In 2016 we will be celebrating the legacy of 62 years since our first COBRAMSEG, and 50 years since Belo Horizonte had the honor of hosting the most important event of Brazil´s Geotechnical calendar. Much has passed since, and our country underwent a complete transformation since the distant year of 1966, when Minas Gerais embraced with our traditional hospitality the “3º Congresso Brasileiro de Mecânica dos Solos”, our 3rd National Conference. Even then, the Brazilian Geotechnical community already hinted its upcoming major role in the worldwide Geotechnical scenario, with Professor Costa Nunes being elected vice-president of the International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM) for South America, and Odair Grillo appointed honorary president of the Brazilian Geotechnical Society (ABMS).

Since those days, ABMS has been continuously reaffirming our key global position, featuring amongst our associates distinguished colleagues such as a past president of the International
Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) – Professor Victor de Mello, and several past vice-presidents of ISSMGE for South America, including current ISSMGE vice-president for South America Professor Jarbas Milititsky. Furthermore, we are also privileged to showcase amongst our members not only the first-ever female president of ISRM (2015 – 2019) Dr. Eda Freitas de Quadros, but the current ISRM vice-president for South America as well, Professor Sergio Fontoura.

When preparing to host COBRAMSEG´s 18th edition, our Regional Committee plunged into a historical tradition that shadows that of our own country… As we retraced the origins of the Mineral extraction cycle that christened our State (Minas Gerais, e.g. General Mines), we turn our sights towards a Conference with great focus on the discussions and groundbreaking solutions for the development of a sustainable future – seeking the continuity and improvement of our Mining Geotechnical practice – fundamental for Brazil´s continuous growth.

Inasmuch, we have chosen as COBRAMSEG 16´s motto the phrase: “The sustainable future of Brazil goes through our Minas”, an idea that prompt upon us the primordial co-existence between the conscious mining process of our major natural resources and the responsibility of developing projects that will provide a better quality of life for generations to come.

In full reassurance of said concept and our compromise with the future, we are proud to announce a couple of innovations for the 2016 COBRAMSEG/SBMR: a South American edition of the Young Geotechnical Engineers Symposium – GEOJOVEM, aiming to increase participation of young minds devoted to research and development of innovative technologies aligned with the perception of a sustainable Geotechnical practice, and the “SFGE 2016 – Shaping the Future of Geotechnical Education”, an international conference, organized by the ISSMGE´s TC306 – Technical Committee on Geo-Engineering Education. The SFGE 2016 will focus on discussing the many aspects of worldwide Geo-engineering education, and together with the GEOJOVEM provides a unique opportunity for closing the gap between young geotechnical researchers and renowned professors – key players in the academic field of Geotechnical Sciences.

Additionally, another promising milestone of COBRAMSEG will be the 7th Brazilian Symposium on Rock Mechanics – SBMR, organized by the Brazilian Committee of Rock Mechanics (CBMR). This year´s SBMR goal is to eclipse the incredible success of 2014´s edition, under the status of ISRM Specialized Conference, thanks to the outstanding support of our distinguished colleagues Professor Sergio Fontoura e Dr. Eda Quadros, current international leaders of the ISRM.

Furthermore, we are also thrilled about our program on Urban Geotechnical Practice, which will be deeply represented at COBRAMSEG 2016. After all, our own State´s mountainous landscape, along with major mineral deposits that meanders through some of our largest urban areas present daily challenges to our Geotechnical Engineers, even in routine design of our foundations, excavations and retaining structures. The deep interaction between renowned researchers, project designers and Geotechnical contractors from Brazil and abroad are always one of the highlights of our Conferences, and on this edition we will focus on the state-of-the-art of our practice.

Finally, we top our program schedule with a plethora of social and cultural activities that will allow us to showcase the peculiar reality of Minas Gerais State: the well balanced experience between National and World Heritage sites and modern cultural installments, a thriving nightlife, and the ever-present Minas hospitality! We are programming some amazing “Geo-tourism” trips through our historical towns, a few spots for sampling our typical cuisine (a worldwide favorite!) and our first “Inhotim Day” – when we will promote a visit to one of the most important collections of contemporary art in Brazil, and considered the largest open air art center in South America.

Come join us for this re-discovering of our Minas, and let Belo Horizonte – “the Pub Capital of Brazil” – welcome you with open arms!