ISSMGE Bulletin: Volume 5, Issue 1, February 2011

Message to ISSMGE Members

Prof. Ikuo Towhata, Appointed Board Member of ISSMGE and Editor of ISSMGE Bulletin

Professor Ikuo TowhataOn behalf of the editing team of the ISSMGE Bulletin, I would express my sincere thanks to readers who have been contributing to the publication of the magazine by submitting articles and sending opinions. Bulletin is a property of the entire ISSMGE family and is open to everybody who wants to submit articles that accord the mission of the society. Bulletin is not a peer-reviewed academic journal and is trying to help you write articles.

From 2011 on, the bulletin is going to be issued 6 times a year and increases the capacity of communication channel of the society. Upon this opportunity, I would like to appeal one important point to the individual members of ISSMGE. When I attended the GeoEng 2000 Conference in Melbourne, there was a heavy discussion on the current and future status of geotechnical engineers. What was impressive to me was the point that the income of geotechnical engineers is lower than that of structural engineers. It was therefore emphasized that the job status of geotechnical engineers had to be improved.

In my opinion, the situation of income comes from the structure of projects as schematically illustrated in Fig. 1. Construction projects originate from public demands and its initiative is taken by the government or big industries that are called “client” in this figure. The client develops the overall and fundamental ideas about the project and carries out the budget business. In this respect, the client has the biggest “power” over the entire project. People are able to see what the client is going to do, and the client wishes to show people its scope. Thus, there is a substantial interaction between people and the client.

After the client’s activities, the leadership is given to a chief designer, who is possibly a general manager, and this person takes care of the engineering aspects in general. Although the chief engineer is expected to follow the idea of the client in most cases, possibly the chief engineer is as strong as or stronger than the client. The chief engineer is able to decide money allocation in more details. People are able to see what the chief engineer is trying to achieve.

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