La Société canadienne
de géotechnique
The Canadian
Geotechnical Society
La Société canadienne de géotechnique
The Canadian Geotechnical Society

Message from the President - March 2017

Dharma Wijewickreme, P.Eng.

It is a great pleasure and honour to write this message to the CGS membership as I begin my two-year role as the President of the Canadian Geotechnical Society effective January 1st, 2017.

Let me begin by congratulating and thanking our outgoing CGS President Doug VanDine and his team for their numerous accomplishments over the past two years. Doug and his team contributed to the Society on many fronts including: streamlining Society activities, refining protocols, formalizing many administrative and affiliation agreements; the operational efficiencies generated from these improvements are genuinely appreciated by the incoming team. The new website that we have is a direct result of Doug's relentless effort supported by the CGS Executive and Administration, in close collaboration with the CGS National Office.

It is important to introduce and appreciate the new team who will be working hard to lead and support the CGS activities through key volunteer roles in the CGS Executive, Sections, Divisions, Committees, external representations. As mentioned during the last Annual Business Meeting in Vancouver in October, our new Executive Committee members are: VP Technical Suzanne Powell (Geotechnical Engineer, Thurber Engineering Ltd.); Vice President Financial Kent Bannister (Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Trek Geotechnical Inc.); Vice President Communications and Member Services Jean Côté (Professor, Laval University); Technical Division Rep Richard Brachman (Professor, Queen's University); Section Rep Seán Mac Eoin (Senior Geotechnical Engineer, AECOM); and Young Professionals Rep Ariane Locat (Professor, Laval University). Richard, Seán and Ariane served in the same capacities in the previous administration, and they have kindly agreed to continue for another year. The CGS is further strengthened due to the extensive volunteering by our membership to serve as Section Directors, Division Chairs, Committee Chairs and Chair of the Geotechnical Research Board, and their respective executives and members.

The other key strength is mobilized from our enthusiastic CGS National Office administration team: Michel Aubertin (Executive Director), Wayne Gibson (Director, Administration and Finance) and Lisa McJunkin (Director, Communications and Member Services). The Society is well served by Michel, Wayne, and Lisa with their strengths derived from already gathered wide experience and familiarity with the CGS organization.

Let me take the opportunity to highlight some of the points I mentioned in my brief President's message in the January issue of the CGS GIN. With our strong financial position, we will be undertaking a number of major initiatives in the coming months. The engagement and involvement of membership are some key elements that our CGS team will be promoting over the next two years. Let us work together to identify ways for the CGS to effectively receive the viewpoints of the membership, and certainly to enhance the opportunities for the members to readily contribute to and participate in the Society's activities.

I would also like to update you on the initiatives that are underway with respect to the Canadian Foundation Engineering Manual (CFEM). We will soon have the Errata for the existing CFEM 4th Edition completed and posted on the CGS website. We are now fully geared up for work on the next edition of the CFEM, which is going to be a full online version; two Advisory Committees have been formed to attend to the technical and publication aspects, respectively. I will keep you informed as we make progress on this task.

Finally, I would like to invite you to attend our 70th Annual CGS Conference in Ottawa (please visit the conference website geoottawa2017.ca for more details). GeoOttawa 2017 will be an exciting event in our National Capital, since this key CGS milestone is going to be celebrated along with the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.