Minutes of the USUCGER Board Meeting: October 18, 1999
Held at the Atlanta GA Airport

prepared and submitted by Ahmed Elgamal, USUCGER Secretary

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Monday October 18, 1999
PLACE: Charlotte Convention Center, NC
Room 209-B

Board Members Attending:
Prof. Paul Mayne, GT
Prof. Deborah Goodings, UMD
Prof. Ahmed Elgamal, UCSD
Prof. Chuck Shackelford, CSU
Prof. Mehmet Tumay, LTRC
Prof. Cbristine LaPlante, Union College
Prof. Kyle Rollins, BYU

Special Visitors:
Dr. Priscilla Nelson, NSF
Dr. Bob Holtz, ASCE/Univ. Washington

The meeting opened at 6.00 p.m.

1. Minutes of May 1999 meeting were approved

2. Dr. Priscilla Nelson, NSF Director, Division of Civil and Mechanical Structures, presented an overview of ongoing NSF research initiatives, including the National Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) RFP. She also discussed the idea of initiating ASCE G-I Graduate Student Chapters, and other G-I sponsored educational activities. Professor Ahmed Elgamal suggested the initiation of national competitions similar to the Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge at the undergraduate senior class level. The Geo-grid/membrane and the Ground Improvement industries were suggested as potential sponsors. Dr. Nelson also discussed recruitment and qualifications for Director of the Geomechanics and Geotechnical Systems Program. The Board expressed interest in assisting with nominations for this position.

3. Professor Mehmet Tumay reported the status of the new USUCGER web-site. Arrangements for transfer of this website and Bulletin Board, to be hosted by Professor Boris Jeremic at UC-Davis were approved. On behalf of USUCGER, the Board expressed deep appreciation for the efforts of Professor Roman Hryciw and Prof. Mehmet Tumay for hosting the sites in a most effective and useful fashion. The Board approved the purchase of a PC server at UC-Davis, and the declaration of a new USUCGER electronic address as: http://www.usucger.org. Member Universities will continue to be encouraged to complete the information about universities and research programs in the new web-page. This page is being increasingly accessed nationally and internationally, and is among the best resources for information about US geotechnical engineering in academia.

4. Professor Kyle Rollins presented the Treasurerís Report. Current assets are held at $48,239.07. Sufficient resources appeared to be available to meet anticipated expenses at present. Arrangements for collection of next year dues were discussed, to take place after initiation of the new USUCGER web-site. Board efforts to increase membership will continue. Uboard needs a more detailed tracking system for dues collection and payment schedule. This needs to be implemented in the springtime, so as not to conflict with fiscal year budgets.

5. Professor Paul Mayne discussed the need to design & disseminate a USUCGER Brochure that would be useful to make our organization known, attract new members, and advertise our new website location: www.usucger.org

6. The Board supported Professor Deborah Goodings' initiative to pursue arrangements for a geotechnical Workshop during TRB 2001 (for new PhDs). The title of this Sunday workshop is: Doctoral Student Research in Transportation Geotechnics. There are two objectives to the workshop session. From TRB's point of view, a primary objective of this new series is to encourage attendance and participation of young researchers in TRB actvities. From TRB and USUCGER's points of view, it will provide an opportunity to showcase the most recent PhD research, and with it those on the academic and non-academic job market. Announcements regarding the workshop session will be posted by email over the next few months.

7. Contributions of USUCGER with articles to publications such as Geotechnical News and other Geo-Institute publications were discussed (e.g., the upcoming GeoStrata).

8. Discussion of USUCGER's role in awards, faculty recognition, and support was held. This includes USUCGER's own awards, with two to be presented at the GeoDenver meeting. Mehmet & Paul would coordinate. Other activities of USUCGER in nominating awards were discussed, resulting in Professor Deborah Goodings presenting the activities of USUCGER in nominations for National awards. Under her supervision, USUCGER will nominate candidates for ASCE, OPAL, and ASTM awards. USUCGER intends to play a proactive role in other upcoming nominations.

9. Professors Charles Shackelford and Christine LaPlante will play an active role in planning and preparations for USUCGER's participation at GeoDenver in August 2000. A time-slot for Friday evening Aug. 4 was tentatively being held, however, we decided this would be ill-attended because it was before the conference began. GeoDenver looks to be a busy event with many simultaneous sessions. A possible USUCGER booth during this conference was discussed, but decided that not really a good effort on our part. Thus, we elected to have USUCGER provide Moderators & Session Chairs to help the conference agenda.

10. Available nominations for the ISSMGE TC 31 on Geotechnical Engineering Education were discussed (as requested by Harvey Wahls).

11. USUCGER interaction with other organizations needs to be strengthened, including Geo-Institute, GeoCouncil, and ISSMGE.

12. Adjourned meeting at 10:30 p.m.

Minutes were prepared and submitted by Ahmed Elgamal.