Message from the President

The message is included in the April 2015 ISSMGE Bulletin

Dear Members of ISSMGE, 

Dear Colleagues,  

The last time I wrote directly to you in these columns about some of the activities of the ISSMGE was in June 2014. 

Many things have progressed since and you may be aware of some of them through your Member Society and/or through the activity of Technical Committees (TCs) to which you belong.

The Board of ISSMGE met in Goiânia in September 2014, hosted by the Brazilian Geotechnical Society (ABMS) and in Wellington in February 2015, hosted by the New Zealand Geotechnical (NZGS) Society, on the occasion of the 12th Australia and New Zealand Conference on Geomechanics. The 6 BLCs (Board Level Committees: AWAC, CAPG, IDC, PIC, TOC and YMPG) have also held a number of meetings, usually by teleconferences. The Chairs of the 6 BLCs were present or represented at our Board meetings. 

2015 is an important year. It is the mid-term for the President and also for the ISSMGE cycle! Indeed, we shall have this year the five Regional Conferences on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, midway between the International Conferences of Paris (2013) and Seoul (2017). 

It is also the year where we have our mid-term ISSMGE Council meeting at which the 89 Member Societies will meet together! It will be held in Edinburgh on the 13th September 2015, hosted by the British Geotechnical Association, on the occasion of the European Regional Conference.  

The 5 Regional Conferences, themes, locations and dates are as follows: 


12th Australia and New Zealand Conference on Geomechanics – The Changing Face of the Earth: Geo-Processes & Human Accelerations, Wellington, New Zealand, 22-25 February 2015.


XVI African Regional Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering - Innovative Geotechnics for Africa, Hammamet, Tunisia, 27-30 April 2015. 


XVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering - Geotechnical Engineering for Infrastructure and Development, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, 13-17 September 2015. 


15th Asian Regional Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering - New Innovations and Sustainability, Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan, 9-13 November 2015. 

North and South America: 

XV Pan American Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 15-18 November 2015.

I do hope that many of you will be able to attend the Conference in your region and/or have been able to submit a written contribution. 

Obviously, many other Conferences, Symposia and events will take place (or have taken place) at National, Regional and International levels organised by the Members Societies of the ISSMGE. For more information, please go through the ‘Event Diary’ which is published on the ISSMGE Website and in each issue of the ISSMGE Bulletin. Some of these events are reported in the Bulletin. 

Among the many activities of the ISSMGE, I would like at this time to update you on Technical Committees (TCs) and the ISSMGE Webinars, both of which were mentioned previously in my message of June 2014 (see: .  

The Guidelines for ISSMGE Technical Committees and ISSMGE Honour Lectures were finalised in February by the TOC (Chair: Pierre Delage), approved by the Board and are now published – see They confirm that the activities of the TCs and the TC Chairs continue their work independently of the term of the ISSMGE Presidency. The Guidelines deal with the composition of the TCs and other matters for the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the TCs. 

It is also important to note that the database of TC membership is now available and that the TCs’ Chairs and the Members Societies must use it in order to appoint or reappoint their members. They were informed of the creation of this database in October 2014 although a number of Member Societies have yet to upload the names of their TC members. From now on this system will be the only mechanism of nominating TC members and it will allow the Member Societies to change their TC members with no delay.

With the help of the IDC (Chair: Dimitrios Zekkos) and the company, the new series of ISSMGE Webinars has been implemented and is now running smoothly. The information for the launch of each ISSMGE webinar, which are delivered approximately every two months, appears on the ISSMGE website and is also sent to your Member Society for them to circulate. So far, in the new series, we have had 4 webinars:

  • “In situ testing in geomechanics: Questioning current engineering practice”, by Prof. Fernando Schnaid (Brazil) in October 2014
  • “Geotechnical Aspects of Peats”, by Dr. Cor Zwanenburg (The Netherlands), in December 2014
  • “Introduction to Cone Penetration Testing”, by Prof. Peter Robertson (USA), in February 2015
  • “Impacts of Liquefaction in the 2010-2011 Christchurch Earthquakes”, by Prof. Misko Cubrinovski (New Zealand), in April 2015.

  • I am truly grateful to the lecturers who thus accept to share their knowledge with all of us and devote their time to the ISSMGE. All presentations are available on our website together with the Q & A session which follows (see: And more are to come…

    If you are interested by other activities, please do not hesitate to check the ISSMGE website, in particular the pages implemented by the corresponding Board Level Committee (BLC). 

    I look forward to meeting and chatting with many of you at our upcoming Regional Conferences, in Hammamet, Edinburgh, Fukuoka or Buenos Aires! 

    Do not hesitate to write to any one of us, the Board members or the BLC Chairs, if you wish to clarify something or if you wish to raise a question about ISSMGE and its governance!  

    Roger Frank

    Paris, 18th April 2014