2nd Seminar on Transportation Geotechnics Soil Improvement Challenges on Alluvial Zones Vila Franca de Xira, Lisbon, Portugal, 28-29 January 2019

The 2nd Seminar on Transportation Geotechnics was held on 28-29 January 2019 in the Auditorium of the Library Building of Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal. The seminar was organized by the Portuguese Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS-Portugal), the Portuguese Technical Committee on Transportation Geotechnics (CPGT), and the Portuguese Geotechnical Society (SPG), in partnership with the City Council of Vila Franca de Xira.

The main theme of the seminar was the soil improvement challenges on alluvial zones. The seminar was intended to present the latest experience of geotechnical solutions for soil improvement in road, rail, airport and sea-port infrastructures, focusing on the experience from the construction and monitoring of cases of application in conjunction with the most recent developments of innovative and sustainable techniques.

Over 160 participants from four countries (Portugal, Spain, France and Germany) have participated on the seminar. A two-day technical exhibition had the participation of 5 stands. The seminar also included a technical visit in a construction site.

The seminar was sponsored by 23 companies, including HUESKER, TENCATE, and PROPEX, and was supported by the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering and the Portuguese Institution of Engineers. The seminar has included 7 technical sessions with 11 keynote lectures in a total of 26 oral presentations. The e-Books of extended abstracts and oral presentations will be available on the website of the Portuguese Chapter of IGS (https://igs.spgeotecnia.pt).

IGS Young Members Committee Opens First Ever Logo Competition!

We are excited to announce that the IGS is sponsoring a competition to create a new logo for the IGS Young Members Committee! We want a bold new logo that serves to represent the Young Members of IGS yet maintains elements of the IGS theme currently used worldwide.  Some examples of current chapter logos are displayed below.

The Prize:

The winner will receive a $250 USD Amazon gift card and recognition for creating our official logo.

Runner up will receive a $50 USD Amazon gift card.

Competition Details:

1. To participate, you must be a registered IGS Young Member. Don’t worry, its easy to register and FREE for students.

To help with your logo design, please feel free to download the IGS Logo. This logo may be a source of inspiration for your creation or be incorporated with your design. Use of this logo is NOT a requirement for the competition. Proper use of this logo is covered under the copyright of the IGS.


2. Files should be in PNG or JPEG format and less than 5mb in size

3. Submit a short (300 word max) description of your design

4. Maximum 3 entries per person

5. Deadline for submissions is September 6, 2019.

6. Entrants will be judged by a evaluation committee of the IGS Young Members International Board. Consideration will be given to the following qualities:

• Aesthetics
• Creativity
• Originality
• Fitting display of “IGS” lettering
• Evokes the theme of youth / young members

In the unlikely event that none of the submissions are judged to be superior to the current logo, the committee shall maintain the current logo. First place and runner up contestants will still be judged and awarded.

Thank you for your participation!

For questions about the IGS Young Members Logo Competition please contact IGSsec@GeosyntheticsSociety.org. To learn more about IGS Young Members Committee, visit https://www.geosyntheticssociety.org/committees/young-members-committee/.

Good energy at Geosynthetics Conference 2019

The Geosynthetics Conference 2019 was a huge success in Houston, Texas, Feb. 10–13, with more than 1,100 engaged attendees, presenters, speakers and exhibitors contributing to the intellectual and commercial hum felt throughout the Marriott Marquis.

“We were delighted with the enthusiasm of the attendees and exhibitors,” said Industrial Fabrics Association International president and CEO Steve Schiffman. “From the technical sessions to the opening reception through the end of the conference there was a lot of learning, activity and engagement.”

“It was good energy here in Houston,” said Richard Thiel, P.E., of Thiel Engineering, the Geosynthetics Conference 2019 chair. “Our goal has been to provide a forum for face-to-face interactions that you can only get with conferences like this. You meet people, you talk with them, you collaborate and there’s such a variety of venues to make this happen, with all the plenary sessions, the technical sessions, the roundtables, the open panels, the tradeshow floor, the IAGI GeoGames, the hallway discussions. We’ve done it once again, and we’re going to continue doing it in the future.”

The conference provided a forum for multiple focus group and general membership meetings of the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) and other groups.

“The Geosynthetics Conference 2019 provided a great forum for members of GMA to conduct business in person and learn about advancements in geosynthetic technologies through its stellar technical program,” said Jonathan Curry, managing director of GMA. “I was proud to be a member of the organizing committee, and I believe the conference format helps GMA achieve its mission of advancing the industry.”

