Discussion Topic : Geo-Education for the Future – What’s your view?

The Corporate Associates Presidential Group (CAPG) of the ISSMGE initiated a worldwide survey on the state-of-practice and the state-of-the-art in geotechnical engineering. The results of this survey were presented at a workshop at the 19th ICSMGE in 2017 and subsequently reported in several publications (e.g. English, French). Following on from this survey and workshop, CAPG organised workshops at the five regional ISSMGE conferences in 2019. The overall aim is to reflect on topics that are of interest for the commercial side of the geotechnical profession and to follow-up on the work of the previous four years on closing the gap between the state-of-the-art and the state of practice in the geotechnical profession.

The face of education is changing worldwide, and geo-education is no exception. In addition, the availability of both knowledge and data is on the increase. The topic of the CAPG plenary session at the upcoming XVI Pan-American Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (16PCSMGE) is “Geo-Education for the Future”. The main objective of the discussion at this plenary session is to explore what are the skills required by geomechanics professionals in the next 2-3 decades from the perspective of different stakeholders (academia, research, industry, consulting, contractors, asset owners, etc.).

The panellists will include (in alphabetical order): Juan de Dios Aleman, Zenon Medina Cetina, Juan Paulin Aguirre, Daniela Pollak and J. Carlos Santamarina. I will have the responsibility of chairing the session.

During the plenary session, CAPG would like to find answers to various questions related to the topic. We will be sharing questions on a weekly basis until the time of the conference. Whether or not you are attending the 16PCSMGE, we would like to know your views on the topic or further questions you may want to add to the list.

Skills (w/s 7 Oct 2019):

  • Which new skills are required for future professional to practice in geomechanics in the future (e.g. digital, machine learning, risk management, climate change impact, sustainability)?
  • Which concepts/skills would be most relevant for practice of geomechanics in different stakeholder organisations in the future?

What to teach and what not to teach to the future generations of geotechnical professionals? (w/s 14 Oct 2019):

  • Is it imperative to replace current content in curriculums for new areas of study?
  • Should education remain focused on basic principles and allow postgraduate studies and industry training to provide the experience to apply those basic principles and learn new/modern skills?
  • Is there a common view on what those basic principles are?
  • Do we need to maintain the current curriculums but change the perspective/way on how geomechanics is being taught?
geotechnical education issmge
Posted: 15/10/2019 02:59
Hugo Acosta