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Jean-Louis Briaud

Professor Jean-Louis BRIAUD, holder of the Buchanan Chair in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University in the USA was elected President of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). The election took place in Alexandria, Egypt on October 4, 2009. ISSMGE works much like the United Nations with one country one vote; 74 countries were present for the vote. The result of the vote was 56 to 18 and gave Briaud a very strong mandate to lead the society for the next 4 years.

Professor Briaud took office on Friday October 9th and will lead ISSMGE until the next International Conference which will be in Paris, France in 2013. In his acceptance speech, Briaud said that he looks forward to help many countries and many people from all sorts of background come together to exchange ideas and knowledge in a friendly atmosphere.

One of President Briaud’s first step is to reorganize the society in a more “customer oriented” fashion. Also at the top of his priorities is to raise money to help the representatives of the less fortunate countries to come to the conferences and to achieve things that are common expectations in wealthier countries. He and his wife Janet have pledged $10,000 to get the fund raising process started; contributors should contact Professor Briaud at for details.

Improving the technical content of the ISSMGE web site and developing Webinars are also on the To-Do list as well as increasing the number of practitioners and corporations which are members of ISSMGE. Three new board level committees will be created: a Technical Oversight Committee populated by some of the most well known professors in geotechnical engineering in the world, a Membership Committee populated by some of the most well known practitioners in the world, and an Innovation Committee populated by young geotechnical engineers with ideas, energy, and a daring attitude. The Innovation Committee will be the think tank of the society. The role of this committee will simply be to think and come up with new ideas which will invigorate the society and bring further excitement to being a member of ISSMGE.