Issue 106 - December 2023

ISSMGE Technical Committee Reports

ISSMGE NZ Liaison – Rolando Orense

TC-103: Numerical Methods 

(NZGS Rep: CY Chin, I. Antonopoulos)

The Technical Committee TC-103 (Numerical Methods in Geomechanics) committee met online in February and September 2022. The continuing education of ISSMGE members through the availability of publications and lectures was particularly emphasised during these meetings. Significant activities of TC-103 included:  

  • Assisting in a series of articles, the first of which was Augarde, Lee & Loukidis (2021) “Numerical modelling of large deformation problems in geotechnical engineering”.
  • Organizing the 1st Scott W. Sloan Honour Lecture on the occasion of the International Conference Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering (NUMGE) 2023 at Imperial College, UK. Professor David Potts delivered the lecture in June 2023.
  • Organizing a session in the COUPLED PROBLEMS conference that was held in June 2023 in Greece.
  • Cooperated with TC-206 – Interactive Geotechnical Design, within the subgroup Real Time Back Analysis. Two Working groups on Linked Parameters and Improved Algorithms were established.

TC-103 contributed to the ISSMGE Virtual University ( with the following webinars:

  • Prof. Francois Nicot (France). “From Discrete to Continuum: Multiscale Approach of Failure in Geomaterials”.
  • Prof. John McCartney (USA) “Numerical Simulations by Energy Piles”.
  • Prof. Toshihiro Noda (Japan) “Performance assessment of soils and structures by numerical analysis”.

The following new webinars will be uploaded soon: 

  • Prof. Ulker (Turkey) “Numerical and constitutive modelling of multi-phase porous media”.
  • Prof. Masin (Czech & Slovak Republics) “Introduction to hypoplasticity for use in geotechnical practice”.

We are also planning to contribute to the Interactive Technical Talk episodes (

TC104: Physical Modelling 

(NZGS Rep: P Robbins)

TC104 (Physical Modelling in Geotechnics) is an active technical committee of the ISSMGE and has had regular online meetings in the past year.

The terms of reference are to disseminate and develop knowledge and practice within the area of physical modelling in geotechnical engineering by establishing working groups to:

  • Promote the sharing of resources for teaching that uses physical modelling,
  • Develop standardised and sustainable equipment and sensors for physical modelling, and
  • Produce a newsletter for general dissemination and communication on physical modelling.

At the 10th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (ICPMG 2022), which was held in Daejeon, Korea, Prof. Ioannis Anastasopoulos was elected as Chair. Ioannis is the Chair of Geotechnical Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

TC104 has just launched a revamped website: 

The new website can also be found on the ISSMGE webpage: 

A key component of the TC104 website is the inventory of facilities around the world, which has been updated and expanded. The updated and much more detailed information on the capabilities and technical specifications of the existing experimental facilities.

A second key component of the updated website is the conferences page. From now on, the conferences hosted by TC104 (ICPMG, ECPMG-Eurofuge, ACPMG-Asiafuge) will be hosted on the webpage, which will serve as the go-to-point for all the activities of our community. 

With that in mind, a request for abstracts to the 5th European Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (ECPMG 2024) in October next year has been issued.

TC 105: Geomechanics 

(NZGS Rep: RP Orense)

TC 105 has been meeting online about twice a year. In September and October, we had two webinars showcasing the results from the first-ever round-robin test on the use of discrete element modelling (DEM), which involved the simulation of two “angle-of-repose” experiments using 3D-printed non-spherical particles. 16 groups from various parts of the world participated in the exercise, including one group from the University of Canterbury. We are also busy planning for the next IS on Geomechanics from Micro to Macro to be held in Grenoble (France) in September 2024, including the selection for the first M2M Lecturer. Last year, we had five webinars on the use of DEM in geotechnical engineering education. Interested members can access the YouTube videos and weblinks via this link: 

TC203: Earthquake 

(NZGS reps: M. Cubrinovski (Chair), M. Stringer (Secretary), S. Van Ballegooy, B. Bradley, I. Antonopoulos)

TC203 had another year full of activities. In July 2022, we had a successful PBD IV conference in Beijing, at which the 8th Ishihara Lecture and the TC203 Young Researcher Award Lecture were presented (details available at We also completed a one-year-long webinar series, including 11 sessions/presentations by leading international contributors in the field (, organised and led by our Indian colleagues. In the period January-April 2023, the membership selected the 9th Ishihara lecturer (Ross Boulanger) and the TC203 Young Researcher Award recipients (Katerina Ziotopoulou and Jorge Macedo), who will deliver their lectures at 8ICEGE, Osaka, in May 2024. We hope to see strong participation from NZ at 8ICEGE in Osaka.

