The International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), the Egyptian Geotechnical Society, the Government of Egypt, and the city of Alexandria invited academics and practitioners in the field of geotechnical and ground engineering from around the world to attend the 17th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (17th ICSMGE) on 5 to 9 October 2009. This quadrennial event ranks among the premier events in the field of geotechnical and ground engineering worldwide, and was held at the spectacular, international award-winning Bibliotheca Alexandrina on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. A technical exhibition, a major component of the event, was held in parallel to the conference (5-8 October).
The geotechnical challenges the world faces are becoming increasingly more complex and interrelated. Geotechnical engineers have had to expand their thinking and develop new technologies to better integrate socio-economic and environmental issues into engineering solutions at the surface and below ground in our cities and towns, coastal areas and sea beds, and in a global context for the health of the earth. To prepare for the more challenging changes to come, closer collaboration among those who study, research, and practice geotechnical engineering is requisite. Thus, The Academia and Practice of Geotechnical Engineering was chosen as the main theme of the 17th ICSMGE.
The 17th ICSMGE provided a forum for academics and practitioners in the geotechnical engineering field to explore the future of the profession and what can be done to assure that society's needs and expectations are met. Interactive discussions, led by preeminent leaders in the field, addressed the research required to meet ever changing global issues. Participants also explored case studies that all could learn from, and identified the means and value in strengthening relationships among the engineering and construction communities, as well as the general public.
Egypt, the place where geotechnical engineering essentially began, was the ideal setting to determine the field's future directions.
P. Sêco e Pinto, ISSMGE President
M. Hamza, Chairman of XVII ICSMGE