Message from the President

Jian-Min Zhang
President of CISMGE-CCES

It is an honor and pleasure for me, as the newly elected President, to write this message to all friends at home and abroad in the field of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering.

The Chinese Institution of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering– China Civil Engineering Society (CISMGE-CCES) was established in the year of 1957. Also in the same year, it became a member society of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). In 2009, Prof. Chen, Zuyu, immediate past president of CISMGE-CCES, was elected as ISSMGE Vice President for Asia. It was for the first time of China.

China has a long history in the art of building and civil engineering. The Du Jiang Yan Dam was built 2000 years ago out of stone and timber to control flood and to irrigate fertile farmland nearby. It still functions very well and as very beautiful scenery. The Great Wall is one of the Eight Wonders in the world, which is 6,700-kilometer-long and founded on embankments. The Karez is a great creation of an underground diversion project of 5,000 kilometers in total length. Both of them with the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal are well known as three huge projects in ancient China. Chinese engineers have made great achievements in the field of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering due to unceasingly innovation and progress in myriad engineering constructions from ancient to nowadays.

China is now experiencing the rapid development in its history, also in geotechnical scope. The Three Gorges Dam, completed in 2006, is a concrete gravity dam, 2,309 m long and 101 m high. It took 50 years to conduct comprehensive research and 13 years to finish the world’s largest hydropower station project. Today there are more than 80,000 dams built in China. The 2010 Shanghai World Expo shows China’s strong commitment to integrate social development, engineering safety and economic benefit.Chinese engineers are now facing high challenges for solving various major geotechnical issues increasingly emerged in engineering practice.

China has a huge group of geotechnical profession because of its ongoing large projects as well as its huge population. In recent years the CISMGE has seen a steady rise in ISSMGE membership. It has 205 ISSMGE members in 2009, 376 members in 2010 and 481 members in 2011. The number is still being updated.

CISMGE holds a prestigious annual Conference known as National Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering every four year. Recently the Eleventh National Conference was held during August 16-19, 2011 in Lanzhou, China. A record number of 1199 delegates attended the Conference. Prof. Jean-Louis Briaud, President of ISSMGE, participated in the conference and gave a keynote speech.

It is the task and responsibility of CISMGE to facilitate the growth of young members. China is undergoing rapid economic and infrastructure developments. There is a demand, therefore, for practitioners with a wide range of expertise across the range of geotechnical engineering. We need more qualified and responsible young members to fulfill such demands.

International activity has formed one of the most important activities in CISMGE especially in recent decades. CISMGE is currently coordinating bi-lateral symposia with the Japanese Geotechnical Society and Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. We hope to expand this sort of international collaboration with other member societies.

My term as CISMGE President is four years and I look forward to working with you in these four years.