TC210: Embankment Dams 

(NZGS Rep: J Burr)

TC210 met in May during the ISSMGE conference in Sydney, and I attended via Zoom. The meeting was intended to reinvigorate the committee and bring everyone up to speed on progress. The committee was impacted by COVID-19, affecting attendance at the 2020 conference in Beijing. However, the conference went ahead and has been published (Proceedings of the First International Conference on Embankment Dams, Zhang et al., 2020, Springer). A second conference is in the early planning stages. The committee is progressing on proposals, including a state-of-the-art publication website, short courses, a code of practice and encouraging reporting and discussions on dam incidents and failures. We are also collaborating with other TCs with an interest in this area (e.g., TC201, TC203 and TC213).

TC211: Ground Improvement 

(NZGS Rep: M. Larisch)

Earlier this year, TC211 Ground Improvement elected Dr Babak Hamidi as the new Technical Committee Chair. The Deputy Chair is Prof. Hadi Khabbaz.

The Technical Committee supports the 5th International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics 2024, which will be held from 20 – 22 November in Sydney, Australia. Further activities of the committee included the facilitation of two webinars, which are both available on the ISSMGE Virtual University. The most recent ‘State-of-the-Art Jet Grouting’ webinar, which was presented by Dr Tsutomu Tsuchiya in September 2023, and the webinar facilitated in June by Dr Martin Larisch about “Concrete for Rigid Inclusions”, are available for members now. Further webinars will be facilitated in the future, and the next committee meeting is planned for early 2024.

TC212: Deep Foundations 

(NZGS Rep: M. Larisch)

The last meeting of TC212 was held on 15 September 2023 (online), and it was chaired by the Technical Committee Chair, Prof. Alessandro Mandolini.

TC212 will support the following conferences in 2024 and 2025 with deep foundation-specific workshops and guest lectures facilitated by local committee members:

  • PANAMGEO Conference to be held in Santiago de Chile (Chile) in 2024
  • XVIII ECSMGE to be held in Lisbon (Portugal) in 2024
  • EFFC-DFI Conference to be held in Bruges (Belgium) in 2025

Candidates were nominated for the ISSMGE Harry Poulos Honour Lecture, and further updates will be provided after the next meeting, which is planned for early 2024.

TC213: Scour and Erosion 

(NZGS Rep: B. Melville)

TC213 continues to be active, with its main focus being the regular ICSE (International Conference on Scour and Erosion) events. Indeed, this year’s conference is being held in Europe in about 10 days, and I may well have attended if it did not clash with the China trip. I have missed only 2 of these over a longish period of time. Two of our PhD students are attending the Europe ICSE conference. Other than the conferences, there are only infrequent activities of TC213, mostly restricted to email correspondence. That has always been the case. Our Auckland group continue to do research in ‘scour’, and the results are published internationally. Also, a bridge scour manual for TfNSW (Australia) has been completed by myself, one of my completed PhDs and a US colleague. We expect the manual to become the document of choice in Australia and beyond.

TC220: Field Monitoring 

(NZGS Rep: P Burton (secretary), P. Robins, E. Gkeli).

Over the past 4 years, with the unfortunate impacts of COVID-19 in its formative years, TC220 has held regular meetings, held an international symposium in London, UK and run workshops at various international conferences. The committee has close links with TC206 (Observational Method), created working groups on Data Formatting and Connections with Academia and led an election process for the 2026 symposium to be held in India. A current priority for TC220 is to create a repository of Standards and Guidelines associated with Field Monitoring in Geomechanics.

Some excellent initiatives have developed in the short time that TC220 has existed, including a LinkedIn Page, a YouTube channel and a Podcast specifically for the Portuguese-speaking community. Links can be found below.

Rolando Orense Rolly is a Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, and currently the Deputy Head of Department (Academic).

He received his BSCE (cum laude) and MSCE degrees from the University of the Philippines and a Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Tokyo (Japan). Before joining the University of Auckland in 2007, he also served as an Instructor at the University of the Philippines and as an Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo and Yamaguchi University (Japan). Moreover, while working with top-notched geotechnical consulting firms in Tokyo and Manila, he worked on a variety of complex soil engineering projects in Japan, Singapore, and the Philippines.

He is a registered professional engineer in the Philippines and in Oregon (United States) and a Chartered Member of Engineering NZ.

Tags : #ISSMGE

Issue 106 - December 2023, NZ Geomechanics News
Rolando Orense
Issue 106 - December 2023, NZ Geomechanics News
International Report

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