Congratulations to the international geotechnical community on the success of the ISSMGE global survey of the State of the Art (SOA) and State of Practice (SOP) in geotechnical engineering

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to inform you that the ISSMGE global survey on State of the Art (SOA) and State of Practice (SOP) launched by the combined efforts of the Technical Committees (TCs), the CAPG (Corporate Associates Presidential Group) and the TOC (Technical Oversight Committee), has been a great success. The TCs have to be warmly congratulated for their efforts in providing sound and appropriate questions. The number and quality of the answers received demonstrated their interest with respect to important concerns met in many fields of our profession.

The survey remained open for about 6 weeks (from early March to end of April 2017), and in that time attracted nearly 1,300 contributors from 68 countries. We thank all of the contributors for their interest in geotechnical engineering and for taking the time to respond to the survey. The contributions received from the various ISSMGE regions is as follows:

  • Europe 55%
  • Asia, and Australasia, 13.5% and 12.1% respectively
  • South America, and North America, 9.4% and 7.0% respectively, and,
  • Africa, 2.8%

The heart of the survey was answers to a number of questions that nearly 30 of the TCs of the ISSMGE posed. The total number of responses to questions was 4,750 (note - this is much higher value than the total number of contributors, as each TC asked about 3 or more questions). About 16 of the TCs (roughly 50% of the participating TCs) received more than 100 responses each, with the maximum number of responses received by a TC being 528. 

Since the closure of the survey, the CAPG and the YMPG (Young Members Presidential Group) have created a detailed spreadsheet that presents overall demographics of the survey results, as well as individual responses for each of the TC arranged in a very easy to access fashion. All this information is now being made available to the TCs for further analysis. 

The next few months will be busy for the TCs as well as the CAPG as they work through the information and prepare for presentation of the results at the 19th ICSMGE Conference in Seoul in September 2017 (the conference). CAPG-TOC will host a 90-minute workshop at the conference to present the findings of the global survey. 

At the CAPG-TOC workshop, in addition to providing the history and overview of the survey, there will be a presentation of the analysis and insights from the TCs, and CAPG of the survey responses, including the following:


  • commentary on why the questions were asked by each TC (i.e. what was hoped for)
  • summary of the responses to the questions and whether the intent of the questions was satisfied, and why?
  • have the responses to the questions thrown any clarity for each TC on SOA vs SOP?
  • hot issues for the TC and new avenues to explore, and,
  • any plans to narrow the gaps between SOA and SOP and other observations

Those interested in attending and participating in the CAPG-TOC workshop at the conference are advised to notify the Chair of the CAPG, Sukumar Pathmanandavel, via email, so that the CAPG can direct you to advance workshop documentation for you to study prior to the workshop.  

The attached edited documentation is only a small sample of the overall survey responses, and generally reflects the nature, composition and interests of the respondents to the survey. We look forward to sharing with you full details of the survey and the findings of the various TCs, and engaging in an interactive session at our workshop at the 19th ICSMGE conference in Seoul, September 2017.


Yours sincerely, 

Roger Frank, President ISSMGE 

Sukumar Pathmanandavel, Chair CAPG   

Pierre Delage, Chair TOC

(1 June 2017)


Q1 – In what country do you live?

Q2 – Which ISSMGE region do you belong to?


Q3 - Which of the following best describes the organization where you work?

Q4 - How many years professional experience do you have?

Q5 - Please enter your gender?

Q6 - How aware are you of ISSMGE Technical Committee activities?

Q7 - Which Technical Committees are you interested in?

Q8 - Are you a member or corresponding member of an ISSMGE Technical Committee?

Q9 - How do you participate in ISSMGE Technical Committee activities?