A topic widely discussed at the conference is the importance of teaching geosynthetics in civil engineering education, as most civil engineers are not introduced to geosynthetics in their course of study.

Richard Brachman, P.Eng., of Queen’s University, spoke passionately about this lack of geosynthetics education, “What can you do to help? Talk to your alma maters, talk with former professors, and, if you can, talk to deans, and tell them we need to teach geosynthetics in civil engineering education. They are ubiquitous in every civil engineering project; we need it in undergraduate education.”

Mike Adams of the Federal Highway Administration, during the Roundtable/Open Discussion “Incorporating Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering Education,” noted, “It is highly beneficial to expose adolescents to geosynthetics because their natural creativity may be highly generative.”

Geosynthetics Conference 2019 was supported by IGS-NA and under the auspices of IGS.

Click here to see the the full photo gallery from Geosynthetics Conference 2019!

Submitted by 
Christian Weiland
Marketing Communications Specialist
651 225 6916

XXIX Italian National Conference on Geosynthetics (Bologna, 18 October 2018)

The XXIX Italian National Conference on Geosynthetics was held on 18th October 2018 in Bologna, giving excellent results in terms of both number of registered attendees and quality of presented papers.

This time the conference theme was addressed to the presentation of the “A.G.I. recommendations for the use of geosynthetics in soil reinforcement: design of walls and steep slopes”.

The conference was organised by the Italian Geotechnical Association (AGI) and by the Italian Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (AGI-IGS), in partnership with BolognaFiere, under the auspices of the National Engineers Council (CNI), the Association of Bologna’s Engineers and the University of Bologna.

The conference took place in the context of the SAIE Exhibition (the international reference point for the world of construction in Italy) and it was divided in two different sessions.

The morning session was coordinated by Daniele Cazzuffi (AGI-IGS President) and, through a series of invited lectures, it concerned the basics regarding the geosynthetic-reinforced soil structures, the characterisation of the design parameters and the methodologies of analysis both in static and seismic fields. The first lecture was presented by Nicola Moraci (Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Italy) and it focused on the “Basics and working principles of the design with geosynthetic”, taking into account the practices currently used worldwide and the recent developments achieved with regard to construction technologies.  The second lecture was presented by Giuseppe Cardile (Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Italy) and it focused on the “Materials used for earth reinforced wall construction: characterization for a correct design”, in which all the requirements for the evaluation of the design parameters were debated. The third lecture presented by Marilene Pisano (Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Italy) was entitled “Italian design code and current international standards and recommendations”. The last lecture of the morning session was presented by Giovanni Biondi (University of Messina) and Paolo Carrubba (University of Padua) on the “Static and seismic analysis methods“.

The afternoon session started with the presentation of the AGI-IGS Award for the best thesis on Geosynthetics Engineering discussed in the last two years in an Italian University. The winner was Stefano Anzani (Politecnico Milano) with a Master’s Degree thesis on the “Study and development of an innovative adhesive anchored external waterstop for the waterproofing of joints in concrete face rockfill dams”.

Nicola Moraci (AGI President) coordinated the afternoon session, in which invited lectures illustrated the numerical design approaches and examine comprehensively the practical aspects such as realisation, testing and monitoring, passing through a design example that will show the correct application of the new national technical code (NTC2018). Specifically, Claudio di Prisco (Politecnico Milano) presented a lecture on the “Numerical design approaches”, Piergiorgio Recalcati (Tenax SpA) and Pietro Rimoldi (Officine Maccaferri SpA) presented a “NTC2018 design practical case and the differences with the previous code”, while Maurizio Schiavo (Sogen srl) gave a lecture on “Realization, testing and monitoring of earth-reinforced structures”.

At the end of each session, a fruitful and interesting discussion on the different topics took place.

The next XXX Italian National Conference on Geosynthetics will be held in 2020.

Reported by Daniele Cazzuffi (AGI-IGS President and IGS Past President), Giuseppe Cardile (AGI-IGS Secretary) and Marilene Pisano (Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria)


IGS Young Members: Down to Earth – An Interview with IGS President, Professor Chungsik Yoo, PhD

11 ICG Seoul Geosynthetics

Chungsik YooIn this edition of the regular feature, the young members committee interviewed the recently elected president of the IGS.

