Message from Dr. Ooi Teik Aun
Past President of SEAGS and
Past Chairman of AGSSEA
It is indeed a great pleasure for me to write this message on the occasion of the SEAGS 50th Anniversary Celebration. Having been involved with SEAGS since 1972 when I first attended the SEASEC in Hong Kong. Malaysia won the bid to hold the 4th Southeast Asian Society of Soil Engineering (SEASSE) conference in Kuala Lumpur in April 1975 and the late Professor Chin Fung Kee was the Organizing Chairman with the support of The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM). I was lucky to be chosen by Prof. Chin as the Organizing Secretary. The SEASSE later changed its name to be known as Southeast Asian Geotechnical Society (SEAGS). We have been very fortunate to have Dr. Za-Chieh Moh as Founder President of the Society in 1967 with the secretariat supported by AIT since its inception and with the dedication of numerous Presidents and Secretaries, the SEAGS made tremendous contributions to the advancement and practice of Geotechnical Engineering in Southeast Asia in particular and globally in general. The pioneering works of Dr. Moh, Prof. Chin, Prof. Peter Lumb, Prof. Lee Seng Lip, Dr. T. W. Brand, Prof. Dr. A. Balasubramaniam, Dr.W. H. Ting, Dr. Tan Swan Beng and many others are important parts of the history of SEAGS. The excellent and long services of Prof. Bala and Prof. Bergado as Secretary General of SEAGS are very important and gratefully acknowledged.
As the individual nation member society of SEAGS became strong and desired to play greater role in ISSMGE as direct member, it was time to look at the continued cooperation and support amongst the members who have left SEAGS. SEAGS has played the role as incubator to nurture many ISSMGE members from the Southeast Asian region, the region of growth ever since the SEAGS was formed in 1967. In 2007, at the 16th SEAGC held in Kuala Lumpur, a Protem committee was formed to promote the formation of the Association of Geotechical Societies in Southeast Asia (AGSSEA) and by December 2007 AGSSEA was formed with three founder members namely, SEAGS, Vietnamese Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (VSSMGE) and Hong Kong Geotechnical Engineering Society (HKGES). Dr. Moh played key role in the formation of the AGSSEA and is the Honorary Founder Chairman of AGSSEA. Today members of the AGSSEA consists of SEAGS, VSSMGE, HKGES, Geotechnical Society of Singapore (GeoSS), Thai Geotechnical Society (TGS), Chinese Taipei Geotechnical Society (CTGS), Indonesian Society for Geotechnical Engineering (HATTI) and the Malaysian Geotechnical Society (MGS). The current Chairman of AGSSEA is Prof. San-Shyan Lin from the National Taiwan Ocean University. The immediate Past Chairman is Prof. Yong Kwet Yew from the National University of Singapore (NUS). Kenny Yee has been and is the current Secretary General of AGSSEA.
The 17th SEAGC held in Taipei in 2010 was the last of the series of SEAGC and the first Joint Conference 18SEAGC-1AGSSEAC was held in Singapore in 2013. The 19th Southeast Asian Geotechnical Conference and 2nd AGSSEA Conference (SEAGC2016) was held on 31st May – 3rd June 2016 in Kuala Lumpur. It was a very successful conference and well attended by more than 580 participants from more than 25 countries. The 20th Southeast Asian Geotechnical Conference and 3rd AGSSEA Conference will be held in 2018-19 in Indonesia. I am indeed proud to be actively involved in SEAGS and AGSSEA as well as in the Tunnelling and Underground Space Development Technical Division of IEM (IEM TUSTD) which has recently submitted a bid to host the WTC2020 in Kuala Lumpur. The joint publication of SEAGS-AGSSEA Journals and Newsletters started in 2011under the able leadership of Editor-in-Chief Prof. A.S. Balasubramaniam. The joint journal has been actively supported by Guest Editors and contributors with fourteen papers for the March 2017 and eighteen papers for the June 2017 issues respectively. The current President of SEAGS cum Secretary General is Dr. Noppadol Phienwej and AIT continued to be the Secretariat for SEAGS.
During the period of the history of SEAGS (1967 – 2017) the SEA region has been transformed from the under-developed world to that of an advanced developing status with modern infrastructure comparable to many advanced nations. Each conference of SEAGC and the joint conferences of SEAGS and AGSSEA is a home coming and meeting of friends and reunion of members in the region and abroad. The SEAGS 50th Anniversary Celebration is organized by SEAGS in conjunction with TGS and is expected to be well attended with the strong support of members of SEAGS, AGSSEA and the Alumni of AIT. I am looking forward to a very successful gathering in AIT Bangkok.
With Best Wishes
Dr. OOI, Teik Aun
Past President of SEAGS (1993-1996, 2010-2013, 2013-2016) and
Past Chairman of AGSSEA (2007-2010)
8th February 2017