Dr. Marc Ballouz

Known as a man of many talents, Dr. Marc Ballouz's engineering journey began at the young age of 15, working on construction sites alongside his father, a civil engineer. After obtaining his PhD degree from Texas A&M University, he founded his own company, IGM, which quickly gained international recognition for its innovative Design/Build solutions. Simultaneously, he held teaching positions at three universities and currently serves as a professor of foundation engineering at Texas State University.

Dr. Ballouz has authored more than 10 influential papers in renowned journals, covering various innovative topics. He has also contributed over 150 design/build and forensic engineering reports for projects worldwide, specializing in shoring deep excavations, advanced foundation systems, and the preservation of structures in dilapidation. One of his notable publications is the famous YouTube video titled "What is Geotechnical Engineering," which has maintained its position as a top search result since 2013 and earned him the prestigious ISSMGE Public Relations award.

From 2009 to 2017, Dr. Ballouz actively served on the ISSMGE board for eight years. He was also a board member of the Geo-Institute of America when he was elected President of ISSMGE on May 1st, 2022. As the highest representative of geotechnical engineering worldwide, ISSMGE boasts 90 country members and over 30,000 geotechnical engineers globally. Dr. Ballouz's tenure as ISSMGE president has been marked by his remarkable dynamism. Within less than a year, he embarked on two world tours, visiting 19 countries and participating in 22 major geotechnical events.

Presentation Title: The Engineering Marriage between Theory and Practice


In practice, most projects are fast-tracked, putting significant pressure on engineers to deliver quick solutions. However, by solely relying on computational analyses, engineers may be taking substantial risks and potentially facing danger. This lecture draws on the author's extensive experience in Design-Build solutions, providing guidance on how to approach engineering problems in real-life scenarios. It emphasizes the need to combine theory, computational analyses, and practical application, showcasing how these elements complement each other to yield appropriate solutions.

The lecture introduces the SoLGeH approach, emphasizing the importance of collecting data before proposing any geotechnical solution. It highlights the drawbacks of relying on intuition or hastily generated answers. The lecture argues that a stable theoretical solution lies in providing functionality, leading to cost-effective execution without compromising safety.

Engineering is an integral part of our daily lives. By analyzing even the simplest activities, we can gain valuable insights into the interaction between theory and practice. As the President of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, this lecture also emphasizes the significance of staying connected to the international geotechnical community and being prepared to excel in a global context.