The Geo-Institute’s GeoCongress 2012 conference kicked off today in Oakland, California. I am grateful that my day-job employer, Golder Associates, Inc. has agreed to send me to this conference, and a short course today on the geotechnical aspects of pavement design. To everyone I meet here I am representing Golder, but I am of course taking the opportunity to promote GeoPrac.net and look for potential content contributors (and sponsors). Speaking of sponsors, several of my sponsors are here, and I will speak more about them in a later post or posts.
This conference is directly in line with the vision and mission of GeoPrac. As the title of the post says, the conference brings together the state of the art and the state of the practice in geotechnical engineering. My colleague at the Geoengineer.org website, Dr. Dimitrios Zekkos (on the faculty at the University of Michigan) is the Congress Chair. In his welcome letter in the program, Dimitros notes that:
Our metric for success of this conference is not jus the attendance of geotechnical researchers, but the strong attendance of practicing geo-professionals from the United States and worldwide.
I was thrilled to be able to meet Dimitrios at the welcome reception tonight, something I have wanted to do for years (so I had to commemorate the occasion with a photo)! After corresponding via email and speaking on the phone and on conference calls for a website task force for the Geo-Institute, it was a pleasure to finally meet in person. He told me that the attendance at the conference was at almost 1,300 which is the largest Geo-Institute event they have ever had. There are 30 state of the art and state of the practice keynote speakers coming up and presentations on 346 papers and 118 posters. By my count, there are 7 concurrent technical sessions where the speakers are presenting a brief overview of their papers.
I would say they have met their metric! Congratulations to Dimitrios and the entire organizing committee on setting up a great conference. I look forward to the next few days! Keep checking here, on Twitter (@geoprac) and on the GeoPrac Facebook page for more coverage of the conference.