Name / Institution: Dr. Chungsik Yoo, PhD., Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea.

Specialist Field: Geotechnical Engineering, Geosynthetics, Geosynthetics reinforced walls and slopes, Tunnelling, Large-scale numerical modelling of geo-structures.

What originally inspired you to enter civil engineering, and what continues to do so?

During the mid-1970’s, when I was in high school, South Korea’s economy was booming and there was a significant expansion of urban populations. Significant infrastructures such as metros, railways, roadways, urban infrastructures, etc., were needed, and therefore South Korea was literally under construction. At that time, I was fascinated by the fact that a city, especially Seoul, could be reshaped with construction activities and therefore decided to enter into civil engineering. During my college years, I became very interested in geotechnical engineering, especially geosynthetics and tunnelling, which in turn led me to pursue a PhD study. Whenever I revisit geotechnical principles and find solutions to difficult geotechnical projects with the geotechnical principles, I am still excited.

What do you enjoy most about working in the industry?

As a university professor, I often get involved in consulting work for the construction industry with my graduate students. I am very excited and happy when students learn how to solve real life problems with what they learned during the class and research work while they carry out a consulting project. This is indeed a win-win situation for all the parties involved, including myself, students, and industry.

When and where was your first involvement with geosynthetics?

During my PhD study at Penn State University in USA, I had to validate a three-dimensional finite element code that I developed. My advisor, Dr. Mian Wang, who happened to be a friend of Dr. B.M. Das, told me to contact him to get experimental test results on geogrid reinforced foundation. Dr. Das kindly provided me the results and I was fascinated by the fact that a polymeric material can improve the bearing capacity of a footing when properly installed. Since then, I have been deeply involved in geosynthetics.

Do you have any advice for young engineers beginning their careers? What do you think are the most important skills in today’s industry?

Today’s university engineering education is shifting its paradigm to educate students with multidisciplinary background. This is because society and industry need engineers with diverse skills and creative thinking. That said, I advise young engineers to try to bring a great deal diversity into the way they think. Fundamentals are also important in engineering. In order to become a competent geotechnical/ geosynthetic engineer, he or she must be good with fundamental geotechnical/geosynthetic principles. Last but not least, networking is also as important as technical side. Try to be actively connected with people.

What do you hope to achieve during your presidency of the IGS? How can young members contribute?

As the new IGS President, it is my responsibility to take full advantage of the wealth of achievements and to lead this great society to the next level. Just because the IGS is doing well doesn’t mean that we cannot do even better. It is critical for the IGS to remain forward-thinking and innovative. My aim is, therefore, is to focus on the future in order to move forward, while continuing to carry on the current agenda that have been planned. One of the important agenda during my presidency is “Get young members involved”. Young members are the future of the IGS. One of my top priorities will be expanding young membership to incorporate young minds for leadership development in the IGS. More opportunities will be given to young members to share knowledge and ideas, to connect with leaders in the field, and to have better education and training. I look forward to active involvement of young members in the IGS activities in the coming years.

Do you have any hobbies and interests outside work?

I enjoy Jogging, playing golf, listening to music and playing guitar (see below).

Reported by

Ian Scotland, Communications officer of the Young Members Committee.

Two for a Few with Dr. Laura Carbone and Elizabeth Peggs

During the 11ICG, Dr. Laura Carbone, Chair of the IGS Young Members Committee interviewed Elizabeth Peggs, the outgoing IGS Secretary (2010-2018) & retired Director of Geosynthetica (2000-2018).  

Holiday Message from the IGS President



Dear IGS Members,

As 2018 draws to a close, most of you will be in the midst of preparations for the holiday season. This is the time to relax, spend time with family and friends, and to recharge one’s batteries. It is a time for giving and sharing as well as for goodwill and compassion. I urge each and every one of you to reflect on these special moments and savor the relationships that we have tried so hard to cultivate over the years.

2018 has been one of the most exciting years for me. Being elected as President of the IGS is by far the highest honor of my professional career. I feel personally responsible to lead this great society to the next level. In addition, we, the IGS, deserve to be proud of the great success of 11ICG, which was held in September this year. While keeping with the spirit of this joyous time, it is equally important for the IGS to remain forward-thinking and innovative to focus on the future.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, the individual members, for your support and the pride you demonstrate at being members of the IGS throughout the year. You are the driving force of the society that help support the aims of the IGS, which contributes to the advancement of the art and science of geosynthetics.

