Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Friends,


This is my thirty fourth progress report after 1030 days as your President. Note that previous reports are on the ISSMGE web site ( under “From the President” if you need them. In this report, I would like to talk to you about the Terzaghi Orator, the result of the ISSMGE Board meeting in Australia, the next webinar, and the ISSMGE Awards.


Terzaghi Orator
I have made my decision regarding the Terzaghi Orator. I received several suggestions from member societies and individual members. I completed the list with the names of other giants in our field and ended up with a list of 16 names. I then organized the names in a table with various considerations including contributions to the advancement of our field, international stature, speaking ability, contributions to ISSMGE, and many others. I attributed a value for each candidate and each factor in the table and decided on a weighing factor for each attribute. This helped me come up with 6 outstanding names. I then agonized over the ranking of these 6 truly outstanding geotechnical engineers. The choice was very difficult because while each one was unique, there was so little difference among them. After studying the problem for 6 months, in the end I made a decision. I know that all of you will agree with me that this person is truly outstanding even if it is not the person you supported.


This person worked in three different countries and every time rose to the top of the geotechnical world. President in one country, Member of the National Academy of Engineering in another, Director of one of the best geotechnical group in a third one, this person truly exemplifies the very best we have in geotechnical engineering. She represents the ideal blend of academician and practitioner, the perfect mix of theories and experiments, a demonstrated devotion to her profession, and all this with a very friendly and approachable attitude. The ISSMGE 2013 Terzaghi Orator is Dr. Suzanne Lacasse. I have talked to Dr. Lacasse and she has accepted my invitation. Please join me on congratulating Dr. Suzanne Lacasse on what we might consider to be the Nobel Prize of Geotechnical Engineering.


ISSMGE Board meeting in Melbourne, Australia. Let me start by saying how much the Board has appreciated the outstanding hospitality that we received from Michael Davies, Sam McKenzie, Stephen Tyson, and their team. The Board met for a full day meeting, here are some of the decisions which may be of most interest to you:


Webinars. As you know, webinars started one year ago and have been offered free of charge. Nevertheless ISSMGE faces expenses associated with the organization and delivery of the webinars (about $20,000/year). The plan was to start charging $200 per computer connected for the webinars to cover the expenses. The Board decided that webinars will continue to be free of charge until September 2013 as a service to our members.


Foundation. Harry Poulos, Chair of the Foundation, visited with the Board. Grants from the Foundation will be reviewed 4 times a year rather than 2 times a year to improve response time and provide more opportunities for applicants.


CAPG. The Corporate Associates Presidential Group is alive and well. Sukumar Pathmanandavel of Coffey in Australia gave a report on the Tasks their group is working on after a recent meeting hosted by Michael Lisyuk, Chair of CAPG, in St Petersburg, Russia. The number of CAs is increasing steadily thanks to the work of many. We welcome two new Corporate Associates: Vibropile and GHD. Please help us continue to grow this underrepresented group in ISSMGE.


Copyright and fairness. The ISSMGE position which is developing is that authors would give to the publisher the permission to publish but would retain the copyrights. Send any comments to Rainer Massarsch in Sweden. More on this later.


Member societies. The application of 2 new member societies were overwhelmingly approved by the Board: Belarus and Bosnia-Herzegovina


International Seminars. The International Seminar in the South East Asia region was approved.


Next webinar. The topic of the next webinar will be Pile Driving and the presenter will be Frank Rausche. Dr. Rausche is a pioneer in the pile driving business and a prominent authority in that field. The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday 18 September 2012 at 3:00 pm, GMT Summer Time (London, GMT+01:00). As mentioned above, webinars will continue to be free of charge until Sept 2013. To register, go to


Awards. Don’t forget to nominate your worthy colleagues for the ISSMGE Awards. Most nominations must come through your members society. The deadline is 31Aug2012. You can find the details about the awards and the nomination package at . The nomination package needs to be sent to the Secretary General’s office at The awards will be presented at the Awards Lunch in Paris at the 18th ICSMGE on 1-5Sept2013.


If you have any issues you wish me to address in my progress report, let me know. Best wishes to all of you.



Best Wishes,

Jean-Louis BRIAUD
President of ISSMGE
International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering