NZ Geomechanics News

International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Regional Report for Australasia

The ISSMGE is the pre-eminent professional body representing the interests and activities of Engineers, Academics and Contractors all over the world that actively participate in geotechnical engineering.

1. Thank you

This report is brief, as I have to withdraw from all my professional activities to deal with an unexpected and serious health challenge. It has been a great honour and pleasure to have represented our Societies on the ISSMGE Board, and I am disappointed to have to withdraw from that role part way through. I would like to acknowledge the support I have had from the leadership of our Societies as I have carried out this role. Several people stand out as having made a considerable impact during my time as Vice President. Graham Scholey, AGS Liaison for the current Presidential term, has been a constant support and has successfully completed a comprehensive refreshment of the AGS representation on the ISSMGE Technical Committees. Ashe Cooper, NZGS representative on the Young Members Presidential Group, has embraced the opportunities presented by this role and achieved great things, organising the inaugural Corporate Associates debate in New Zealand earlier this year, and forging closer links with young members from around the world at a meeting in Singapore in March. Sukumar Pathmanandavel continues to work tirelessly on behalf of the Corporate Associates Presidential Group, and is an outstanding example to all of us of what can be achieved when one truly believes in the cause. And finally, I wish to thank Professor Mick Pender for encouraging me to accept this role. Mick continues to pursue his many interests in geomechanics and to be recognised for his achievements. He is an outstanding example to us all.

Our Societies are in the process of formalising the appointment of my replacement, who will take over the role until the closing of the international conference in Sydney
in 2021.

2. Conferences

The ANZ conference, held in Perth in early April 2019, was a great success. This was due in no small part to the efforts of Michael Smith and Hugo Acosta in particular, who worked tirelessly to create a memorable event. I was greatly honoured to contribute to the welcome session, and learnt much from the keynote speakers and the other presenters. Thank you to all who contributed to this event. Our regional conferences provide an outstanding opportunity to catch up with our colleagues from around the region and to benchmark our own practice against the best of our peers.

Preparations for Sydney 2021 continue, with the venue confirmed and PCO appointed. The Local Organising Committee, led by John Carter, with Graham Scholey’s support, has been formed and has had useful discussions with members of the ISSMGE Board to start shaping this as an outstanding event. GeoEng2000 is recognised as the Gold Standard, and John and his team are seeking to create an event that is at least as successful. I encourage you to support them, and this world class event, in whatever way you can.

3. ISSMGE correspondence

The ISSMGE publishes a monthly News and Information Circular and a bi-monthly Bulletin. Links to these are forwarded to NZGS members. AGS members are, I believe, provided with a link to them from the AGS home page. In any event, they are freely accessible from the ISSMGE website. The News and Information Circular covers much that would often be included in this report, so I see little benefit in repeating it here. I encourage you all to read this correspondence to find out what the Society is doing for its members.

4. Forthcoming Board and Council meetings

ISSMGE Council meetings occur mid-way between International Conferences, and the next one will be held in conjunction with the African Regional Conference, in Cape Town in October. The next Board meeting will be held at the same venue, the day before the Council meeting.

For more information about the ISSMGE, please visit

With very best wishes
Gavin Alexander
ISSMGE Vice President for Australasia

Graham Scholey
AGS Liaison with the ISSMGE VP for Australasia

NZ Geomechanics News
Gavin Alexander, Graham Scholey
NZ Geomechanics News>Issue 97 – June 2019
International Report

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