Tutumluer chairs 4th International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics

7/2/2021 12:21:21 PM

Professor Erol Tutumluer chairs the virtual 4th International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics
Professor Erol Tutumluer chairs the virtual 4th International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics

At the recent 4th International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics (ICTG), CEE at Illinois professor Erol Tutumluer presided over four days of plenary keynotes, special invited lectures and breakout sessions as Conference Chair. Nearly 400 people from 44 countries attended the virtual event, originally scheduled to take place in Chicago but moved to an online platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Held every four years, ICTG is the main conference event of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Technical Committee (TC) 202 on Transportation Geotechnics. The conference is designed to promote cooperation and facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge, and address challenges in design, construction, maintenance, monitoring and upgrading of roads, railways, airfields, harbor facilities and other ground transportation infrastructure.

“This conference brought together engineers, researchers and practitioners working in the field of transportation geotechnics to share new information and key knowledge to building sustainable, smart and long-lasting pavement and railroad track infrastructure,” Tutumluer said. “As Chair, I was thrilled to see many live or simu-live presentations delivered throughout the event that defied country borders and time zones in these troubled times during COVID-19 to attract so many participants in a dedicated manner – and with the advantage of digital platform that provided recordings of all conference sessions.”

Tutumluer noted several highlights of the conference, including distinguished lectures such as the ISSMGE Proctor Lecture, ASCE Carl Monismith Lecture on Pavement Engineering, International Geosynthetics SocietyKeynote Lecture and six other Special Lectures by prominent figures in different progressive subject matter; 32 breakout sessions with 175 presentations; poster sessions; best presentation and poster competitions; and special opening and closing ceremonies.

“The four day virtual event experience was regarded and described verbally by many colleagues – including keynote/special lecturers, session moderators and speakers, and conference participants – as highly successful,” Tutumluer said. “This was of course in addition to the high technical content of the conference material shared during the 4th ICTG.”

The Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT) and Rail and Transportation Engineering Center (RailTEC) were non-financial sponsors of the 4th ICTG. CEE professors Imad Al-Qadi, Director of ICT, Christopher P.L. Barkan, Director of RailTEC, and Jeffery R. Roesler were members of the local organizing committee, as were RailTEC Senior Lecturer Riley Edwards and Tutumluer’s postdoc, Issam Qamhia.  

ISSMGE is a global organization that represents the interests and activities of engineers, academics and industry professionals that actively participate in geotechnical engineering. As Chair of TC 202 since 2013, Tutumluer has brought his expertise in transportation geotechnics to further the committee’s mission to bridge gaps between pavement/railway engineering and geotechnical engineering.

“Personally, with all my career achievements at UIUC dedicated to advancing the Transportation Geotechnics field and continual efforts targeted for the recognition of this field by both transportation and geotechnical engineers, it was very meaningful for me to bring the 4th ICTG to North America for the first time,” Tutumluer said.

The 5th ICTG will take place in Sydney, Australia in November 2024.