xirouchakis (Structural Soils). Panel discussion to be compared by Claire Smith (Editor of Ground Engineering Magazine).

XVII African Regional Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Cape Town Convention Centre, South Africa, October 2019, CAPG Session Leaders - Peter Day, YMPG support, Jean Potgieter, and Daniel Avutia

Our topic for Africa is "Issues that hamper geotechnical practice in Africa". Work is underway to set out the parameters for this important topic. 

XVI Asian Regional Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (16ARC), Taipei International Convention Center (TICC), Taipei, October 2019, CAPG session leader - Sukumar Pathmanandavel, Aurecon, YMPG support, Aswin Lim and Ceres Chung

Our selected topic for Asia is "Are we over designing?". We are pleased to have attracted a group of eminent persons in Asia to help direct our work, leading up to and including the workshop session in Taipei. The composition of the editorial board is as follows: Dr Za-Chieh Moh, Moh & Associates (Taiwan), Prof Harry Poulos, Coffey (Australia), Prof EC Shin (Republic of Korea), VP Asia, ISSMGE, Prof KK Phoon (Singapore), Appointed Board Member, ISSMGE, Dr Kenichi Horikoshi, Taisei (Japan), Dr Johnny Cheuk, AECOM (HK) and Dr Liu Yu, of Geoharbour (Indonesia). 

Considering the extent of infrastructure and land developments in this region, particularly in the emerging economies, the practice of geotechnical engineering is becoming more and more important.  It would be helpful to highlight this increasing importance to governmental agencies and developers in Asia. On the other hand, many of the engineering practitioners may not have had the opportunity to fully appreciate and discuss the various facets of this problem.

In the lead up to the Taipei session, we may embark on a simple exercise to provide some quantifiable data for discussion at our Taipei session. When the Eurocode was first released, Trevor Orr at Trinity College, Dublin, organised a workshop on the implementation of Eurocode 7.   Prior to the conference, he distributed a number of simple geotechnical problems (vertically loaded strip footing, eccentrically loaded pad footing, cantilever retaining wall, soil slope, etc). and requested the  participating countries to submit their solutions to each problem based on their local interpretation of the Eurocode and the national choices they had made.  In each case, the design involved the determination of a single dimension, e.g. the width of a footing, embedment of a retaining wall, etc.  He then compared the solutions at the Workshop. Peter Day has suggested is that we distribute a similar series of simple problems, with soil parameters, to various countries in Asia and ask the country representatives to prepare design solutions in accordance with their national design standards / procedures.  We could then take the design submitted, apply an internationally accepted design solution, and determine the reliability index of the resultant National designs.  This could be a helpful guide to highlighting differences between countries and give a quantitative measure of the extent of over- or under-design based on a rational assessment rather than opinion.

All suggestions that can lead to an increase in discussions regarding this topic in the lead up to the Taipei conference are most welcome. 

XVI Pan-American Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, SMIG, Cancun, Mexico, November 2019, CAPG Session Leader- Hugo Acosta - Martinez, AECOM, YMPG support, Tugce Baser, Mario Terceros, and Mauro Sottile

Many interesting ideas have been put forward for a topic of discussion for the Americas. We are still a few weeks away from agreeing with organisers on the topic.

Regular updates will be provided on this page, and in the meantime, for further information on this subject, please email

Background Briefing

The Corporate Associates Presidential Group (CAPG) was established in 2011 to develop actions and activities to enhance the commercial sector of the ISSMGE. CAPG is a Board level committee of the ISSMGE and comprises representatives drawn from the Corporate Associates (CAs) of the ISSMGE. The Corporate Associates cover corporations, consultancies, contractors, equipment manufacturers, and product manufacturers. A full list of CAs, along with links to their company web sites are provided in the accompanying tab, List of CAs

The December 2017 revised Terms of Reference of the CAPG can be viewed by clicking on to this link

In the 2013 - 2017 term, the CAPG in conjunction with the TOC and others, promoted awareness in the geotechnical community of the gap between state of art and state of practice in geotechnical engineering, through the mechanism of a global survey. Work on communicating the findings is continuing. In the 2017 – 2021 term, the CAPG intends to focus on providing a number of visible and prominent platforms to discuss, debate, and promote issues relating to geotechnical engineering, that have or are perceived to have a significant impact on the commercial sector of the ISSMGE. The five ISSMGE regional conferences in 2019, and the international conference in Sydney in 2021 have been chosen as suitable venues for creation of these platforms. It is intended that local issues are focussed on at the regional conferences, to ensure a higher level of relevance to the audience.

Increasing CA numbers to 60

The CAPG would like to increase the CA numbers from the current number of  about 30 to 60. We have updated the benefits document for Corporate Associates to reflect all the progress made, see, If you can assist, please let us know.

In January 2018, we were pleased to welcome Geoharbour Group of China as a Corporate Associate of the ISSMGE. 

CAPG Conference Calls

Our next CAPG call is on 3rd April 2018 at 9.45 pm Sydney, Australia time. If you are not already in the CAPG core group distribution, please let Kim Chan ( know your interest in joining in on the call.  

Please contact the undersigned should you wish to learn more details about the Corporate Associates scheme.

Sukumar Pathmanandavel , Chair CAPG
Global Service Leader – Ground & Underground Engineering, Aurecon
T +61 2 9465 5289 M +61 413 941 487