My thanks also goes to our corporate members. Corporate membership is the backbone of the IGS as it directly supports the educational programs and resources produced by the IGS. I look forward to your continued support and sponsorship of the society and its activities in the coming years.

My sincere appreciation goes to the IGS Officers, IGS Council Members, and IGS Chapters Leaders for your tremendous efforts and dedication to ensure the proper governance of our society. Your countless hours of volunteer time and commitment are greatly appreciated. Last, but not the least, I would like to thank the Secretariat Office for your continued efforts to make sure our members are provided with sufficient support and services.

I hope this holiday season is an exceptionally good and safe one and that the New Year brings you much health, happiness and prosperity.

Yours sincerely!

Chungsik Yoo signature

Chungsik Yoo, Ph.D.

President – International Geosynthetics Society

17th ARCSMGE – Abstract Deadline Extended to 31 January 2019!

In conjunction with the South African Institution of Civil Engineering, the Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa and ISSMGE, the IGS is pleased to announce the 17th African Regional Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (17th ARCSMGE) on 7-9 October 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
The main theme of the 17th ARCSMGE is “Innovation and Sustainability in Geotechnics for Developing Africa”. The theme originates from the fact that Africa as a whole suffers from a pronounced infrastructural deficit when compared to other developed countries and regions. Therefore, both innovative and sustainable infrastructure is crucial for Africa’s economic integration. As such, the vision of improved geotechnics is a positive notion directed at the development of the continent. The conference theme is broad and inclusive; presenting a range of opportunities to stakeholders from the entire geotechnical industry.
The 7th African Young Geotechnical Engineers’ Conference (AYGE) will take place on Sunday 6th October 2019, the day before the ARCSMGE. The AYGE conference provides an approachable audience within a vibrant environment where young presenters under the age of 35 are encouraged to exercise their presentation and technical writing skills on a continental platform. More information about the AYGE conference will be made available on the website shortly (www.arc2019.org).
GIGSA and IGS will contribute to the conference with a Short Course to be held on Monday 7 October 2019. The Geosynthetics Short Course topics and schedule will be announced at a later date. Furthermore, the deadline for abstracts for geosynthetic based papers has been extended to 31 January 2019. We highly encourage members to participate in this opportunity. To submit your abstracts, click on the following link: https://submissions.arc2019.org/author/submit.php
All abstracts will be reviewed, and feedback will be provided to the selected author. If your abstract has been accepted, you will receive an acceptance email as well as the template you will be required to use for the full paper.
We hope to see you in South Africa!

Mercer Lecture Dates Announced


kerry-roweDr Kerry Rowe will present the next Mercer Lecture at three major conferences in Iceland, South Africa and the USA, in 2019 and 2020.

Dr Rowe will discuss the use of geosynthetics in construction on soft soils at the 17th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering in Reykjavik (1-6 September 2019), before travelling to Cape Town to speak at the South African Institution of Civil Engineering Geotechnical Division’s 17th African Regional Conference (7-10 October 2019). He will complete his tour in the USA, presenting at the Geo-Congress 2020 (25-28 February 2020).

Dr Rowe, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, is a past president of the International Geosynthetics Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society and a world-renowned expert in geosynthetics and geonvironmental engineering.

The Mercer Lecture aims to promote co-operation and information exchange between the geotechnical engineering profession and the geosynthetics industry.

The lecture series, sponsored by Tensar International, was established in 1992 in memory of the inventor of geogrids, Dr Brian Mercer, who was an advocate of innovation, research and development.

Endorsed by the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering and the International Geosynthetics Society, the lecture tour gives individuals who have made a significant technical contribution to the advancement of geosynthetics the opportunity to present their work at three major conferences on three continents.

Reported by Max Soudain


15th meeting of ISO/TC 221 “Geosynthetics” and WGs 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 London 2-4 October 2018

The International technical standardization committee on Geosynthetics (ISO/TC 221) organised its annual meeting this year in London, at the BSI headquarters, on kind invitation of the British geosynthetics industry.

The plenary session was chaired by Peter Atchison (UK), the newly appointed Chairman succeeding Steve Corbet (UK). The plenary meeting on 4 October 2018 was attended by 27 delegates from 13 countries. The plenary session was preceded on 2 – 3 October 2018 by meetings of all the working groups.

