Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Friends,


This is my twenty ninth progress report after 880 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 our upcoming webinar and mostly about ISSMGE Awards.


Webinar: our last webinar on Geotechnical Risk was again a great success. In fact, we reached our limit of 100 computers connected worldwide when some 180 were trying to join. Many thanks to Zenon Medina-Cetina (USA) and Marco Uzielli (Italy) for a great job not to forget the background support of K.K. Phoon (Singapore) and his Technical Committee team. Note that you can get on line and access the recording of past webinars if you have missed one. The next webinar is also very exciting and free. The topic is “Short and Long Term Leakage Through Composite Liners” and the speaker is Kerry Rowe (Canada). The date is set for Thursday 26April2012. If you need more information, please contact Theresa at


Awards: About one year ago it became obvious to me that the number of ISSMGE Awards per member was much too low compared to most professional societies. So we created AWAC, the Awards Committee. Francois Schlosser (France) is the chair of the new ISSMGE Awards Committee (AWAC). I charged Francois and AWAC to create new awards so we could recognize properly all those who go the extra mile, sorry, the extra kilometer in their contributions to our profession. He, Esve Jacobs (South Africa), Bill Marcuson (USA), and other committee members have worked diligently over the last year. They created 5 new Awards which brings us to 10 Awards with the existing ones. I will briefly discuss each one of them but you can find the details including deadlines, nomination package, and who can make the nomination on the newly created Awards page on the ISSMGE web site at

Terzaghi Oration Award: this is an existing award and the most prestigious of all for technical contributions. The Terzaghi Orator is selected by the President after input from the Member Societies and the Board. The Oration is presented at the quadrennial conference. I seek your input on this award. I need a cover letter and a CV for anyone you wish to nominate. I plan to make a decision in June 2012.
Kevin Nash Gold Medal: this is an existing award which is more oriented towards service contributions to ISSMGE. It is decided by a committee made of all Past Presidents and chaired by the Immediate Past President (Pedro Seco e Pinto in this case). Past Presidents are not eligible.
Young Geotechnical Engineer Award (3): this is an existing award; there are 3 of those awards for young members. Young is defined here as less than 36 year old on 31December 2013. This award is for an outstanding paper to be published in the proceedings of the upcoming quadrennial conference in Paris in 2013. The nomination must come from a member society
Outstanding Technical Committee Award: this is a new award to recognize an outstanding technical committee of ISSMGE. The nomination must come from a member society and it would make sense to me that it come from the member society of the chair of the TC.
Outstanding Geotechnical Project Award: this is a new award to recognize an outstanding project worldwide. This project should exemplify the ingenuity of geotechnical engineers and the value they bring to mankind. It is the kind of project that we would wish to propose to the television Discovery channel for example to highlight our achievements and enhance the image of our profession. Again, the nomination must come from a member society.
Outstanding Innovator Award: this is a new award to recognize a geotechnical engineer or team of geotechnical engineers for their creativity and innovation in solving difficult geotechnical problems and for their impact on our geotechnical life. Again, the nomination must come from a member society.
Outstanding Member Society Award: this is a new award to recognize an outstanding member society and to reward young and smaller Member Societies who are active. Self nomination is requested in this case.
Outstanding Paper in the International Journal of Geo-Engineering Case Histories Award: this is a new award to recognize the best paper in this ISSMGE Journal. The Editorial Board of the IJGCH will select the paper.

All awards are to be submitted to the Secretary General by the deadline who will relay them to the Awards Committee for consideration. The ISSMGE Board will receive the recommendations from the Awards Committee and make the final decision. Please take time to nominate your most valuable colleagues. All awards will be presented at the 18th International Conference for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering in Paris, France, 2-5September2013 (  


Best wishes,

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