What is the HTC?

What is the ISSMGE Heritage Time Capsule (HTC)?



We have invested significant time to better design and present the time capsule project.

The project is now retitled “Heritage Time Capsule” or HTC for short. We believe the HTC needs the freedom to reorganise, assimilate, and incorporate many ideas. Two important initiatives currently underway are:

  • A dedicated HTC website to store in a single virtual place, under a subdomain of issmge.org, the current and further contributions within the HTC project. These archives (files and web pages), are searchable and hosted within the ISSMGE server, and,
  • A physical time capsule to be displayed at the 2026 Vienna International Conference (21st ICSMGE), and stored in a prominent place for a very long period.

I invite you to visit and explore the HTC and to take full part in its development. Your contributions to the HTC, and sharing of your discoveries will be of great benefit to geotechnical professionals now and in the future.

Marc Ballouz

Jan 2024

Heritage Time Capsule

The ISSMGE Heritage Time Capsule (HTC) website hosts a collection of contributions from individuals and groups belonging to the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). These contributions aim to capture the history of the Society and its present goals. It is designed to be useful for the present and future generations of geotechnical scientists and engineers.


The home page of the HTC website aims to present the different types of material contained in the website to the visitor in a useful and engaging way. Of particular note is the contributions section that displays a masonry gallery style of 30 randomly selected contributions. Each time the home page loads, different contributions appear in a different order. Visitors are also provided with the option to navigate through the different type of contributions through button links at the top of the masonry gallery. The home page also contains a prominent search form, where contributions can be searched based on a key word. Results are returned based on title, content, specifically assigned tags and categories.

The top row of the home page displays the upcoming HTC sessions in the ISSMGE regions of Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America. The top bar of the HTC Website contains the main content structure navigation options of the website, which are: What is the HTC?, Contributions, Discovery, News, Contact, and Search tabs. In the coming months, two additional tabs will be shown, being Time Capsule, and 100 years on. These relate respectively to the display and sealing of a physical time capsule in 2026 at the 21st ICSMGE in Vienna, Austria, and the final phase of the HTC project reflecting on the needs of geotechnical engineering in the next 100 years.



The ISSMGE 75th anniversary publication is the culmination of work initiated by Pedro Pinto, who served as the President of ISSMGE from 2005 to 2009. This extraordinary publication spans over 200 pages and comprises a remarkable collection of articles authored by key figures.

These articles delve into the rich history, current state, and future prospects of the ISSMGE and provide insights into the past, present, and future developments within various regions.

It can be regarded as a precursor to the present HTC project, showcasing a profound dedication to document and showcase the spirit of ISSMGE and its activities.

In 2013, an innovative concept was conceived by the current President of ISSMGE, Marc Ballouz, giving rise to the possibility of creation of a physical repository. This unique container was specifically designed to safeguard significant materials related to geotechnical engineering for 150 years.


The contributions to the HTC include video recordings, commented slide presentations, text documents, and articles from:

  • ISSMGE Member Societies, Technical Committees and Corporate Associates,
  • ISSMGE Past Presidents or their champions, as well as from a number of key persons, regional vice presidents, and members of Board Level Committees,
  • A small but rapidly growing collection of Discoverer reports

Importance of HTC


First and foremost, there is taking pride in one's cohort's work - i.e., what a Member Society, Technical Committee, or Corporate Associate has contributed to geotechnical engineering over the past years and decades.

Secondly, to look at the past, present and future developments of the ISSMGE and geotechnical engineering through the eyes of our past presidents and key persons as well as others at Board level. This acknowledges that we are here because of the past.

Thirdly, to give voice to the individual members of the ISSMGE. This is a key distinguishing feature of the HTC, encouraging the current generation of geotechnical scientists and engineers to explore the past and present, and have the opportunity to report their findings on the ISSMGE platform. We call this the Discoverer role.


HTC sessions are to be held at the ISSMGE regional conferences in 2023 & 2024,

  • To inform individual members of the HTC, encourage their interest, and participation,
  • To reflect on what has been contributed to date, and consider what needs to be added/ amended, and,
  • To advance any worthwhile agenda in this presidential term for the betterment of the Member Societies.

Leading to the 2026 Vienna conference, work will be undertaken on construction of a physical time capsule for storage of physical material for many generations

Finally, HTC Team is working on what would be a suitable exercise to reflect in an exciting and dynamic way, both the past century of geotechnical engineering, and the anticipated nature and needs of geotechnical engineering in the next 100 years.

Sharing in the HTC


Contributions to the HTC will be accessible online. The contributors are responsible for their material, including securing and maintaining all necessary permissions and complying with copyright requirements.

Contributions to the HTC could be in any language provided that the relevant ISSMGE Vice President approved and that at least an abstract relating to the contribution should be in either English or French.

Member Societies and Technical Committees of the ISSMGE are eligible to contribute to the HTC. ISSMGE Corporate Associates are cordially invited to contribute to the HTC. Member Societies can contribute on an individual basis, or jointly (e.g. region) or both. Prospective contributors now have many examples from peers in the HTC web site, and these may be helpful in coming up with their own offering.

Please ensure that all submitted materials, including scanned papers, graphs, figures, and photos, are of high quality and resolution.


Contributors (Member Societies, Technical Committees, & Corporate Associates)

Contributions to the HTC must be approved by the respective leaders of the Member Societies and Technical Committees, and, in the case of Corporate Associates, by the executive authority within the Corporate Associate. Approval for uploading to the HTC is by the respective ISSMGE Regional Vice President for Member Societies, the Chair of the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) for Technical Committees and the Chair of the Corporate Associates Presidential Group (CAPG) for Corporate Associates.


The contact tab on the ISSMGE HTC web site can be used to contact the HTC Team with your questions and thoughts about the HTC and preparation of the HTC contributions.

Your message will be sent to the HTC Project administrators. We look forward to hearing from you.

Meet the HTC Team

  • Pedro Pinto, ISSMGE Past President (2005 - 2009)
  • Roger Frank, ISSMGE Past President (2013 - 2017)
  • Harry Poulos, Tetra Tech Coffey


  • Sukumar Pathmanandavel, HTC Project Lead
  • Charles MacRobert, Stellenbosch University
  • Emilio Bilotta, University of Naples Federico II
  • Ceres Chung, AGL Consulting
  • HTC Sessions Leaders
    • Africa - Akua Asantewaa Akosah-Yentumi, SLR Consulting
    • Asia - Mingliang Zhou, Tongji University
    • Australasia - Golnaz Alipour, Macquarie University
    • Europe - Pedro Pinto, ISSMGE Past President (2005 - 2009)
    • Pan-America - Hugo Acosta Martinez, BG&E Resources
  • ISSMGE Board Level Committees (BLCs) Support
    • Peter Day, Chair, Corporate Associates Presidential Group (CAPG)
    • Mona Badr, Chair, Professional Image Committee (PIC)
    • Ashe Cooper, Chair, Young Member Presidential Group (YMPG)
    • Bridget Lokoe, Core Team Member, Young Member Presidential Group (YMPG)
    • Judy Eid, Core Team Member, Young Member Presidential Group (YMPG)