Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Friends, 

This is my fifth progress report after 150 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 briefly about the Technical Committees (TCs) upcoming decisions, the Office of the Secretary General, The ISSMGE Foundation, and the terrible Chile earthquake. 

Upcoming TC decisions: Immediately after my election in Alexandria, I asked by email to all TC Chairs that all TC Chairs and all TC Members continue their work for a period of six months at which time I would announce the new list of TCs and their Chairs. Thanks to the hard work of the newly created Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) lead by Suzanne Lacasse, Kjell Karlsrud, and Mike Jamiolkowski, I will be able to include the new guidelines for the operation of TCs and the list of new TCs in my April progress report. 

Office of the Secretary General: it is time to start the process of selecting the National Society which will host the Secretariat of ISSMGE over the next 4 years (2011-2015). This process requires that the National Societies who wish to be considered for such a responsibility send me a proposal. I will be in touch with all National Societies shortly with a separate email announcing the process in more details. 

The ISSMGE Foundation: we now have funds in the ISSMGE Foundation account thanks to the generous gifts made by the donors listed on the ISSMGE web site under “The ISSMGE Foundation”. I would like for those of you who can afford it to contribute to the Foundation; no amount is too small and no amount is too large. For those who wish to apply for funds from the Foundation, you can now get in touch with Harry Poulos ( whose committee (MPAC) will be looking after these requests. 

Chile earthquake: not so long after the Haiti earthquake, another devastating earthquake took place in Chile. I have shared my sadness and expressed my support on behalf of all of you to our colleagues in Chile by writing to Ramon Verdugo, President of the Sociedad Chilena de Geotecnia. We keep learning from the events that we face but find ourselves realizing over and over again that all we can do as engineers is to minimize the risk that the public faces while accepting that it can never be equal to zero. In the meantime we must continue to progress for a safer and better world which is the overarching goal of ISSMGE at least when it comes to geotechnical engineering. 

Please do relay this message to all the members in your country. 

Best wishes, 

Jean-Louis BRIAUD 
President of ISSMGE