This year, 2016, marks the 10-year anniversary of the International Society for Micropiles (ISM). The society began as a workshop of colleagues dedicated to advancing the design, construction, research/development, education and dissemination of micropile technology, and has grown into an international forum for debate, advice, problem-solving and support for micropile specialists and nonspecialists throughout the world.
In 1994, the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) initiated a state-of-practice review of the use of small diameter drilled micropiles and convened an international peer review group to advise the state-of-practice research team. In 1977, the gathering of this group in Seattle constituted the first International Workshop on Micropiles (IWM). In subsequent years, the synergy and camaraderie of this group expanded to other global market regions, and IWM grew into a center of knowledge on the use of high-capacity micropiles. In 2006, to foster permanence of this group and highlight its increasing role as a repository of micropiling resources, ISM incorporated formally into a stand-alone society as the International Society of Micropiles (ISM).
ISM past chairs include Honorary Chairman Dr. Donald Bruce, Geosystems, L.P., USA; Dr. Jouko Lehtonen, University of Applied Sciences Turku, Finland; Allen Cadden, Schnabel Engineering, USA; and Jim Bruce, Geo-Foundations Contractors, Canada. ISM fondly recognizes the late Dr. Fernando Lizzi (1914-2003), the inventor of the “pali radice” or “root pile” technology, as the visionary leader of ISM given that so many current practitioners and researchers continue to be inspired by his concepts.
IWM and ISM have hosted a total of 12 workshops including Seattle, Washington (1997); Ube, Japan (1999); Turku, Finland (2000); Venice, Italy (2002); Seattle, Washington (2003); Tokyo, Japan (2004); Schrobenhausen, Germany (2006); Toronto, Ontario, Canada (2007); London, England (2009); Washington, D.C. (2010); Milan, Italy (2012); and Krakow, Poland (2014), and one business meeting in Lille, France (2001). The 13th ISM workshop is taking place March 29-April 1, 2017, in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
In 2011, ISM formed a strategic alliance with ADSC: The International Association of Foundation Drilling, and DFI (Deep Foundations Institute). This alliance was pursued by ISM leadership to leverage extensive technical, administrative and networking resources with these two influential industry organizations. Through this united front, all three organizations have better positioned themselves to address the global needs related to the micropile industry and further the pursuit of ISMs mission of being the pre-eminent worldwide center of knowledge for the development and advancement of micropile technology.