Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Friends,


This is my forty fifth progress report after 1370 days as your President. Note that previous reports are on the ISSMGE web site at if you need them. In this report, I will talk to you about our upcoming webinar, what happens to TCs in September 2013, Time capsule and PRC work, YGEC conferences, and GeoMap.


Webinar: Our next and final webinar of my presidency will take place on 25July2013 at 8am Australia Eastern Standard Time. The topic will be “Meeting the Challenges of Foundation Design for Tall Buildings” and it will be presented by Harry Poulos who truly needs no introduction. You can find more details about this webinar at As usual Theresa, my assistant (, can also help you if you have questions.


What happens to TCs in September 2013: This is a reminder of the ISSMGE Board decision taken about one year ago. The Technical Committees will continue under the current chair without any interruption through the election of the new President. The Chairs will rotate off if they have been in that position for 8 years or more. If they have been Chair for 4 years they can reapply and be selected for another 4 years at which time they must rotate off. The selection of TC chairs will proceed as follows: 1. selection of candidate names by the TC members, 2. vote of the TC committee members to select one name, 3. recommendation of the selected Chair to the Chair of TOC, 4. recommendation of the TOC Chair to the President, 5. the President makes the final decision. This process may take time but the work of the committee will not be interrupted by this process. Let me remind you as well that, according to the new rules, while the voting members of a TC are limited to 2 per Member Society (country), there is no limit to the number of Corresponding Members that a country can have on a TC. In all cases a TC member must be nominated by the corresponding member society in an email to the Secretary General. The goal is to let anyone participate if they wish and are qualified but they cannot continue to be on a TC if they do not contribute.


Time Capsule and PRC work: As you may know, we created about one year ago a Board Level Committee called Public Relations Committee (PRC). The long term goal of this committee is to impact the image of our profession with the general public and the news media. Marc Ballouz is the chair of PRC and has accomplished a lot of great work in relatively little time. PRC is working on several projects including a tri-fold on geotechnical engineering, a web site on geotechnical engineering for the general public and news media, a YouTube video on geotechnical engineering and ISSMGE, and a time capsule. The time capsule is what I wish to talk to you about. While the final decision is still in the air, here is what we have in mind. Each society would have the opportunity to place one small item in a barrel size container which would be the time capsule. This time capsule would be kept in a secure place and opened in 150 years. Please bring your ideas, your items to Paris for an exciting discussion of how to optimize this time capsule project. Feel free also to write to me and Marc Ballouz with your ideas ahead of time: what should be in the time capsule and how long should it be before it is open again?


YGEC conferences: I would like to encourage all 6 regions of the ISSMGE planet to host at least one Young Geotechnical Engineers Conference every two years. Some regions already do that but some only have one every 4 years. I believe that the time has come where the young generation is being mobilized and would like to have such conferences in each region on a two year basis. Please work with your region Vice President to establish such a sequence in the future.


GeoMap I am pleased to announce that GeoMap is a new feature now available in the GeoWorld platform at The GeoMap geo-locates all 2200+ members of the GeoWorld professional networking platform, all case histories published in the ISSMGE International Journal of Geoengineering Case Histories, the most comprehensive database of geo-events (including conferences, symposia, workshops, webinars etc.) positioned on the map, and the latest geo-news as published in the News Center. This information is updated automatically, and thus, the map will from now on always feature fresh content. This is yet another innovation of Dimitris Zekkos (chair) and his Innovation and Development Committee.


Best wishes and see you in Paris,

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