Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Friends,


This is my eleventh progress report after 330 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 International Journal of Geo-Engineering Case Histories, the name ISSMGE, the future of geotechnical engineering, and the ISSMGE Foundation.


International Journal of Geo-Engineering Case Histories (IJGECS): Professor Zekkos informed me that a new issue of the IJGECS has been released (Vol. 1, issue 4). You can view the latest issue with very nice contributions on case histories related to earthquakes, excavations, and piles at

Please continue to support this Journal by submitting papers because of the advantages that it has: free for all our ISSMGE members, easy on line access, in color, double click on the figure and you get the Xcel spread sheet of the data, refereed by some of the best geotechnical engineers in the world, and so on. The focus of the Journal is very practical with emphasis on case histories and lessons learned. It is one of the most useful Journal for practitioners that I have encountered. Academicians can also use the papers for class projects and design calculations with actual measurements to evaluate the answers.


ISSMGE or ISGE. Last month I asked you to continue to send me your opinion on one question. Should we change our name to the International Society for Geotechnical Engineering. After two months of open discussion, I have received a total of 111 responses from 35 countries. The result continues to be that a majority of people support the shorter name: 69 Yes, 32 No, 10 neutral. Studying the data a bit closer, I would say that the older professors (with some notable exceptions) tend to be for keeping soil mechanics while the younger professors and the practitioners are in favor of the shorter name. Since the idea has major support from our members, I would like to ask for an official opinion poll from the Member Societies. The result of this official opinion poll will not be a vote but an indication of how the vote might turn out if it was brought up at the next Council meeting in Toronto in the Fall of 2011. I will send a separate email to the Member Societies and ask for an official Yes or No answer by 31 Dec 2010. I will report the results in my January 2011 Progress Report. The result of this official opinion poll will help me decide the course to take beyond that.

Future of Geotechnical Engineering. Geotechnical engineering has transcended the ages because all structures built on or in a planet have to rest on the surface; as a result the geotechnical engineer is here to stay and will continue to be a very important part of mankind’s evolution. The Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous examples of a project that did not go as planned mostly because of limited knowledge some 900 years ago. Designing a proper foundation for the Tower of Pisa today is a very simple exercise because of our progress. One cannot help but to project another 900 years ahead and wonder what progress we will have made. Will we have?



ISSMGE Foundation. I wish to recognize our friends worldwide who have contributed to the ISSMGE Foundation and are making it a big success. They are acknowledged on our web site at
Most recently we received a very significant contribution from the Japanese Geotechnical Society. Thank you Japan. All our ISSMGE members can contribute to the ISSMGE Foundation by sending me an email. If you wish to apply for a grant, download the form (same web address as above), fill it, and send it to Harry Poulos, who chairs the Foundation effort. Grants above $2000 are unlikely to be successful. Smaller requests especially with indication of cost sharing have the best chance.

Please relay this progress report to all your ISSMGE members. Thank you.


Best wishes,

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