Corporate Associates Presidential Group

Corporate Associates Presidential Group

CAPG update, June 2019

The Corporate Associates Presidential Group (CAPG) is a Board-level committee established by the President of the ISSMGE to develop actions and activities to enhance the commercial sector of the ISSMGE.  It provides a home and a voice within the ISSMGE for the commercial sector of the international geotechnical community.


There are currently 36 Corporate Associates, including contractors, consultants, equipment and material suppliers, research institutes and universities. A list of CAPG members is given on

The aim of the ISSMGE is to grow the number of corporate associates to 50 or more.  Further information on the benefits of membership and membership applications are available at

FOCUS 2017 – 2021

In this 2017 – 2021 Presidential term, the CAPG is focussing on providing visible and prominent platforms to discuss and promote geotechnical engineering issues that have a significant impact on the geotechnical engineering industry.  The ISSMGE Regional Conferences play a significant role in achieving this objective.  The issues identified are collaboration, implementation, over-design, innovation and education.


Plenary sessions have been organised for all Regional Conferences as outline below.

XIII Australasian Conference, 1-3 April:  Theme – Collaboration.

A report on the highly successful session titled “Collaboration in geotechnical engineering – Impact on research and project delivery” in Perth is available in the June issue of the ISSMGE newsletter A follow up activity is underway, being a 2-minute video competition for young engineers, (, with entries closing 10 July 2019. Other opportunities identified include a CAPG sponsored session on the management of tailings storage facilities involving the major mining houses, and a special edition of the Australian Geomechanics Society journal on Industry Collaboration.

XVII European Conference, 1-6 September:  Theme – Design Implementation

CAPG Plenary Session ( will be held on Thursday morning 5th of September at 9:00 - 10:00, on the topic of Bridging the gap between designers and constructors: - how do we ensure effective ‘transfer’ of design into construction? There is 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 believe that this topic touches a very sensitive and real issues both in the UK and in the wider European Industry. The audience at this plenary session will be encouraged through a lively debate to exchange views and experiences from the different stake holder viewpoints. As a result, we expect to arrive at valuable conclusions and actions for the betterment of our practice as we move on to a very challenging future of increasingly demanding projects and continuously decreasing budgets.

XVII African Conference, 7-9 October:  Theme – Geotechnical Innovation

Many of our geotechnical conferences focus on research with less attention being paid to the considerable achievements of geotechnical practitioners.  The CAPG session in Cape Town will provide Corporate Associates an opportunity to showcase innovations in the geotechnical industry.  Abstracts have been received from a number of Corporate Associates and selected papers will be presented in a 90-minute plenary session in Cape Town. The conference program can be viewed on, with the CAPG Plenary session to be held on Tuesday 8 October, from 11.00 to 12.30.

XVI Asian Conference, 14 -18 October:  Theme – Are we overdesigning?

The CAPG is conducting an international survey comprising 10 common geotechnical design problems on both clay and sand profiles.  The results will be presented in a Plenary session in Taipei, alongside a CAPG panel discussion.  To participate in the survey, see

The main objectives of the CAPG Session at the 16ARC are to stimulate discussions and communication in the geotechnical fraternity, and to produce some useful outcomes for our industry to share and adopt.  We believe that the topic of “Are we over-designing?” touches a very sensitive and real issues both in Asia and in the wider international context.  The CAPG has invited eminent persons in the field of geotechnical engineering from various parts of Asia to present their views at this CAPG session and interact very closely with the audience. Further details can be found on this link

XVI Pan American Conference, 17-20 November:  Theme – Geo-Education

The face of education is changing worldwide, and geo-education is no exception.  In addition, the availability of both knowledge and data is on the increase.  The CAPG panel discussion in Cancun will concentrate on “Geo-education over the next 30 years” including discussion on machine learning and big data.


We look to achieve increase membership of the Corporate Associates through visible and compelling case for the value of being a Corporate Associate of the ISSMGE.

We plan to continue to create interesting and engaging platforms where geotechnical engineering can be reimagined by academia and practitioners working in concert, for the benefit of the wider community.

CAPG will contribute to the success of the ICSMGE 2021 in Sydney by strong engagement and unique offerings to the attendees. 


The success of the 2017 Global state of the art and state of practice in geotechnical engineering survey was due largely to excellent cooperation between the CAPG, the Technical Oversight Committee and the Technical committees of the ISSMGE.  The “overdesigning” survey currently underway is being undertaken in collaboration with the YMPG, TC 205 and TC304.

In April 2019, the CAPG held a panel discussion session at the DFI conference in Dubai.  Many valuable outcomes emerged including the need for improved databases, communication between industry and researchers, formalisation of local knowledge and practices, and greater involvement of geotechnical specialists in major projects.

Cooperation with other committees within the ISSMGE and related institutions is a key part of the CAPG’s strategy.


Representatives of CAPG members meet every six weeks by telephone.  These hour-long meetings are used to review achievements, formulate strategies and plan activities.  All interested CAPG member representatives are welcome to join these meetings.

More face-to-face meetings of CAPG representatives, such as the recently held “Siemens Coffee Morning”, in Germany,  can be planned.  The CAPG sessions at ISSMGE International and Regional Conferences also provide oppportunities for us to meet.


The CAPG expresses its thanks to the ISSMGE President and Board for their enthusiastic and continued support.

We also thank all the Corporate Associates who have chosen to show visible alignment and financial support to the ISSMGE.

Thanks also to the many colleagues who have assisted with the organisation of recent CAPG activities including Kim Chan (GHD), Yuli Doulala-Rigby (TEnsar), Karel Allaert (Jan de Nul), Joachim Müller (Siemens), Finlay Leibrick (AECOM), Hugo Acosta-Martinez (Aurecon), Lucy Wu (YMPG) and so many others who have contributed to making CAPG stronger and vibrant in the past and present. 

SUKUMAR PATHMANANDAVEL (Sydney, Australia) and PETER DAY (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Background Briefing on the CAPG

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 through 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. The 2017 CAPG/TOC Global state of the art and state of practice in geotechnical engineering survey findings is now considered well disseminated, through, publication of the  survey findings in the ISSMGE bulletin (, Australian Geomechanics Journal, South African Institute of Civil Engineering Journal, enewsletter of the Ground Engineering magazine (UK), NZ Geotechnical Society Journal, and in French language, in Revue Française de Géotechnique. 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. 

CAPG Conference Calls

Please let Kim Chan ( know your interest in joining in on the call, which are held at 6 weekly intervals.