Program at a glance Invited Speakers Subjects Abstract /Full Paper Submission Pre-conference Course CAPG YMPG/YGES

CAPG Session, "Are we over-designing?"Background
The Corporate Associates Presidential Group (CAPG) of 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, Seoul, in 2017, and subsequently published in the ISSMGE Bulletin Volume 12, Issue 2, April 2018, (, as well as in a number of journals. Following this work, CAPG has organised a series of workshops at the ISSMGE regional conferences being held in 2019. Further information can be found on

At the XVI Danube European Conference (Skopje, June 2018), the question was raised “Are we overdesigning?”. Although the question originated from the Asian Region, it is valid internationally where different countries and users of various testing techniques or design codes tend to follow local practice for geotechnical design. In response, the CAPG, in association with Young Members Presidential Group (YMPG), Technical Committee TC205 (Safety and Serviceability), and Technical Committee TC304 (Risk) has launched a global survey intended to assess the consistency of calculation models and design methods for a variety of geotechnical structures and, where possible, to compare the results with full-scale tests and reliability analyses. Please visit to participate in this survey. The initial results of the survey will be presented at the 16ARC in Taipei, and a detailed analysis of the results will be presented at the ISSMGE International Conference in Sydney 2021.

The main objectives of the CAPG Session at the 16ARC are to stimulate discussions and communication in the geotechnical fraternity, and to produce some useful outcomes for our industry to share and adopt.  We believe that the topic of “Are we over-designing?” touches a very sensitive and real issues both in Asia and in the wider international context.  The CAPG has invited eminent persons in the field of geotechnical engineering from various parts of Asia to present their views at this CAPG session and interact very closely with the audience.  The audience at the CAPG session will be encouraged through facilitation of an interactive session to exchange views and experiences from the different viewpoints. As a result, we expect to arrive at valuable conclusions and actions for the betterment of geotechnical practice as we move on to a very challenging future of increasingly demanding projects and continuously decreasing budgets.
We have initiated a social media discussion ( .  Participation via this LinkedIn article by all is welcomed, and your inputs will be used for creating an engaging and entertaining CAPG session at the 16ARC.

The CAPG session

Opening Address by
Professor Eun Chul Shin,Vice President Asia, ISSMGE

Professor Eun Chul Shin graduated from Chungbuk National University in Korea. He obtained his M.S. degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA in 1987 and a Ph.D degree from the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, USA in 1994. Since graduation, he has been teaching geotechnical engineering at the Incheon National University, South Korea, where he obtained a full professorship in 2005 and has served as dean of the Urban Science College until 2016.

Professor E.C, Shin has delivered numerous invited keynote lectures in the international geotechnical and geosynthetics conferences hosted in Asia and South America. He has published 5 books on the geotechnical, geo-environmental and civil engineering related subjects as well as more than 100 journal papers and 150 conference papers. Prof E.C. Shin made a major contribution to the hosting of the United Nations’ Office of Green Climate Fund (GCF), by the Songdo, City of Incheon, working as the Director of Incheon Green Environment Center.

Technical address by
Professor Paulus Pramono Rahardjo,Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, Bandung, Indonesia

Prof Paulus Pramono Rahardjo completed undergraduate study at Universitas Katolik Parahyangan (UNPAR) and since then has been faculty member at the university. He pursued graduate study in highway engineering at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), then Master's Degree and Ph.D degree from Virginia Tech (USA). He has been actively engaged in teaching, research as well as hundreds of geotechnical consultancy projects.  He works for design and advising clients on many geotechnical problems including building foundations, highways, tunnels, bridges, jetty and wharfs, dams, coal mining etc.

Among his specialties with intense experience in research and practice are in the field of in-situ testing and landslides or slope protections. He has written more than 200 articles/ papers, research reports and manuals. He has served the university as Department Head, Vice Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Director of the Graduate Program and Vice Rector for Academic Affairs. Currently, he is the coordinator of Geotechnical Engineering Division and Director of Research Centre for Infrastructure and Urban Development. His affiliations include the Indonesian Geotechnical Society (HATTI), American Society of Civil Engineers in the Geo-Institute, the Indonesian Experts on Disasters (IABI) and Board Representative of International Consortium on Landslides (ICL), currently responsible as Head of Deep Foundation Research Institute at Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, Bandung Indonesia.

