Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Friends,


This is my twentieth progress report after 605 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 and ISRM, Committee Reports, The new ISSMGE Awards, the ISSMGE Fujita Lecture, and the first ISSMGE webinar on bridge scour and levee erosion.


ISSMGE and ISRM - I have two questions for you. If we accept that geotechnical engineering includes both soils and rocks,

  1. Does it make sense to merge ISSMGE and ISRM?
  2. Should ISSMGE send a proposal to ISRM to merge the two societies?

If such a merger took place, the new society would likely have both regional and technical Vice Presidents. Please let me know what you think.

Committee Reports
Don't forget that the Technical Committee reports and the Board Level Committee (AWAC, IDC, MPAC, SYMPG, TOC, CAPG) reports were due by 31 May 2011. If you have not sent your reports, please send them as soon as possible. These reports will be attached to the Toronto Council agenda which will be distributed to the members societies. Furthermore the Chairs of the Board Level Committees will be requested to make a presentation to the Council in Toronto on 2 Oct 2011.



The New ISSMGE Awards – the number of ISSMGE awards was 5 every 4 years (Terzaghi Oration, Kevin Nash Gold Medal, 3 Young Geotechnical Engineers awards). The number of individual members of ISSMGE is about 19000 and the ratio of awards per member is extremely small, much smaller than most other professional societies. An awards committee of ISSMGE (AWAC) was created and Francois Schlosser (France) accepted my invitation to chair this very important committee with the help of Esve Jacobs (South Africa) as Secretary and 5 other members representing the regions of our world. They worked for 6 months and made recommendations to the Board which decided in Hong Kong that there will now be 5 new ISSMGE Awards in addition to the existing ones.

  1. The ISSMGE Outstanding Technical Committee Award
  2. The ISSMGE Outstanding Geotechnical Project Award
  3. The ISSMGE Outstanding Innovator Award
  4. The ISSMGE Outstanding Member Society Award
  5. The ISSMGE Outstanding Paper Award (International Journal of Geoengineering Case Histories)

The first set of these new awards will be presented in Paris in 2013 at the International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. We will be back in touch with you when the nomination process starts.


ISSMGE Fujita Lecture. I am happy to tell you that the proposal of the TC on Underground Structures to start a named lecture after Professor Keiichi Fujita who was a world renowned expert on that topic among others has been approved by the ISSMGE Board. This brings our number of prestigious ISSMGE named lectures to 7. Nominations for these lectures are open to all members of ISSMGE and should be sent to the chair of the corresponding TC. Please always refer to these lectures as the ISSMGE Fujita lecture for example, not just the Fujita Lecture, this will be good for the image of our society.


Webinar. The ISSMGE Board in Hong Kong decided that ISSMGE will start hosting webinars. I will offer the first one on the topic of Bridge Scour and Levee Erosion; it will last about 1.5 hour. The webinar will take place this summer and I will get back to you with a more precise date and more details on how to register. Remember that a webinar is a lecture where the participants listen to the voice of the speaker on their telephone and follow the power point slides on their computer screen. The price has been set at $200 per computer. If you find that this price is not within your means, please request that the ISSMGE Foundation ( help you by filing an application. At this point, I need to know if you are interested in attending this first webinar on Bridge Scour and Levee Erosion.



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

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