GIGSA Hosts Successful Education Week


The Geosynthetic Interest Group of South Africa (GIGSA), the South African Chapter of the IGS, hosted a successful Education Week from the 2nd to the 6th July 2018.

[button link=”/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/GIGSA-week-newsletter.pdf” color=”B8AC9E” textcolor=”ffffff” target=”blank”]READ MORE ABOUT GIGSA EDUCATION WEEK 2018 (PDF)[/button]

The week commenced with a very successful “Educate the Educator” (EtE) two day event at Irene Country Lodge in Gauteng. 18 academics from 12 institutions attended. Day 1 was enthusiastically presented by Professor Timothy D. Stark of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He not only introduced geosynthetics and covered geosynthetic barriers and other topics, but also shared numerous practical ideas on including geosynthetics in existing tertiary engineering courses.


Professor Martin Ziegler of RWTH Aachen University covered reinforcement. A welding demonstration and local case studies rounded off the event.

The EtE was well received and lead to lively discussions about testing, funding, collaboration and more. We look forward to reaping the benefits of many more civil engineering students to the use of geosynthetics as a result of this valuable event. GIGSA would like to thank the IGS for their sponsorship of the international speakers’ travel.


The middle of the week was a highlight for many. Two parallel one day workshops were presented. Professor Stark presented on the stability of geosynthetic-lined sites. This was an excellent masterclass for the 60 attendees, many of whom were keen to hear more. Professor Ziegler presented on Fundamentals of Soil Reinforcement to 28 attendees, and GIGSA President Edoardo Zannoni rounded off that workshop with a presentation on a South African perspective: SANS 8006 – design, SANS 54475 – construction and National Annex SANS 207.


The inaugural Geosynthetic Conference for Young Professionals (GCYP) followed on the 5th and 6th of July 2018. This was attended by 32 delegates, with 21 presentations, 7 exhibitions, and included a welding demonstration and practicals as well as social activities. As a first event, the GCYP went well, with many great suggestions made for further GCYP events.

Thank you to Professors Stark and Ziegler for donating of their time and sharing their expertise so willingly. Thank you to all those who attended and made the event worthwhile.

Thank you very much to the GIGSA team who made the Education Week possible, including Johann le Roux, Edoardo Zannoni, Florian Hoertkorn, Riva Nortje and Yolande van den Berg.

[button link=”/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/GIGSA-week-newsletter.pdf” color=”B8AC9E” textcolor=”ffffff” target=”blank”]READ MORE ABOUT GIGSA EDUCATION WEEK 2018 (PDF)[/button]

Announcement of Candidates for: IGS Council, President & Vice President – 2018 to 2022 Term Elections

The IGS, in accordance with its bylaws, will hold elections in 2018. IGS Members will have the opportunity to elect eight Council Members, a President and Vice President. Each of the elected members will serve a four-year term, effective 22 September 2018.

The IGS encourages any IGS Member who is interested in furthering the IGS Mission to consider standing for one of the Council positions. It is a requirement for all Council Members to attend IGS Meetings during their tenure as a Council Member. In a typical year, the IGS Council meets once for a two-day period preceding a geosynthetics event. It is the responsibility of the IGS Council member to travel to these meetings and participate in the plenary and committee meetings. The IGS Council attempts to host the meetings in equal distribution around the world and based on the most suitable location in any given year.

The elected IGS Council members whose term of office concludes in 2018 are:
• Dr. Kazem Fakharian, Iran (co-opted mid-term to complete the term of elected Eric Blond, Canada Resigned 2016)
• Ian Fraser, United Kingdom
• Chiwan Wayne Hsieh, Taiwan
Karpurapu Rajagopal, India
• Takeshi Katsumi, Japan
Peter Legg, South Africa (Treasurer)
• Pietro Rimoldi, Italy
Nathalie Touze-Foltz, France
The IGS bylaws stipulate that a Council Member may only be elected to two consecutive terms; hence, Karpurapu Rajagopal, Peter Legg, Nathalie Touze-Foltz are not eligible for re-election to a Council Member seat. Council Members having served 2 terms are eligible to run for the office of President or Vice President. Each of the other incumbents are eligible to stand for re-election to a council position.

In addition to the IGS Council positions this notice serves as a call for nominations for candidates to fill the positions of President and Vice-President.

