Geotechnical Society of Edmonton

About Us

GSE Membership

GSE Membership fee is only $15/year for a regular member. Please print the membership form, fill the required information and mail it as instructed on the form. It is self-explanatory.

By default, GSE notices will be e-mailed to you. If you prefer not to receive the notices, please feel free to indicate so in the membership form. It will be assumed that you will visit this page for updates. Under no circumstances, your email address will be made available for mass mailing.

GSE By-Laws

GSE By-Laws, and applications for incorporation and formation of the society under The Societies Act (document dated Feb 5, 1969) have been retrieved by Don Lewycky from his archival records and put together in a 6-page historical document.

Privacy Agreement

The executive of the GSE values the privacy of its members. The GSE's membership information will not be released or sold to any individual or company. All requests for mass mailings are vetted by the GSE executive for relevance to the general membership and if deemed to be of sufficient interest, the GSE will forward the information to the members.


The Geotechnical Society of Edmonton (GSE) was registered as an independent Society on February 5, 1969. Signatories on the incorporation documents of the Society were Murray Harris, P.Eng., Stan Thomson, P.Eng, B. Alexander, P.Eng., Ron Innes, T.E. Berg, P.Geol, and E.C. Luck, P.Eng. The GSE is one of the oldest geotechnical groups in Canada and has an average membership of approximately 190. The GSE is affiliated with the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS). The CGS is a federally incorporated, financially independent non-profit learned society governed by an elected Board of Directors. The membership is organized in geographical regions and technical divisions.

The GSE was initially formed to bring professionals and non-professionals together so they could share their geotechnical experiences and ideas with one another. Membership to the GSE is extended to those individuals in private consulting, government, industry, students or anyone else who has an interest in geotechnical and geoenvironmental issues. Approximately once every four weeks from September to May, feature speakers address the membership body to discuss new developments and challenging projects in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering on both the local and global scales. The annual roster of meetings also typically includes two distinguished Cross-Canada Lectures supported by the Canadian Foundation for Géotechnique, a charitable organization independent of the CGS and of which the GSE has been an ongoing financial supporter. The season culminates with the Annual General Meeting which includes a business dinner meeting, the election of a new Executive and a presentation by a distinguished speaker.

Held at various venues in Edmonton, including the University of Alberta and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), the meetings provide members an opportunity to network and to enjoy a meal together, followed by presentations by local practitioners or visitors. The presentations span a wide range of geotechnical and geo-environmental topics, as well as related issues such as professional practice, risk, legal issues and new technologies and construction techniques.

Since 1995, the GSE has also sponsored an annual spring symposium or seminar on various geotechnical and geo-environmental related themes. These events typically attract 80 to 130 registrants.

In 1982, the GSE introduced its highest award, the Geotechnical Service Award. Stan Thomson, one of the founding fathers of the Society was the first recipient of this award and the award was subsequently renamed in 1999 as the Stan Thomson Geotechnical Society of Edmonton Award. This award recognizes a particular individual's contribution to the development and growth of the GSE and to geotechnical or geoenvironmental engineering in the Edmonton area. The award consists of a commerative plaque and a lifetime membership to the Society.

In 1985, the GSE introduced the GSE Graduate Student Award. In 1999, the award was renamed N.R. Morgenstern Student Award. The award is given to the graduate student who submits the best paper as selected by the professors in the Geotechnical Division of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta. Along with a $1500 monetary award and a certificate, the award winners are invited to present their paper to the general membership at a wine and cheese reception, held in the early fall. The wine and cheese meeting is the September meeting where the N.R. Morgenstern Graduate Student Award winner from the previous spring gives a presentation to the group. A poster session by other graduate students is also held at the reception, to allow the representatives from industry to meet and discuss current research projects with the students.

In 2003, the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Alberta held the first of what was to become an annual competition for it's graduate students, challenging them to put the theory they were learning into practice. They were required to design and predict the failure strengths of model reinforced retaining walls that they had to construct on the day of the competition, with no opportunity to undertake trial tests. In 2004, the format of the competition was expanded, with guest judges from various local geotechnical consultants. The guest judges evaluated the various designs for innovation and gave small prizes to the students supplied by various local firms, along with a cash prize for first place provided by the Geotechnical Society of Edmonton and one or more corporate sponsors.

By 2005, the competition was expanded to include the participation of students from NAIT. In addition, this year saw the first appearance of a trophy for the first place student team. The trophy was designed by Mr. Paul Boos and was financially supported by his firm, Reinforced Earth Company.The trophy mimics the appearance of a reinforced wall with a roadway running across the top. The cruciform wall panels typically associated with a Reinforced Earth wall are modeled by brass plates which are inscribed with the names of the winning students. The trophy is kept on display at the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Alberta between competitions. In recognition of his long term service to the University of Alberta and to the local geotechnical community, both the competition and the trophy were named after Dr. Don Scott in 2005.

The GSE has hosted five annual CGSs annual conferences, including the ones in 1962, 1974, 1985, 1998 and most recently in 2008. The GSE has also hosted a number of specialty conferences, including the 1994 First International Conference of Environmental Engineering with the ISSMFE, the 2001 Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sites in Arctic and Climates (ARCSACC) and in 2003, the 3rd Canadian Conference on Geotechnical Engineering and Natural Hazards.

GSE is extremely grateful to Don Lewycky for providing all the archival information for this website as well as the revised history posted in 2014.


c/o. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
7th Floor, Danadeo Innovation Center for Engineering
9211 - 116 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta
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