Appendix A

XVth International Conference of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering


Istanbul, Turkey


International Research Collaboration Workshop


Sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation


Organized by

Louisiana State University

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Geo-Institute of ASCE


September 1, 2001





Louisiana State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), through support of the National Science Foundation (NSF), are holding a one-day workshop in connection with the 15th ICSMGE. The International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) is the premier international organization for geotechnical engineers and holds its world conferences in every four years. The Geo-Institute of ASCE constitutes the U.S. National Committee to this international organization. This year the15th international conference will be held in Istanbul, Turkey from August 28 to 31, 2001. Istanbul is in some ways the birthplace of modern Soil Mechanics, where the father of this field Karl Terzaghi conducted his earliest research in this field. As such this year's conference is expected to have significant historical connotation to Geotechnical engineers.


The primary objective is to identify Geo-Engineering research areas of mutual interest between U.S. and foreign investigators. Foreign contacts, and therefore the resulting information and collaboration, are anticipated to be primarily from Europe (western and eastern Europe and, in particular, Balkans and Mediterranean basin), Turkey, Central Asia, and Middle East due to the location of the workshop. Twenty-two U.S. investigators will participate in the workshop.


The workshop is scheduled for Saturday, September 1, 2001, immediately following the ICSMGE conference. During the workshop, participants will report on the results of their interaction with their peers, identify current Geo-Engineering areas of research and mutual research interests, specific areas for collaboration, and discuss impediments to and recommendations to improve international collaboration on the department, university, and national levels. The U.S. investigators are a combination of senior and junior faculty, with primarily junior faculty (i.e., Assistant Professors and Associate Professors).



Turkish and geo-researchers from other parts of the world get to know their U.S., mostly junior, counterparts for the purpose of establishing professional relationships. Ideally this workshop should lead to close collaboration in research and education between emerging individuals or groups in different countries.



1.                  Improve communication between the international Geotechnical Communities.

2.                  Bi-lateral technology transfer between U.S. and Turkey and other countries

3.                  Cooperation in research projects carried out simultaneously and funded by the respective agencies in both countries

4.                  Cooperation in research, development and design as part of existing/upcoming geo-infrastructure build-up.

5.                  Exchange of students, researchers and faculty members.






Conference Hall, Mechanical Engineering Faculty of the Istanbul Technical University, Gumussuyu campus

(within walking distance from the Istanbul Convention Exhibition Center, ICSMGE venue).

Facilities: Slide Projector, overhead projector, and PowerPoint projector will be available



- The workshop is a part of the 15th ICSMGE.

Introduce the interested partners to each other

Examine possible avenues for collaboration


- Arrangements can be made to visit a number of Turkish universities in the days following the 15th ICSMGE. This will allow the participants to get to know more closely, their Turkish counterparts and, in particular, the activities at these universities.



-         A listing of U.S. participants is attached.

The selection of the participants was made by the International Activities Council of the Geo-Institute.



There will be two formal sessions .

-         Formal Session 1: Saturday, September 1, 2001

8:00 9:30 a.m. Self introduction of participants (1 transparency)

Name, University, Educational obligations, Research Interest.

9:30 12:00. Introduction of Issues.


Each of the issues listed below will be briefly introduced (3 minutes) by one of the senior U.S. workshop leaders, followed by an open discussion from the floor. The purpose of having a set of predefined issues is to allow participants to think about them. Prepared presentations are discouraged. If supporting materials are needed, it should be photocopied and distributed. New issues can be brought up.


12:00 2:00 pm Lunch break (on your own)


- Formal Session 2: Saturday, September, 1, 2001


2:00 to 3:30 p.m Presentation of initial ideas on issues and concepts for collaboration

3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Further discussion of issues, if needed



Is there a benefit in research collaboration?

What is better - what is practical?

- Get "common" research project, subdivide into parts, each partner works on her/his part, and write report with separate chapters

-         Truly collaborative concurrent research

-         Funding

In most cases, funding will be from the respective national funding agencies with additional travel money. Is this satisfactory or should overarching international funding be found (see also "alliances", below)

-         Use of testing facilities

There are several geotechnical testing facilities with unique setup/means of equipment in the U.S. and other countries which might be used by counterparts from the other country(ies). Is such a use desirable? Feasible?


Exchange of students/faculty members/researchers

Would the participants like to see visitors/go on visits and if so, what is the optimal period of time?

-         Educational exchange

Today this can range from the classic sabbatical or similar visit, to sending students to the other university, to full-fledged distance education.

-         Are any of these possibilities more/less desirable than the others? (advantages/disadvantages)

-         Global Alliances

Many universities have entered into national/international coalitions or alliances. Examples are the Engineering Education Coalitions funded by NSF in the U.S. and the Alliance for Global Sustainability involving the University of Tokyo. Many others exist. A single funding source and a more or less centralized administration or coordinated allocation of the funds to sub entities characterizes them. There are new opportunities. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Office for Central Europe and Eurasia of the National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academies, offers grants to individual American specialists who plan to establish new research partnerships with their colleagues from Central/Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Newly Independent States (NIS). Special Opportunities for Junior Investigators: American applicants who have received their doctoral degrees within the past ten years will receive special consideration. The COBASE program allocates at least 25 percent of its grants to researchers in this category in order to encourage beginning investigators to become involved in international collaboration.

Is this a more desirable structure than the separate funding and direct collaboration of several partners?


Are there any impediments on the department, university and national level to collaborate internationally?

Recommendation to NSF

How could NSF enhance international collaboration in the Geo-Eng areas?

Other issues to be brought up prior to, or during, the workshop.



A final Workshop report will be compiled and made available on the web site The report will identify:

        specific Geo-Engineering areas of mutual international interest;

        specific people and institutions for cooperative research activities;

        the best mechanisms for and impediments to international collaboration on the department, university, and national levels; and

        recommendations to NSF for enhancing international collaborative efforts in the Geo-Engineering areas.


The G-I staff participating in the workshop will be responsible for scheduling and coordinating the workshop report ( Contact: Carol Bowers, Director, Geo-Institute, The report will be delivered to NSF by February 28, 2002.



Prior to the Workshop, arrangements will be made for U.S. participants to meet informally to discuss the workshop topics. An announcement will be made at the plenary sessions and/or the Conference Bulletin Board. Additionally, U.S. researchers are encouraged to hold one-on-one discussions with their peers during the conference. These informal meetings and discussions will provide the bulk of input for the Saturday, September 1, 2001 workshop.



The funding for the Workshop is provided by the National Science Foundation ,, Division of International Programs,, and Division of Civil and Mechanical Systems ,



Carol Bowers


ASCE Geo-Institute


Tuncer B. Edil

Chair, International Activities Council, ASCE Geo-Institute

University of Wisconsin-Madison



Mehmet T. Tumay

Principal Investigator, NSF Project

Louisiana State University