Election Schedule
Under the bylaws of the IGS, only IGS Members are eligible for election to the Council. Candidates are required to travel to and attend the IGS Council meetings, which are typically held once per year. Members who are not prepared to meet this requirement should not to run for a council position. Meetings of the IGS Council are generally held in conjunction with international and regional IGS conferences.

Voting: 15 April to 15 June 2018
Voting instructions will be sent via email to each eligible Individual IGS Member and each designated representative from the IGS Corporate Membership. Each member may vote once and all voting will be done electronically. Please make sure you have submitted an accurate email contact to the IGS.

Announcement of Successful Candidates: 1 July 2018
IGS Members will be made aware of the successful candidates via email and website on 1 July 2018

First Meeting of the New IGS Council: at 11ICG held in Seoul, Korea September 2018
If you have any questions or would like any further information on the election process or the responsibilities involved with becoming an IGS Council Member, please contact the IGS Secretary, Elizabeth Peggs (, SKYPE: Elizabeth.Peggs, TEL +1.561.768.9487.

Candidate for the IGS President
Term 2018 to 2022

Chungsik Yoo

Dr. Chungsik Yoo is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Sungkyunkwan University in Korea. He is the current IGS Vice-President and the President of the Korean Geosynthetics Society. Prof. Yoo received his MEng and Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University (USA) in 1987 and 1993, respectively. He briefly worked as a Geotechnical Engineer at Mueser Rutledge Con-sulting Engineers in USA in 1993 and subsequently became a faculty member at Sungkyunkwan University in 1994. Prof. Yoo has authored over 100 technical papers on geosynthetic reinforced soil structures based on laboratory testing, nu-merical modeling, and field testing. In recognition of his contribution to both re-search and practice, Prof. Yoo received a number of awards including the IGS Award in 2010, bestowed by the IGS on outstanding engineers in geosynthetics fields.

Prof. Yoo has been a core member of Korean as well as international geosynthetics community for nearly 20 years by providing services in research, education, and practice in geosynthetics engineering. He successfully organized the 3rd Asian Regional Conference on Geosynthetics (GeoAsia 2004) in 2004 which was held in Seoul, Korea and will be hosting the 11th International Geosynthetics Conference (11ICG) to be held in Korea in 2018. Prof. Yoo is also serving as an Editorial Board Member for the IGS official journals, Geotextiles and Geomembranes as well as Geo-synthetics International and other journals such as Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, Computers and Geotechnics, and Soils and Foundations. During his tenure as IGS Vice-President and Chair of Education Commit-tee, Prof. Yoo has coordinated a number of the EtE programs, one of the IGS initiatives, and led other committee projects such as revision of technical leaflets and IGS Specification Guide, translation of glossary, and creation of database on geosynthetics related Ph.D Theses, among others.

If elected as IGS President, Prof. Yoo will work diligently to provide services to members, both individual and corporate, by improving communications, and to lead the society to become one of the leading geoengineering societies by proactively promoting the use of geosynthetics in geoengineering fields.

Candidate for the IGS Vice-President
Term 2018 to 2022

Nathalie Touze-Foltz

Dr Nathalie Touze-Foltz is currently heading the Antony and Nogent-sur-Vernisson regional centers of Irstea, a public research institute in France in which she previously performed research on geosynthetics during 22 years with par-ticular emphasis on environmental applications. She received her diploma in hydraulic engineering in 1995 from Ecole Nationale du Genie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement de Strasbourg and her PhD in 2001 from Ecole des Mines de Paris. She has authored/co-authored about 200 papers mainly based on the research work she performed on the quantification of transfers through lining systems.

She was convenor of WG4 (hydraulics) in ISO TC 221 and CEN TC 189 from 2010 to 2017.

She is currently the president of CFG, the French chapter of International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) and a current IGS council member for 8 years. She has made contributions to the IGS technical committee on barrier systems and the mentorship of the IGS young members committee.

She has been selected by the IGS council to give the Giroud lecture during the 11th International Geosynthetics Conference (11ICG) to be held in Seoul, Korea in 2018.

She made a significant contribution to the 10th International Geosynthetics Conference in Berlin, organizing the first IGS young members contest. She also supported the Moroccan chapter in the organization of the Geoafrica 2017 conference.

If elected as the vice-president, she will keep her very active role in the IGS, especially with young members. She will work at promoting the IGS based on the good knowledge of the society and geosynthetics gained along the past 24 years of career in this field.

Candidates for the IGS Council
Term 2018 to 2022

Dimiter Alexiew

My name is Dimiter Alexiew. I have been active in the field of geosynthetics for more than 25 years, and I have done it all the time not only by my head but also by my heart. It has been and still is not only a profession, but a passion as well.

