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This month sees the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering's 15th international conference, which this year takes place in Istanbul from 27-31 August .

The quadrennial international conferences are the most important events in the ISSMGE calendar, from both a learned society and social point of view.

This special preview of the conference includes an introduction by ISSMGE president Kenji Ishihara as well as summary articles from four of the plenary session theme lecturers.

The conference includes six plenary sessions in which leading experts present a state of the art review of their subject, drawing on papers published in the conference proceedings. The parallel discussion sessions give the opportunity to explore in more detail particular developments.

This preview aims to give a flavour of the event and also to provide a helpful guide to delegates in Istanbul. We have also included a conference programme and profiles of companies taking part in the supporting technical exhibition.

The focus also covers projects in and around the Istanbul area, some of which will be visited as part of the conference tours.

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