From September 29 to October 2, 2019, the 3rd International Conference on Information Technology in Geo-Engineering (3rd ICITG), hosted by committee of JTC2 (Joint organization of ISSMGE International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, ISRM International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, IAEG International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment and IGS International Geosynthetics Society), was held in Guimarães, Portugal. The conference topics mainly cover sensor monitoring technology, artificial intelligence and data mining in geoscience and geoengineering, data acquisition，monitoring and standardization, application of information technology in field and in situ testing, Building Information Modelling (BIM) for geotechnical engineering, intelligent construction, asset management in design, construction and maintenance, intelligent geotechnical materials and construction. Prof. Zhang delivered a presentation and served as the session chairman to preside the academic reports.
The Conference had opening address and keynote lectures delivered by distinguished geotechnical experts and eminent academicians including Pro-rector of the University of Minho，Prof. Filipe Vaz, President of International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE)， Prof. Eda Freitas de Quadros, President of International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG)，Prof. Rafig Azzam, President of International Geosynthetics Society (IGS)，Prof. Chungsik Yoo, President of Joint Technical Committee 2 (JTC2) of Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies (FedIGS)，Prof. Hehua ZHU, Vice-president of the Guimarães Municipality，Prof. Adelina Pinto, President of the Portuguese Geotechnical Society，Prof. Manuel Matos Fernandes, Dean of School of Engineering of University of Minho，Prof. João Monteiro, President of the 3rd International Conference on Information Technology in Geo-Engineering (ICITG)，Prof. António Gomes Correia. Prof. Charles Ng, President of International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM) as well as immediate President 2020 of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)，Prof. Jean-Louis Briaud made pre-recorded video address. Many well-known scholars, Chinese and overseas, attended the conference.
On September 30, 2019, Prof. Zhang gave an academic presentation entitled "Machine Learning Predictive Models for Pile Drivability: An Evaluation of Random Forest Regression and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines", which applied the random forest algorithm (RF) and multivariate adaptive regression algorithm (MARS) of machine learning methods in establishment for pile predictive model, which captured extensive attentions from the participating experts.
On September 30th and October 1st, 2019, Prof. Zhang chaired conference parallel sessions themed “Big Data and Databases”. At the meeting, Prof. Fang Liu demonstrated the research results of using GOCAD and SKUA software to determine the distribution of soil layers in underground space. Prof. Marte Gutierrez proposed a data-driven approach to directly assess and analyzed the flexibility of traffic tunnels, Professor Masato Shinji and Professor Julieth Quintero, also introduced the latest technological applications under big data and databases.
This international conference brings together many research scholars and has a high degree of internationalization. It mainly discussed the latest development in information technology of geo-engineering and reached important consensus, including information technology is becoming an inseparable part of geotechnical engineering, geotechnical, development of engineering information field urgently needs an open source integration platform, more importantly, it should start with the integration of disciplines, and call for more experts to participate in related work. The achievement of this conference is as stated by Professor David Toll, former chairman of JTC2: Portugal was born in Guimarães, and many enlightful ideas will be born at this conference. This international conference has enhanced the popularity of geotechnical disciplines of school of civil engineering and built a bridge for cooperation and exchanges between our school and other well-known institutions at home and abroad, providing opportunities for promoting academic development.