Fifth International Conference on Geotechnical and Geophysical Site Characterisation

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Published 01 December 2016
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Fifth International Conference on Geotechnical and Geophysical Site Characterisation

Gold Coast, 5-9 Sep 2016

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Keynote speakers during conference dinner (L-R): Prof R Boulanger, Dr N Stark, Dr K Mori, Prof M Randolph, Prof P Mayne, Prof C Santamarina and Prof. A-B Huang. Absent: Prof A Gens and Dr K Been.

The Australian Geomechanics Society hosted the Fifth International Conference on Geotechnical and Geophysical Site Characterisation (ISC’5) at the Gold Coast (Queensland), from 5 to 9 September 2016. This is a regular conference from ISSMGE’s Technical Committee TC102 – Ground Property Characterisation from In-Situ Tests. The theme of the conference was ‘In Pursuit of Best Practice’.

ISC’5 brought together the world’s leading experts and practitioners in all aspects of site characterisation. The conference provided a forum for sharing their experience and knowledge with their fellow delegates. A Trade Exhibition provided opportunities to learn about the latest hardware and software in the site characterisation and extended geotechnical industry.

The conference included an inspiring Seventh James K. Mitchell Lecture delivered by Prof An-Bin Huang from Taiwan and eight other excellent keynote lectures presented by: Dr Kenji Mori (Japan), Prof Carlos Santamarina (Saudi Arabia), Dr Nina Stark (USA), Prof Paul Mayne (USA), Prof Antonio Gens (Spain), Prof Ross Boulanger (USA), Prof Mark Randolph (Australia) and Dr Ken Been (Canada). All papers from keynote presentations are included in the latest issue of Australian Geomechanics.

Keynote speakers during conference dinner (L-R): Prof R Boulanger, Dr N Stark, Dr K Mori, Prof M Randolph, Prof P Mayne, Prof C Santamarina and Prof. A-B Huang. Absent: Prof A Gens and Dr K Been.

Three one-day workshops on Cone Penetration Testing in Geotechnical Practice, Seismic Dilatometer (SDMT), and Sampling and Laboratory Testing, were held prior to the main event.

There were 24 technical sessions at which 185 papers were presented. An expert panel wrap up and discussion was held during a plenary session to close the event. This included discussions on state of practice, quantifying uncertainty and communicating risk, and future directions in technology, education and communication. A post-conference technical tour was made to Brisbane Airport’s New Parallel Runway (NPR) project, one of the most complex and largest-scale ground improvement projects in Australia.

The social functions comprised the Welcome Reception (including a traditional Indigenous welcome performed during the evening), Poster Session and Conference Dinner.

The proceedings of the event consisted of two volumes with 18 theme reports and 210+ regular papers. More than 350 delegates attended from 50 countries representing all regions from ISSMGE.

What can be seen from this is that there was a very good representation of professionals from around the world, making this a truly international event. And that these professionals presented, talked, debated, listened to and learned about the state-of-the art and significant advances that are evolving in the art and science of site characterisation.

Site characterisation is a very important component of geotechnical engineering practice and the learnings from this conference were of major significance to our profession.

What cannot be seen from the statistics is the impact that the conference had on attendees. There is no doubt that ISC’5 left attendees enriched technically from sharing and learning at the conference, and also enriched personally from the networking and forging of friendships and relationships with like-minded professionals.

Of course it was not all work and no play. Like all worthwhile events when geo-professional get together there was also some “play” – the conference dinner was held with a theme “An Australian Country Pub” where GeoMusic was played according to ISC5 tradition.

The three volumes of the Proceedings of the conference will be accessible through the Australian Geomechanics website by the end of the year.

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Issue 92
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ISSN 0111-6851