Greeting from the President of the Japanese Geotechnical Society

President of JGS
Jun Otani
The President of the Japanese Geotechnical Society

JGS chairman

Prof. Jun Otani is a Professor of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering at Kumamoto University and also a Vice Director of International Research Organization for Advanced Science and Technology (IROAST).

The annual general assembly of the Japanese Geotechnical Society (JGS) was held on June 6th in this year and he was appointed to the 35th president of the JGS, in which the immediate past president was Prof. Akira Murakami of Kyoto University.

After he received Master Degree in Geotechnical Engineering at Nagoya University, Japan in 1983, he moved to the USA as a Ph.D. student at the University of Houston in 1984 and later, received his Ph.D. from the University of Houston. His research career started as a postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of California, San Diego in 1987. Then, he moved back to Japan and got the position of the research associate at Kyushu University in the same year. Later in 1993, he moved to Kumamoto University as the Associate Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and in 2001, he became a full professor at Kumamoto University. In fact, he was a Director of International Student Office and also the Dean of Graduate School of Science and Technology at the same university. And now, he is not only the professor but also a Vice Director of International Research Organization for Advanced Science and Technology.

His research interest is firstly pile foundation which is his Ph. D. topic at the University of Houston. Later when he was at Kyushu University, he started to work on soil reinforcement. In fact, he was a core member of so called “IS Kyushu” which is the earth reinforcement conference from 1988 to 2007 for 5 times. Then, he started a new research topic in geotechnical engineering which is the application of X-ray CT in geomechanics and geotechnical engineering in 1996. He had a unique international workshop on the application of X-ray CT for Goematerials for the first time ever in geotechnical engineering.

He has done some works under ISSMGE, in which he was the Secretary of ATC and TC9 (topic on Earth Reinforcement) whose chair was Emeritus Professor of Kyushu University, Prof. Hidetoshi Ochiai from 1995 to 2005. Recently, he was a Chair of the 15th Asian Regional Conference in Fukuoka 2015 and this was a great success having total of 1000 participants in ARC history.

As his career of the president of JGS, he has pointed out following terms of reference:

  1. To internationalize the JGS and those members as one of the members society under ISSMGE with sustainability of human resources;
  2. To promote the development of new technology and to take care of disaster prevention and reduction; and
  3. To pursue the social contribution as a Public Interest Incorporated Association in Japan.