International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering

Published 16 December 2017
International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering

I took up my new role as Vice President for Australasia in September, at the closing ceremony of the 19th ICSMGE. I took over from Professor Mark Jaksa, and am grateful for his work and for the support that Professor Mick Pender provided as NZGS Local Liaison over the past four years. This is an exciting time for the ISSMGE in our region as we get ready to host the 20th ICSMGE in Sydney in 2021. I’m looking forward to working with the Australian Geomechanics Society and the Organising Committee to make this a huge success. Graham Scholey has led the pursuit of this conference for many years, and is the new AGS Local Liaison.

I’m also looking forward to increasing the profile of the ISSMGE amongst our members. The Society facilitates a lot of great work, which is delivered in a number of different ways. It’s well worth looking into.


The biennial ISSMGE Council Meeting was held in Seoul immediately before the 19thConference, with Charlie Price and I representing the NZGS. This sees many of the Member Societies represented, with the AGS particularly conspicuous! Key outcomes and messages from the Council Meeting were:

  • The election of Professor Charles Ng as President for the period 2017 -2021
  • Unanimous selection of Australia to host the 20th ICSMGE 2021. This will be in Sydney, and represents a great opportunity for NZGS members to attend a world class event
  • Corporate Associate membership presents great networking and opportunities to influence the direction of the Society. Expect to hear more about this in the coming months
  • Technical Committees require an increased focus on active participation – again something for NZ in particular to work on
  • Make the most of the International Journal of Geo-Engineering Case Histories, both by referring to it and by submitting papers. It is open access, and freely available from the ISSMGE website
  • The updated ISSMGE website now permits easier access to content. It includes 35 recorded webinars, and all past conference proceedings. In all, there are 10,000 papers available through the on-line library
  • There is now an ISSMGE mobile platform – so there’s no excuse not to keep up to date!


The incoming Board comprises:
President – Prof Charles Ng
Immediate Past President – Prof Roger Frank
Secretary General – Prof Neil Taylor
Vice President Africa – Dr Etienne Kana (Cameroon)
Vice President Asia – Prof Eun Chul Shin (Korea)
Vice President Australasia – Gavin Alexander (NZ)
Vice President Europe – Prof Mario Manassero (Italy)
Vice President North America – Prof Tim Newson (Canada)
Vice President South America – Prof Alejo Sfriso (Argentina)
Prof Mounir Boussida, Dr Kok Kwang Phoon and Prof Pedro Pinto have been appointed to the Board to assist in specific areas.

Leadership of many of the Board Level Committees has for the most part remained the same, with plans for some to change part way through the current four year cycle.


Charles Ng has set out his overarching ten point plan to further improve the Society, and his message can be found in the October 2017 edition of the Bulletin (on the website, of course!). Charles’ plan revolves around three primary platforms – education, innovation and diversity. Of particular interest to many of us will be the establishment of an online learning platform, improving the functionality and performance of the Technical Committees and increasing the recognition of young members. I’m certainly looking forward to helping achieve Charles’ goals. In the meantime, though, I encourage all of you to make the most of what’s already available.


I’m pleased to announce several new representatives from our region on ISSMGE groups. David Buxton (NZ) and Truong Hoang Minh and Daniel King (Australia) have joined the Young Members’ Presidential Group chaired by Lucy Wu. Ioannis Antonopolous has been nominated to represent the NZGS on the Editorial Board of the Bulletin, and we are hopeful he will take up that role for the December edition. We are grateful for the interest received in these positions.
That’s it for this month – don’t forget to check out the ISSMGE website (and App!) and look out for more opportunities to get involved in your international society.

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Issue 94
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ISSN 0111-6851