Highlights from the meetings of the working groups were:

  • WG 2, Terminology, identification and sampling, Convenor Erol Güler (Turkey).

Three new definitions for a future batch of new definitions in ISO 10318-1 had been discussed and agreed: Geosynthetic container (GCT), Prefabricated strip drain (PSD) and Geosynthetic cementitious composite (GCC). Discussions were initiated on two more definitions: Geosynthetic ballasted mattress (GBM) and Geosynthetic sand mat (GSM). ISO 10320:1999 (rev). All the DIS comments had been discussed and agreed – there were no contentious issues. The updated FDIS draft will be delivered shortly to the Secretary. ISO 9863-1 Amd1. The text is ready to go for DIS ballot.

  • WG 3, Mechanical properties, Convenor Daniele Cazzuffi (Italy).

ISO 22182. PL (Project Leader) Matthias Meisner presented results of the Round Robin tests. The aim is to meet the DIS deadline (36 months track project) of submitting a DIS draft by mid-March 2019. To facilitate this it was agreed to skip the CD stage. ISO 13426-1:2003 (rev). All the DIS comments were addressed. A new PL, Piergiorgio Recalcati, was appointed. The updated FDIS draft would be prepared and submitted to the Secretary by June 2019 at the latest for the launch of the FDIS ballot. ISO 10722:2007 (rev). All the DIS comments were addressed. A new PL, Pietro Pezzano, was appointed. The updated FDIS draft would now be prepared and submitted to the Secretary for launch of the FDIS ballot. WG3 agreed to nominate Piergiorgio Recalcati as the assistant ‘Convenor support’ (deputy to the Convenor).

  • WG 4, Hydraulic properties, Convenor Véronique Heili (France).

ISO 11058:2010 (rev). DIS comments were adjudicated at the meeting in Prague in May 2018. Secretary awaiting the updated FDIS draft in order to launch the FDIS ballot. ISO 12956: 2010 (rev). ISO 12958-1 ‘Index test’ & -2 ‘Performance test’ CDs have been issued. ISO 10772:2012 and ISO 10776:2012 have been confirmed.

  • WG 5, Durability, Convenor Sam Allen (United States)

Hyun-Jin Koo gave a presentation on the subject of a biodegradability test and this prompted a discussion about what a future standard would cover. ISO 13438:2004 rev. The FDIS ballot was underway closing on 2018-11-02. ISO/TS 13434:2008 rev. Henning Ehrenberg and Linda Nait Ali were confirmed as the PLs and a commitment was made to produce a draft by Christmas 2108. ISO/TR 18198. Sam Allen was confirmed as the PL and a commitment was made to produce a draft by early November 2018. ISO/TR 20432:2007. In the light of the recently closed results of the review via the CIB, it was agreed that the technical content in the TR should continue unchanged, however Iran had made a number of minor editorial comments so it was proposed that a ‘minor revision’ be pursued.

  • WG 6, Design using geosynthetics, Convenor Derek Smith (UK).

A ten part standard ISO/TR 18228 (in the initial deliverable format Technical Report) is under development. At the WG6 meeting on 24 May 2018 in Prague PGs 1, 5, 8 and 10 had met. On 2 October 208 at BSI PGs 5, 6, 8 and 10 met. ISO/TR 18228-1 & -2 are going to publication. ISO/TR 18228-3, -4, -7 & -9 are going to DTR ballot (CIB). ISO/TR 18228-5, -6, -8 & -10 final drafts will be ready by Christmas 2018. It was agreed that the terminology for Part 10 ‘Asphalt Overlays’ should be corrected to ‘Asphalt pavements’ to cover wider applications in accordance with Highways England’s recommendation. There was still time for the ISO/TR 18228-1 & -2 Forewords to be updated accordingly.

The next meeting will be held in Beijing, China on 20 – 22 November 2019, immediately following the two-day EAGS2019 conference organised by CNITA and EDANA.

Delegates were invited by the UK geosynthetic manufacturers and suppliers (Downley Consultants, Tensar, PAGeoTechnical, NAUE Geosynthetics, TCS Geotechnics, BOSTD International, Huesker, Maccaferri and Concrete Canvas) to a Medieval Banquet theatrical dinner experience. This was organized by Sophie Tranter of PAGeoTechnical. The event was good fun and appreciated by all attendees.

Reported by David Hyde, Secretary of ISO TC 221