Briaud visits Korea, Dominican Republic and Dubai as international society president

Dr. Jean-Louis Briaud, professor and holder of the Spencer J. Buchanan Chair in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, has had a busy spring semester, traveling to Dubai, Korea and the Dominican Republic as part of his duties as president of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE).Dr. Jean-Louis BriaudIn January, Briaud went to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to deliver a keynote lecture, "Downdrag on Uncoated and Bitumen Coated Piles," at the Deep Foundation Institute Conference. While in the country, he visited the beautiful Burj Khalifa, the highest tower in the world at 828 m in height, and listened to plans to build the Nakheel Tower, which would be 1,000 m high. Briaud also discussed the start of a UAE National Society of ISSMGE, and visited with geotechnical engineers in the region.Then in March, Briaud traveled to Seoul, Korea, to deliver the keynote lecture on bridge scour at the 2010 Korean Geotechnical Society National Conference. While in Korea, Briaud visited with several former students who play leading roles in Korea's universities and research institutes. He also met with the leadership of the Korean Geotechnical Society and was invited to attend their board meeting where he was surprised with a contribution to the ISSMGE Foundation. The foundation was started by Briaud six months ago to help geotechnical engineers throughout the world.And in April, Briaud traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to contribute to an international seminar organized by Luis Carpio, president of that country's National Society of ISSMGE. A number of prominent experts from around the world donated their time and presented lectures regarding best practices for earthquake foundation and structural engineering. The lecturers visited Port au Prince, Haiti, during the seminar, a visit that Briaud said had a significant impact on him."The devastation was gut wrenching and underlines the fact that as engineers we must recognize that we do not build structures which have zero risk of collapse while continuing to work on decreasing such a risk," he said.