We are all adapting to our new routines living with the hazard and disruption associated with COVID-19. The government guidelines and our personal circumstances are changing daily. The AGS is committed to serving our members during these uncertain times. Our plan includes the following:
Continue offering technical sessions to the geotechnical community
We are currently sourcing a suitable online platform to use for presenting technical sessions. We have in the past successfully offered online presentations at a chapter level, and we are now shifting all presentations to this format. The good news that comes with this development is that live presentations can be made to a large number of people, all over Australia, at the same time. A second positive is that we can offer presentations by geotechnical colleagues in other parts of the world, speaking from their homes to ours. We already have some plans for talks in the next couple of months and will be in touch soon with details. Please keep an eye on the AGS website and our LinkedIn feed for updates.
Postpone courses/events to a later date
We had the popular Geotechnical Mapping Course and a Soil and Rock Logging Course scheduled in a number of cities over the next 3 months (April-June). These will be postponed. We will provide updates on the Geotechnical Mapping Courses scheduled for August and September in the coming weeks when we know if holding courses at this time will be possible. Some chapter symposia, including the Western Australia event planned for May, will also be postponed. Planning for all these events will proceed, with new dates to be advertised when possible.
Australian Geomechanics Journal
Preparation and publication of the Australian Geomechanics (AG) Journal will proceed as usual. If you would like to contribute any papers or news to the journal please do so at ScolacticaHQ. Perhaps now is a good time to write that AG paper you have been meaning to write for a while.
The AGS website offers links to online content, such as previously recorded AGS technical presentations and links to international resources such as Rankine Lectures. We are working to add more content and more links to international society resources on the AGS website, to assist members to find useful technical resources to access at home. We will provide updates via LinkedIn and notices on the website. We also anticipate uploading recordings of some live-streamed webinar events that we plan to hold over the next few months. If you know of any interesting recordings or other resources that you would like to suggest sharing with other AGS members, please contact the AGS webmaster Tim Thompson.
We are continuing with our plans for future events, so that once the COVID-19 crisis passes we are ready to offer our usual suite of courses, symposia, conferences and in-person technical sessions and social events. We ask you to look forward to 2021 and support the ICSMGE Conference by submitting abstracts and encouraging others to do so. We are planning a number of chapter events, including AGS 50th anniversary celebrations, that will happen as soon as practically possible.
Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the AGS
We had envisaged a very different 50th anniversary year to the one that is unfolding. While in-person celebrations may need to be postponed, we are still determined to celebrate the history of the AGS and the success that the society has undeniably become. The 50th anniversary commemorative book is almost ready for print and will be available for distribution as soon as circumstances allow.
We hope that while our offering to members and the wider geotechnical community has changed in format, we can still gather (online) to share technical knowledge, support our fellow geotechnical colleagues and look towards the future.
Thank you for your continuing support and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions for the AGS as we navigate these difficult times.
National Chair of Australian Geomechanics Society