Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Friends,


This is my forty second progress report after 1275 days as your President. Note that previous reports are on the ISSMGE web site at In this report, I will talk to you about our upcoming webinar, about the launch of the e-Lexicon, and about publishing a case history in the ISSMGE case histories journal as a charitable contribution!


Webinars. Our next free webinar will be on the topic of Geophysical Tests for Geotechnical Site Characterization and will be presented by Sebastiano Foti (Italy) on Wednesday 8May2013 at 3:00 pm, GMT Summer Time (London, GMT+01:00). Professor Foti is an international speaker on the topic and has received multiple awards for his work. Do not miss this webinar on a topic which is becoming increasingly important in Geotechnical Engineering. For further information check our web site or contact my assistant, Theresa Taeger, at If you missed any of the webinars, you can access the ISSMGE web site at and listen to the recording at your leisure.


e-Lexicon. I am very pleased to announce the official launch of the Electronic Lexicon or e-Lexicon of ISSMGE on our web site at You may recall that the Lexicon was started around 1953 with the translation of geotechnical engineering terms in three languages: English, French, and German. This was very quickly recognized as a very valuable resource and had reached 8 languages by 1981 (5th edition). It had stayed that way until about 3 years ago when I asked Dimitris Zekkos and the Innovation and Development Committee (IDC) to transform the paper copy into an electronic and addressable excel spread sheet and if at all possible increase the number of languages before the end of my Presidency. Professor Zekkos and IDC delivered again and we now have an e-Lexicon on our web site with 12 languages. Note that the e-Lexicon was a huge amount of work and is a great example of team work across country borders by many member societies and enabled by a platform developed by where I wish to recognize Kostis Tsantilas. All those who contributed to making this electronic project a success are acknowledged at If for some reason you prefer the 1981 hard copy version, a pdf file of that wonderful red book is on the web site as well. You will find some of the early history of the Lexicon in that red book. The e-Lexicon includes a web-based application that allows users to query the database and find the translation of a total of 1590 geotechnical terms in 12 languages, specifically: English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese (traditional and simple), German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Persian (Farsi), and Finnish. This is an important tool which will allow geotechnical engineers worldwide to translate geotechnical terms in a systematic and more “standardized” manner. Member countries interested in translating the terms in their language and incorporating these terms in the e-Lexicon, should contact the Chair of the IDC, Dimitrios Zekkos, at Different languages across the world are a barrier to communication; this huge amount of e-Lexicon work has made a small dent in diminishing that problem.


Give to those who need help: publish a case history in the IJGCH: In life, you have your financial potential and your intellectual potential. You can give to others in need using either one of these two resources. Publishing a case history in the International Journal of Geo-engineering Case Histories can be your intellectual gift to your fellow geotechnical engineers in developing countries. Indeed, in such countries it is difficult for engineers to purchase the expensive though precious top Journals in the world. Since the IJGCH is a free on line Journal (another idea of Dimitris Zekkos), it is easily accessible by anyone regardless of income; in that respect publishing case histories in IJGCH is your intellectual gift to them. Yes, the IJGCH does not yet have the rating that other prestigious journals have acquired over time, but it is progressing and will get there. Do consider publishing a case history in the IJGCH as a gift to your less fortunate fellow geotechnical engineers.


Best wishes,

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