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Back to geotechnics' roots


It is a considerable pleasure to be given the opportunity to address the readers of Ground Engineering on the 15th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ICSMGE) to be held in Istanbul, Turkey at the end of August. This is the most prestigious event in the geotechnical calendar and has been held every four years since the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) was established in 1936.

The 15th conference of the series will be particularly commemorative in several respects.

First, it is the first time that the ICSMGE has come back to the country where our profession was born. Professor Karl Terzaghi began to develop his theories on soil mechanics while in Turkey, and wrote the book Erdbaumechanik auf bodenphysikalischer grundlage (Soil mechanics based on soil physics) in 1925.

Second, this conference will offer an opportunity to look back at the development of our profession in the 20th century and to witness how superbly our forerunners have contributed to establishing the discipline of soil mechanics and geotechnics.

Finally, this is the first ICSMGE of the 21st century, marking a new starting point for further advancement of geotechnical engineering. The whole conference programme is planned in this general context. In addition to the traditional subjects, emphasis is placed on the important areas of geotechnics relevant to urban development, transportation systems and environmental problems. It also incorporates a series of novel events such as the perspectives session and the satellite conferences.

I am confident that the 15th ICSMGE will provide an excellent and unique opportunity for the members of the international society to learn much and also to exchange new knowledge and views. I hope that as many members as possible participate in every phase of the programme and find the conference truly worthwhile and rewarding.

Kenji Ishihara, president of ISSMGE

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