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515-DAY REPORT




 

Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Friends,

 

This is my seventeenth progress report after 515 days as your President. Note that previous reports are on the ISSMGE web site (http://www.issmge.org/) under “From the President” if you need them. In this report, I would like to talk to you about your present, your responses on the image of our profession ideas, some news from IDC, and some news from SYMPG.

 

Present: The DVDs were mailed by first class mail throughout the world on 14Feb2011. You should have received them by now. I know many of you have received them because you notified me. If you have not received your DVDs, please let me know and we will look into the potential problem.


Image of our profession: I have received some feedback on my proposal to work on improving the image of our profession. Some of you ranked my ideas, some of you gave additional ideas. Thank you for your input. Here is a sample of our members ideas to improve the image of our profession.

  1. Decrease the number of geotechnical engineers
  2. Be first in geotechnical disaster response
  3. Prepare a movie on YouTube
  4. Interact more closely with other groups (Architects, Transportation Engineers, Structural Engineers)
  5. Make all ISSMGE conference proceedings available on line
  6. Interact with Discovery channel
  7. Identify clear benefits of what Geotech can do for you
  8. Work on decreasing lawsuits
  9. ISSMGE supporting a charity

Now, I am formulating a concrete plan to address this issue and will propose it shortly to the ISSMGE Board for their opinion. I will be back in touch after that. Meanwhile please continue to send in the good ideas.

 

GeoWorld and web site: here is some exciting news from IDC and its leaders Dimitris Zekkos (Chair) and Marc Ballouz (Vice Chair). On 4 March 2011, the ISSMGE Board met by Skype teleconference. Dimitris and Marc were invited to join the call and present ideas from IDC regarding the modernization of ISSMGE IT (Information Technology) including GeoWorld. The Board enthusiastically approved the GeoWorld concept and made a contribution to fund the project development. GeoWorld will be to geo-engineering what FaceBook is to social networking. GeoWorld will be the professional network of geo-engineers worldwide. The SYMPG (Students and Young Members Presidential Group) is very supportive of this idea and actually identified this issue as one of their top priorities about one year ago. I am also very excited about this development. You may have read that FaceBook which started some 6 years ago is now a 25 Billion Dollar company. While making money is not the goal of GeoWorld, I believe that it will be an excellent way to serve our members and drastically facilitate our interaction. We are indebted to the members of IDC and its leaders for doing a remarkable job and for making  a real difference in ISSMGE.

 

Students and Young Members Presidential Group: When I created the SYMPG some 14 months ago, I decided to chair that group until it reached steady state. Shortly thereafter, I chose a Co-Chair, Jennifer Nicks, who has been effectively leading that group with my help since that time. About two months ago I told SYMPG that while I would continue to be part of SYMPG in an advisory role, I wanted them to elect a Vice Chair and a Secretary. I am happy to report that based on the members votes, Mahnoosh Biglary from Iran got elected Vice Chair of the group and Silvia Garcia from Mexico got elected Secretary. Jennifer, Mahnoosh, and Silvia are now the leaders of SYMPG. I enjoy working with this group because the members are full of energy, enthusiasm, good ideas, … and they keep me young!

 

 

Please relay this message to all your members. Best wishes,


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