Prof. Roger Frank: 50th Anniversary of SEAGS

Roger Frank_messageMessage from Prof. Roger Frank
President ISSMGE

It is a real pleasure for me to write this message at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the South-East Asian Geotechnical Society (SEAGS). 50 years already… It might not look as a long period of time, but as far as geotechnical engineering is concerned, we know the tremendous progress achieved during that period. And it is obvious for me that the SEAGS played a very important role in this progress. This is due to the expertise and talent of numerous colleagues in the region, often facing difficult ground conditions. They also wished, of course, to participate in the economic development of the region, which has been in several aspects a model for the whole planet.

Dr. Za Chieh Moh founded the SEAGS in 1967, fulfilling a need for the geotechnical engineers to get organised in the region.  It is remarkable to note, in particular, that this proved to be an efficient incubator for the creation of a number of ISSMGE Member Societies in the region, the Hong Kong, the Malaysian, the Indonesian, the Singapore, the Chinese Taipei, the Thailand & the Vietnam Geotechnical Societies. Dr. Za Chieh Moh also founded the Association of Geotechnical Societies in South-East Asia (AGSSEA) which includes these 7 Members Societies. The very tight collaboration between the SEAGS and the AGSSEA is a model example of regional co-operation. There are several strong activities performed in common, such as the large sub-regional conferences and the publication of the SEAGS-AGSSEA Journal. This Journal has published over the years many captivating issues and articles of international standing. I am happy to note that all the papers published from 1970 to 2013 are available free of charge, thus contributing efficiently to the open access policy of the ISSMGE. As far as membership is concerned, my understanding is that the SEAGS also irrigated outside the South-East region, and is still acting in this manner. This is another proof of the key role it plays in the international collaboration.

I visited for the first time the region in 1972. It was the ‘voyage de promotion’ (‘diploma year trip’) of my school of engineering. My first professional trip was in 1983 invited by Professors Balasubramaniam and Bergado to participate in the well-organized series of Conferences by AIT.  I returned in the region many times, in most of the countries, always with great happiness and joy.

My deepest thanks go to the organisers of this event, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the SEAGS, for giving me another occasion to meet my many colleagues and friends in the region. It will be a true pleasure for me. I wish the best success for this event. I have no doubt about it!

This event will be followed immediately after by the most promising 19th ICSMGE in Seoul. I am looking forward very much to attending it and to meeting you also there! We also have to note that the next Asian Regional Conference will be held in Taiwan, confirming the high level of expertise in the South-East Asia region. The ISSMGE is proud to have such members!

Roger Frank

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