Message from President of ISSMGE

On behalf of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), its 90 member societies, and its 19000 individual members, I welcome you all to the International Conference on Ground Improvement and Ground Control: Transport Infrastructure Development and Natural Hazards Mitigation (ICGI 2012) in Wollongong. This topic is of immense interest to geotechnical engineers worldwide, and it is the first major international Ground Improvement conference to be held in Australia. Due to the rapid increase in population, industrial and construction boom many nations including Australia have intensified efforts and investments to address the need for transport infrastructure development especially on problematic terrains such as coastal soft soils. With increasing population congestion and associated demographic and industrial trends, good quality geologic materials for construction are also becoming scarce. Therefore, ground improvement has become an essential integrated component of all major civil infrastructure advancement.

Consistent with some of the goals of the ISSMGE, this conference is focused on the interaction between academics and practitioners for sharing new knowledge and finding improved solutions. Four ISSMGE technical committees (TC 211: Ground Improvement, TC 214: Foundation Engineering for Difficult Soft Soil Conditions, TC 202: Transportation Geotechnics, and TC 303: Coastal and River Disaster Mitigation and Rehabilitation) have strongly supported this conference in Australia. I am delighted to see that international experts in all aspects of ground improvement from both research and practice have contributed to make this conference a great success.

I would like to convey my deepest gratitude to Prof. Buddhima Indraratna and his organising committee for their tireless efforts to mark this international event a truly memorable one in the history of Australian geomechanics. Given the outstanding record of accomplishments of the Centre for Geomechanics and Railway Engineering at the University of Wollongong over many years, the City of Wollongong was a natural place to host this event. I wish all the participants a fruitful and successful conference and a pleasant stay inWollongong and the scenic south coast of Eastern Australia.

Prof. Jean Louis Briaud
President of the International Society of
Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) &
Professor and Buchanan Chair
Texas A&M University