6th Iranian GeoWall Competition and the National Geotechnical Engineering Exhibition

After three successive postponements due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Iranian Geotechnical Engineering Society (IGS) and Shahid Beheshti University (SBU) had the great honor and immense pleasure of hosting the ‎6th Iranian GeoWall Competition and the National Geotechnical ‎Engineering Exhibition, both held successfully at Abbaspour campus of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran on May 25th, 2023. ‎
The preparation of this long-awaited event has mobilized all the energy of the organizing committee. GeoWall competition can lead to sustainable and innovative design of retaining walls around ‎the world. ‎The young engineers left their mark and their enthusiasm for the entire event and celebrated with dignity the result of their efforts in a pleasant and warm atmosphere. The 6th Iranian GeoWall competition was also an opportunity to meet up and reunion after this long period of lockdowns and impediments.

The Iranian GeoWall competition has been holding since 2016. In the current round of competition, 45 teams participated, ‎following the competition rules established for the 2015 Pacific Southwest Regional Geowall.‎ The process of the competition is as follows: each team makes a 66 cm*45 cm*45 cm wooden box with one removable side. Members of each team are timed while they cut Kraft paper strips, construct a poster board wall, insert the reinforcing paper strips and place the wall inside the wooden box.
Teams have already submitted their design reports for the competition. The competition is judged based on each team technical report and functionality. The box is being filled with Ottawa sand, then each team compacts it and arranges the paper strips in layers. Once the box is full, the removable side is taken away, leaving the poster board to serve as one wall of the box. 
The entire day brought together more than 350 participants from 22 universities of Iran, who contributed greatly to the success of the event.

The event began with the “box controlling” section where referees checked the teams’ wooden boxes. Next, the inauguration ceremony of the exhibition and competition by GeoWall board and some personalities were held. The competition itself was spanned from morning to evening.
Moreover, a seminar took place during the afternoon program, in which the gold sponsors of the event presented their latest achievements in the field of geotechnical engineering. The seminar attracted many participants with enthusiasm and interest.  
The day ended with the closing ceremony, where awards were given to young engineers for the best performances at the competition. Furthermore, a glorification ceremony was organized to honor Prof. Kambiz Behnia, the founder of MSE walls in Iran. During the ceremony, he has been praised for his remarkable technical and academic efforts over five decades. The music group of university, consisted of young students, presented four opus of traditional Iranian music show that will be remembered both for its originality and for emotions it aroused among the audiences.

The National Geotechnical Engineering Exhibition located in front of the competition venue, gathered about 20 companies. This exhibition attracted a high attendance throughout the day and some governmental and private industry managers were among the visitors. The companies were able to display their latest achievements, abilities and build bridges, in a professional atmosphere. 
The organizing committee of the 6th Iranian GeoWall competition composed of students, young engineers and university professors who served as the advisors. They all have been dedicated to preparation of the event over nine months.  
In the present competition, a total of 45 teams from 22 universities across the country have participated.  17 teams were qualified enough to attend the final competition on May 25th, 2023. The “Geo-Elm” group from “Science and Culture University, Tehran” was awarded the first prize.

A documentary video and photos have been provided on the internet as well. The feedback from participants was very positive. Many thanks to the organizers of this event, who made a great event to happen. 
Finally, the organizers are hopefully looking forward to develop different aspects of the event in the future.