Invited panellist,
Dr Za-Chieh Moh, Moh & Associates, Taiwan

Dr. Za-Chieh Moh co-founded MAA in 1975 to improve civil engineering capabilities in Asian countries, developing local talent into professional international calibre engineers. With a Sc.D. in civil engineering from MIT, and teaching experience at Yale University and as a former Vice President and Provost at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Dr. Moh decided to facilitate knowledge transfer in the Asia and Southeast Asian regions. Dr. Moh is also an esteemed APEC Engineer, and IPEA Engineer, with an honorary Doctorate of Technology from Asian Institute of Technology bestowed in 1999.

As an academician, a professional, and an entrepreneur, Dr. Moh is and has been an influential engineer, pioneering the use of many geotechnical technologies throughout East and Southeast Asia. As a fellow in Civil and Geological societies in U.S., Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and London, Dr. Moh has been actively engaging in many international conferences, leading to his renowned reputation in geotechnical engineering. Dr. Moh was the Founding President for the Southeast Asian Geotechnical Society (1967-1972) and holds leading positions in various integral international committees. Dr. Moh is a registered Professional Engineer in many countries, including USA, UK, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. To date, Dr. Moh has authored and co-authored over 160 technical publications.

Invited panellist,
Ravi Sundaram, Cengrs Geotechnica Pvt. Ltd., India

Ravi Sundaram started his career in 1980 with McClelland International Ltd. (USA) in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He is founder Director of Cengrs Geotechnica Pvt. Ltd. and directs the company’s geotechnical consultancy services and geotechnical construction activities. His expertise includes geotechnical investigations, geophysical surveys, ground improvement and groundwater studies. He has been involved in developing engineering solutions to problems of foundations under artesian conditions, collapsible dune sands, soft clays, expansive soils, etc. on major projects in India and abroad. His special interests include foundations for tall buildings, power plants and bridge foundations as well as testing of pile foundations and strengthening weak/distressed foundations. He has published over 60 papers reflecting his experience in geotechnical practice and solving complex geotechnical problems.

Ravi Sundram received IGS-Prof. Dinesh Mohan Memorial Award (2017-18) for Excellence in Professional Practice, and delivered the prestigious 6th MADHAV LECTURE (in honor of Prof. Madhav, former Vice-President – Asia, ISSMGE) in 2017 on “Geotechnical Investigations in Difficult Soil Conditions – Indian Experiences” in recognition of his professional contributions and technical achievements.

Ravi Sundram has published a book titled “Retrieving the Lost Paradise – Celebrating the Earth Day” to encourage awareness of environmental issues and need for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles to preserve Mother Earth for the future generations. He strives to integrate field experience with academic research in order to be responsive to complex geotechnical challenges facing India.

Invited panellist,
Dr Cheuk Chi Yin (Johnny), AECOM, Hong Kong

Dr Johnny Cheuk has over 19 years of experience in geotechnical engineering including research and practice in a wide spectrum of areas covering underground spaces, tunnels, caverns, deep excavations, foundations, reclamations and offshore geotechnical structures. He has worked on numerous geotechnical projects in Hong Kong, including the West Kowloon Terminus of the MTR Express Rail Link, Reclamation for Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities, Landslide Prevention and Mitigation Works at Po Shan, Mid-Levels.

Dr Cheuk is currently responsible for the operations of the geotechnical team in the AECOM Hong Kong office. He is also a thought leader in the industry. He is the President of Hong Kong Geotechnical Society, the Honorary Treasurer of the HKIE Geotechnical Division, a Committee Member of the ICE HK Association, and an Adjunct Professor of HKU. Dr Cheuk has published more than 50 technical articles and has won several international awards, including the HKIE Outstanding Paper Award for Young Engineers/Researchers and the British Geotechnical Association Medal in 2012, the R.M. Quigley Honorable Mention of the Canadian Geotechnical Society in 2008, and the Tan Swan Beng Best Paper Award of the Southeast Asia Geotechnical Society in 2011.

