Engineers Australia

3rd International Symposium on Geotechnical Engineering For The Preservation Of Monuments And Historic Sites


First bulletin and call for papers


  • principles of conservation, maintenance strategies, case histories
  • the knowledge: investigations and monitoring
  • seismic risk, site effects, soil-structure interaction
  • effects of urban development and tunnelling on built heritage
  • preservation of diffuse heritage: soil instability, subsidence, environmental damages

Important dates

Abstract submission: 31 May 2021
Abstract acceptance: 30 June 2021
Full paper submission: 30 November 2021
Final paper acceptance: 28 February 2022


The proceedings will be indexed in Scopus.

About the symposium

The conservation of monuments and historic sites is one of the most challenging problems facing modern civilization. It involves, in inextricable patterns, factors belonging to different fields (cultural, humanistic, social, technical, economical, administrative) and the requirements of safety and use appear (and often are) in conflict with the respect of the integrity of the monuments.

The complexity of the topic is such that a shared framework of reference is still lacking among art historians, architects, structural and geotechnical engineers.

This is proved by the fact that, although there are exemplary cases of an integral saving of any structural component with its static and architectural function, as a material witness of the culture and the construction techniques of the original historical period, there are still examples of uncritical confidence in modern technology which lead to the replacement of previous structures with new ones, which only preserve an iconic appearance of the original monument.

The possibility of finding in practice an acceptable equilibrium is linked to the development of a shared culture. For this reason, the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering promoted over 30 years ago an ad hoc Committee (on Preservation of Monuments and Historic Sites), as suggested by Jean Kerisel and Arrigo Croce. Since that founding period, a number of international and regional symposia have been organised, and in recognition of his pioneering work a honour lecture has been dedicated to Jean Kerisel. The first Kerisel Lecture was delivered at International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ICSMGE) in 2013 in Paris; the second one at the ICSMGE in Seoul in 2017, and the third one will be offered during next International Conference of the TC301, which is now announced and will be held in Naples in June 2022, following the successful tradition started with the previous ones in 1996 and 2013.

Moving from general principles and maintenance strategies of conservation, the conference is addressed not only to geotechnical engineers but also to professionals from other disciplines to debate what is worth preserving and how is it possible. The contribution of investigation and monitoring, performed to reach a deep knowledge of the monument and its construction history, a prerequisite of any maintenance strategy, is a corollary theme of the conference.

In addition to basic requirements regarding the safeguarding and preservation of a single monument, a further very important task to be debated concerns the compatibility of demand of modern civilization with the preservation of historic sites and heritage. There is a need of expanding the reference terms, by considering the effects of urban developments and tunnelling on built heritage, as well as considering the preservation of “diffuse heritage”, i.e. problems related to the scale of a urban environment (slope stability, natural and man induced subsidence, underground infrastructures).

Dynamic identification analyses, effects of local soil condition and influence of soil-structure interaction are further demanding themes to be addressed in relation to seismic risk and mitigation measures.

Further information

For more information, see the flyer or contact Filomena de Silva.