A group of Austrian experts started in the fifties of the 20th century to deal with rock engineering. This group was also called Salzburg Circle. As early as 1951 Leopold Müller organized a Colloquium about rock engineering and technological questions in Salzburg. In 1962 the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) was founded in Salzburg. Leopold Müller was the first president of the ISRM. The Austrian Society for Geomechanics (OeGG) was founded in 1968 as national group of the ISRM.
Interview by Prof. Pacher on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the ISRM:
The aims of the Society are the promotion of scientific research in all fields of geological and geotechnical engineering, establishing and maintaining links to related societies, the exchange of experience with all those involved in geotechnical research, construction, and administration, the improvement of design and construction methods, and last but not least the elaboration and publication of papers and guidelines.
Within the Society four sections exist: Engineering Geology, Soil Mechanics, Rock Engineering, and Tunnelling. Working groups are established as required to deal with various subjects related to the section targets. In addition, the sections assist in organizing the annual Geomechanics Colloquium. Presently the OeGG has around 598 regular members and 40 supporting members, and represents one of the largest national groups of the ISRM.
The Society since 1983 publishes a journal for Engineering Geology, Geomechanics and Tunnelling. Beginning of 2008 the publisher, and the name of the journal have been changed. The new publisher is Ernst & Sohn, and the name of the journal now is
"Geomechanics and Tunnelling"
The journal with six issues per year is published and distributed by Ernst & Sohn, Berlin, a Wiley-Blackwell company. Since February 2008 the journal is available also online via the Wiley Online Library portal. Membership in the OeGG includes the delivery of the journal.
Each October the Society organizes the Geomechanics Colloquium in Salzburg, which developed into the meeting place for the European geotechnical community, constantly attracting more than 800 participants.
In 2015 the EUROCK Conference was organized by the Society in Salzburg. The conference was attended by approximately 1400 delegates.