Briefing on the global survey on “Are we overdesigning?” by
Dr Peter Day, Consultant, South Africa

Peter retired as the Chair of Consulting Engineers Jones & Wagener (Johannesburg, South Africa), and is still a consultant at Jones & Wagener, for whom has worked for over four decades.  Presenting the Terzaghi Oration in Seoul was one of the most challenging and memorable events in Peter’s life. Peter is currently pursuing several initiatives, including research into practical applications of reliability analysis in geotechnical design, writing a geotechnical design code for South Africa and mentoring post graduate students in his capacity as an “industry” professor at the University of Stellenbosch, the wine capital of South Africa. At heart, Peter remains a practical geotechnical engineer who wears safety boots on every occasion and always has a hard hat, a geological pick and a full set of geological maps of South Africa on the laptop behind the back seat of the car.

The ISSMGE has been part of Peter’s life since his first International Conference in Stockholm in 1981. He has enjoyed contributing to ISSMGE technical committees, serving chair of TC23 (now TC205) from 1997 to 2001 and as Vice President for Africa from 2001 to 2005. Peter is the Chair Elect for the ISSMGE CAPG group, commencing 2019.

Invited panellist, Hiroyasu Ishii, chief research engineer at Taisei Corporation, Technology Center

Dr Hiroyasu Ishii is a chief research engineer at Taisei Corporation, Technology Center. Dr Ishii has 22 years experience in Taisei,in which time he has been mainly involved in research and development works basing at our Technology Center. Also he has a lot of international experiences such as:

  • three years assignment to Hydoro Project in India, as a quality manager
  • one year appointment at a local consultant in London, as a visiting officer
  • consulting works in Turkey, Singapore, Korea
  • participation and presentation in geotechnical conferences (14th ARC, 15th ARC, 19th ICSMGE, 5th ICEGE, Japan-Korea Joint workshops, Japan-India workshops etc.) 

Dr Hiroyasu Ishii a member of JGS(Japanese Getetechnical Society), JSCE(Japan Society of Civil Engineer) and JSMS(Society of Materials Science, Japan) and acting as some committee members. He also contributes as  a chief secretary of the geotechnical engineering committee of JSCE. Currently Dr Ishii's main work field is ground improvement; and he has some thoughts  relating to overdesigning.

Leading and facilitation of the interactive session –
Young Members Presidential Group (YMPG) of the ISSMGE

Ceres Man Yui Chung - Ceres Chung has over ten years of geotechnical design, and site supervision experience since her graduation. She has been involved in a variety of projects, including site formation, foundation, slope stabilization measures and deep excavation, in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Ireland and Sweden.

Ceres is currently working in Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO), The Government of HKSAR, and is responsible for review on design methods for deep excavation in different countries, literature review on deep excavation design, construction, case studies, and preparing the design guidance for deep excavation in Hong Kong.

Aswin Lim, PhD – Dr Aswin Lim currently works at the Department of Civil Engineering, Universitas Katolik Parahyangan. Aswin’s research work is in Geotechnical Engineering, especially for Geo-Urban engineering problems.  Aswin’s most recent publication was 'Case Record of a Strut-free Excavation with Buttress Walls in Soft Soil.'

Closing address by
Sukumar Pathmanandavel, Chair CAPG, Australia

Sukumar is the Chair of the ISSMGE Corporate Associates Presidential Group (CAPG), a role that he has held since 2013. He holds a BEng from University of Zambia, DIC and MSc from Imperial College, UK, and a MBA (Technology Management) from Deakin University, Australia. On completion of his MSc in Soil Mechanics and Engineering seismology at the Imperial College, he worked in the geotechnical team in Arup’s London practice. This was followed by 28 years with Coffey, a geotechnical specialist consulting engineering company in Australia, where he operated globally, with focus on Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, the UK and Canada.

In August 2016, Sukumar joined Aurecon, a major engineering and infrastructure advisory consultancy, with offices in Africa, Middle East, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He heads the Aurecon Ground & Underground Engineering global service line, an integrated team of geotechnical engineering, tunnel engineering, tunnel system, underground structures, and pavement specialists operating in Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. A key element of Sukumar’s role is to drive knowledge sharing, shape future capabilities, and guide the use of new technologies.