Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Friends,


This is my thirty fifth progress report after 1060 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 ISSMGE Awards, Upcoming webinars, Board Level Committees, and Technical Committees.


Awards: The deadline for awards was 31 Aug 2012 but it has been extended to 30 Sept 2012. So please think of your worthy colleagues and take the time to nominate them for recognition by ISSMGE. The awards will be presented to the recipients at the Paris ICSMGE on Monday 2 Sept 2013 during the Awards luncheon. I consider the ISSMGE awards to be the highest and most global recognition that one can receive in our field; indeed it does not get any broader than that. Check the web site for more details at Here is the list of new ISSMGE Awards:


- Outstanding Innovator Award
- Outstanding Geotechnical Project
- Outstanding Technical Committee
- Outstanding Member Society
- Outstanding Paper in The Int. J. of Geoengineering Case Histories


Webinars: 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). Webinars will continue to be free of charge until Sept 2013. To register, go to
The webinar for November 2012 will be presented by Ikuo Towhata on the topic of Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering. Professor Towhata is a well recognized expert on this topic and has written a book entitled “Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering”. The webinar in January 2013 will be presented by Robert Koerner on the topic of Geosynthetics. Professor Koerner is also a well recognized expert on this topic and has written a book entitled “Designing with Geosynthetics”.

Board Level Committees. These committees did not exist before 2009 and my goal in creating such BLCs was to continue to improve the service to our members, to get more members involved in the decision process, and to increase the visibility of our profession. We now have 6 BLCs involving close to 100 members in the major decisions and activities of our Society. The leadership team of these BLCs is to be commended for their dedication and for their efforts in continuing to improve our profession. Please share your appreciation with them next time you see them at an event or drop them a note if you have some ideas that would help them.



They are (alphabetically):

- Marc Ballouz – Public Relations Committee - PRC
- Suzanne Lacasse – Technical Oversight Committee or TOC
- Michael Lisyuk – Corporate Associates Presidential Group or CAPG
- Jennifer Nicks - Students and Young Members Presidential Group or SYMPG
- Harry Poulos – Membership, Practitioners, and Academicians Committee – MPAC
- Francois Schlosser – Awards Committee - AWAC
- Dimitrios Zekkos - Innovation and Development Committee or IDC


These BLCs are now part of a mature structure for our Society to continue to prosper while involving more of our members in the decisions process and giving them a better sense of ownership.


Technical Committees. The Technical Committees (TCs) are the life blood of our Society. They provide worldwide expertise on many aspects of geotechnical engineering and allow all members of our society to participate. The activities are varied and a great deal of leadership independence is afforded to the chairs. The main TC activities are the organization of specialty conferences, development of guidance documents, service to the public and professional impact, contribution of articles in the Int. Jour. of Geoengineering Case Histories, organization of Honor Lectures, and communication of the TC work with the rest of the membership and with other TCs. Before 2009, only one person from each member society (country) could be part of a TC. We have changed that and now two members from each country can be on each TC. Furthermore we have created the “corresponding member” category and you can have as many corresponding members as you wish. Another important change which has been put into place is that the life of the TCs is no longer tied to the President. In Sept 2013 all TCs will continue to operate normally regardless of who is the next president. The chair of the TC is chosen for 4 years renewable once. At the same time, TCs are expected to be productive and TCs which are not productive can be terminated. The President retains the right to create a new TC in cooperation and with the advice of the TOC. All of you who work on TCs are to be commended for taking the time to contribute to the advancement of our field through volunteer work. The chairs of these 30 TCs are particularly deserving and while the list is too long for this progress report, I do wish to single then out for their contribution. I would like to see more exchange of information between the TCs and our members at large so everyone knows what the TCs are doing; therefore, I am asking the chairs of the TCs to please to send, at your convenience, a one page summary of your activities with photos to Ikuo Towhata, Chief Editor of The ISSMGE Bulletin, for publication in a future issue.


Until next time, take care and be safe.



Best Wishes,

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