The beginning of soil mechanics as a new discipline dates back to 1925, when Karl Terzaghi, who is considered the father of soil mechanics, published his book Erdbau Mechanik. The first International Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering conference was held in 1936 at Harvard by Arthur Casagrande.
This conference is a declaration of the emergence of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering as a new discipline.
Terzaghi's opening speech and subsequent discussions in this conference, which was attended by 200 researchers from 21 countries, shaped the future of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering. One of the centers of the emergence of Soil Mechanics as a new discipline and the formation of its first principles is our country, Turkey.
Prof. Karl Terzaghi started his research studies on the behavior of soils, settlement of clays and piping mechanism in sand under dams during his time as a faculty member at Robert College and Istanbul Technical University (ITU) between 1919-1924.
During this time, he laid out the first principles of this scientific discipline. In other words, Istanbul is the birthplace of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering.
In this context, Istanbul has a special place for Prof. Karl Terzaghi, and Turkey, by the invitation of Karl Terzaghi, is among the first countries to take part in the international structuring of Soil Mechanics discipline.
Following the first international congress in 1936, the second congress, which was planned to be held in Rotterdam 4 years later, could not be held due to the outbreak of the Second World War, and this congress was held in 1948.
Before the congress to be held in 1948, on 25 March 1947, upon the request of Prof. Karl Terzaghi, Ir. T. K. Huizinga, the general secretary of the congress, sent a letter to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hamdi Peynircioğlu, and invited him to establish a national committee to assist in the works of the international congress, in line with the decision taken in the first congress to establish national committees in countries.
The first name of the Turkish National Committee is "Istanbul Technical University Soil Mechanics Research Institute". The reason for this is that, in 1947, in the short time remaining for the Rotterdam Conference, it was not possible to complete the official bureaucratic process that had to be followed to receive the phrase "National" for a committee.
Prof. Peynircioğlu declared that the ITU Soil Mechanics group was the only large and active Soil Mechanics group existing at that time.
Based on this declaration, the representation of Turkey by ITU Soil Mechanics Research Institute was found to be acceptable by the ISSMFE (International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering) at that time.
ITU Soil Mechanics Research Institute represented our country in the international society under the chairmanship of Prof. Hamdi Peynircioğlu until 1975. Within the framework of the restructuring works carried out on September 9, 1975, the “Turkish National Committee for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering” was established.
Our national committee has been an active member of the International Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering community since the establishment date of our professional organization on June 26, 1947, and in order to contribute to the development and progress of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering studies in our country, to bring the current international experience in this field to the national level, to bring the national knowledge to the international level and to create international and national discussion platforms, it has organized numerous conferences, congresses and symposiums.
In this context, one of the most important activities of our committee is the national symposiums that it organizes regularly every two years and brings together the geotechnical community of our country with their studies and evaluations.
Our country has also hosted many international Soil Mechanics meetings. The most important of these are Terzaghi Memorial, 70 Years of Soil Mechanics and especially the 15th ISSMGE conference held in 2001 in Istanbul.
This conference, which was held during the National Committee President of Prof. Dr. Ergün Toğrol, still lives on in the memory of the international community as one of the successful meetings ever held.
Our National Committee has had a special place in the international community with its international activities and meetings, and the contributions of its members in the field of academia and practice.
We remember with gratitude the devoted contributions in the institutionalization of our committee and its successful performance from its establishment to this day, Emeritus Prof. Dr. Prof. Hamdi Peynircioğlu, who is the first president of our committee, and following presidents Prof. Dr. Vahit Kumbasar, Prof. Dr. Ergün Toğrol, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sağlamer and Prof. Dr. Feyza Çinicioğlu, Dr. Rasin Düzceer, our founding members who established the national committee, our past members of the board of directors of the national committee, the efforts of the organizers of the congresses and symposiums, all members of our committee and the national geotechnical community as a whole.
Due to the changes in the laws and regulations regarding the establishment and activities of the national committees in Turkey, our National Committee had to undergo another restructuring process and as a result of the studies initiated with the approval and support of all our members, the "Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering Association" was established on 26.03.2014.
2011-2014 Board of Directors of the Turkish National Committee of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, carried out the establishment process of the Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering Association as the Founding Board of Directors.
We would like to thank to the members of our Founding Board of Directors who carried out the establishment process, Prof. Dr. Feyza Çinicioğlu, Prof. Dr. Kutay Özaydin, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sağlamer, Prof. Dr. Ufuk Ergun, Prof. Dr. Mete İncecik, Prof. Dr. Gökhan Baykal and M.S. Civil Eng. Müge İnanır.
The Founding Board of Directors continued its work until the first general assembly of the association held on September 16, 2014, and the first board of directors of the association was elected for the period 2014-2017 and started its works.
The aim of our association, like our national committee, is defined as the creation of national and international knowledge among engineers and scientists working in the fields of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering, and creating an environment for the use of this knowledge towards the development of geotechnical engineering education and practice.
Our association, which is the continuation of our strong professional organization that dates back to 1947, has been registered as the Turkish Chapter of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) by the ISSMGE.
Our association is the only umbrella of our country's geotechnical community, and it is our common value that will enable us all to grow our professional and scientific knowledge together.
Today, the importance of our profession is even more than every day in our dynamic country, which has extremely variable geological features and large areas, is rapidly developing and which takes the greatest driving force of its development from the construction sector.
Our association is the environment where we all join forces to implement this profession in the most scientific, most correct and ethical way and to develop it with innovations.
Our association continues its national and international activities with increasing desire and energy every day, without slowing down, with the commitment and contributions of its members and those who set their hearts on this profession and to each other and to our professional organization, which is our only umbrella that brings us all together.