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Gotechnique clocks up 50 years

GOTECHNIQUE, THE ICE's world-renowned geotechnical engineering research journal, was 50 years old last month.

The journal was launched when original editors Rudolph Glossop and Hugh Quentin Golder identified a pressing need for a new international research journal during a post-war tour of Western Europe's principal geotechnical laboratories. On their return to England they published the first 76 page issue of Gotechnique through The Geotechnical Society at a cover price of 10 shillings (50p).

The journal's distinctive yellow cover with a drawing of a floral urn from Charles Coulomb's 1776 earth pressure essay has remained almost unchanged since 1948. It was designed by Nancy Skempton, wife of the British soil mechanics expert Professor Alec Skempton - whose paper on post-glacial clays is included in the first issue.

Terzaghi, then civil engineering professor at Harvard University, said Gotechnique aimed to provide practising civil engineers with a 'clearing house for significant information in the fields of soil mechanics and engineering geology'. Current editor Dr Gilliane Sills of Oxford University believes the journal still fulfils its original aims, particularly through its balance of theory and practice.

Authors of the 10 articles in the first issue came from the US, Britain, France, Belgium and Switzerland and two papers were published entirely in French, a tradition which continues today. Gotechnique now has 2,500 subscribers from all parts of the world and each six-issue volume contains over 900 pages of refereed papers and technical notes.

Abstracts of all papers in Gotechnique can be read at Journals On-line ( html. Subscribers with a password can download full versions of papers for viewing with Adobe Acrobat. Extracts from the rare 5 June 1948 issue, including Austrian Professor Karl Terzaghi's foreword, can also be downloaded.

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