9th Asian Young Geotechnical Engineers Conference (AYGEC) was held jointly by University of Engineering and technology (UET), Department of Civil Engineering & Pakistan Geotechnical Engineering Society (PGES) under the aegis of International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE).

Chairman WAPDA Lt. General Muzammil Hussain was the chief guest while Chairman Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Professor Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid, President PGES Engr Amjad Agha, Secretary General PGES Dr Tahir Masood and Chairman Civil Engineering Department UET Professor Dr Aziz Akbar were also present.

Addressing the participants Chairman WAPDA Lt. General Muzammil Hussain said, “WAPDA is all set to commence construction work on Diamer Basha Dam following award of contract in six to eight weeks, while the under-construction Mohmand Dam and Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-I) will be completed in 2024-25. These mega projects are going to change fate and destiny of the country.” He added that,  “WAPDA has been playing a pivotal role in development of multi-disciplinary engineering professions, as it has the honor of being the largest engineering organization in Pakistan. The projects constructed by WAPDA in water and hydropower sectors have been contributing for economic stability and social uplift in the country”.

Hussain said that WAPDA added 2487 MW cheap, green and clean energy to the National Grid last year with completion of three hydropower projects namely the 1410-MW Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project, the 969 MW-Neelum Jhelum and the 108 MW-Golen Gol. Dilating upon the strategy to harness water and hydropower resources, the chairman said that WAPDA is committed to adding five million acre feet (MAF) to water storage and 4600 MW hydropower generation by 2025 and another eight MAF water storage and 16000 MW power generation upto 2030 by completing various projects. Congratulating the organizers he expressed the hope that the two conferences will be beneficial for engineering fraternity in general and development of the country in particular.

9th AYGEC brought together young geotechnical engineers from different countries, academicians, researchers, industries, government organizations and others were also present with the interest in geotechnical engineering to interact and exchange experiences in Asian context. The main purpose of the conference was to provide an interactive platform for young geotechnical engineers, the interaction of foreign and young geotechnical engineers in the field of innovations in geotechnical engineering, as well as the identification of possible ways for future cooperation in the fields of construction, education and science. Eminent persons from UK, Tokyo, London, USA, Columbus, Australia and Pakistan delivered keynote lecture.

More than 70 research papers had been presented on the themes; dams and hydropower, field investigations and laboratory testing, geomatics techniques, environmental geotechnics, tunneling and underground structures, problematic soils, ground improvement, liquefaction potential and mitigation, risk assessment in geotechnical engineering, risk preparedness and early warning systems, earthquake geotechnical engineering, natural and induced seismicity, deep excavations, hazard zonification, numerical modeling, geotechnical analysis & design, case histories and many other relevant topics.

Best paper prize of $250 would be awarded to three best research papers presented at the event sponsored by centre GRE of University of Wollongong Australia. Similarly cash prizes worth up to PKR 10,000 from PGES would be awarded to three winners of poster presentations. Selected papers from the conferences were to  be considered for journal publication in Pakistan Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

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