I earned my Dipl.-Ing. in Civil Engineering at the Technical University for Civil Engineering (TUCE), Sofia, in 1978. Then I worked as researcher, design engineer and consultant for geotechnics at the Institute of the Bulgarian Ministry for Construction, being simultaneously honorary assistant professor for geotechnics at TUCE. I got my Doctor in Civil engineering & Geotechnics from TUCE in 1990. After working as design engineer and consultant at the Bavarian LGA Geotechnical Institute in Nuremberg, Germany, I was until 2017 Head of Engineering and Technical Director of Huesker Synthetic, Germany. Recently I founded my own independent Consultancy for Geosynthetics & Geotechnics.

My activities over the years include: design, consultancy and supervision for projects in the fields of earth works and foundations, transportation, landfills, brown field sites, land reclamation, sludge lagoons etc., many of them pioneering; development of design procedures, novel geosynthetics and testing devices; several inventions and patents; co-authoring of codes and standards; published about 230 technical publications, and have held more than 100 lectures and reports.

I am invited lecturer at the University in Siegen, Germany, and member of several German and International Societies and Committees.

Now I would like to contribute to the global propagation and growth of geosynthetic technologies in a way more using all my knowledge, experience, contacts and engineering and communication skills for the benefit of IGS and the engineering community.

Sam Allen

Sam Allen began his career in the geoenvironmental and polymeric materials testing fields and has broadened the scope of his involvement in materials engineering to include geosynthetics technology with specialization in laboratory testing operations. Mr. Allen currently serves as the Vice President/Director of TRI Environmental, Inc. (TRI), an independent third party geosynthetics /geotechnical testing and research company with operating service centers in the United States, Brazil, China, Australia and India. TRI’s test centers provide services that include routine conformance / verification testing services, leak location and related field services, manufacturing auditing, forensic investigations as well as sponsored geosynthetic R&D supported by government and industry. Mr. Allen has dedi-cated much of his career to the standardization of geosynthetic measurements serving as the Chairman of ASTM International Committee D35 on geosynthetics and also the Convener ofWorking Group 5 on durability within ISO TC221 on geosynthetics. He also currently serves on the Technical Advisory Board of Geotechnical Fabrics Report, a geosynthetics industry trade journal. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Geosynthetics Institute in Folsom, Pennsylvania, USA. The International Geosynthetics Society occupies a special place in Mr. Allen’s career. He has contributed to the IGS as a member of the IGS North America, the IGS, an elected member to the IGS Council and as a co-opted member of the IGS Council. During his time on IGS Council, Mr. Allen has served as the Education Chair where he worked with Boyd Ramsey to promote and establish protocols for the IGS’s Educate the Educators Program, a unique Program dedicated to the promotion of the inclusion of geosynthetic related curriculum in under-graduate education. Mr. Allen also worked with Dr. Neil Dixon to develop and produce the IGS movie, Geosynthetics in Sustainable Development, an effort designed to deliver the geosynthetic benefit message to international government officials and policymakers. More recently, Mr. Allen has served as Chairman of the Communications Committee where he worked with others to remodel the IGS website, establish the IGS Speakers Bureau to assist in identifying experts for geosynthetic lecture outreach, and initiated the “Two for a Few” series to provide quick technical interviews highlighting geosynthetic research and beneficial applications. Mr. Allen is running for IGS Council to continue to contribute on a global scale to the growth of the geosynthetics industry with focus on and promotion of high quality materials, design and installation.

Jacques Cote

Jacques Côté, president Solmax: In 1978, as a young engineering graduate, I started my career in the geotextiles industry. My entrepreneurial spirit and pas-sion motivated me to found Materiaux Techniques Cote in 1981; a company specialized in the distribution and installation of geosynthetic products. Over the years, this company has evolved from distributor, to installer and finally into what is called Solmax / GSE, a geosynthetics manufacturer. As of today, Solmax / GSE is considered the world leader in the manufacturing of geosyn-thetics, with a footprint covering the world.

Over the past 40 years, I had the privilege to travel around the world and meet wonderful people interested in good usage of geosynthetics. This industry has given me a lot and I now believe that it is time for me to give back, hence I would like to present my candidacy for the position of IGS Council member. As council member, my objective would be to put in place a Foundation. This Foundation will permit engineers from all around the world to participate in events where they can exchange and improve their knowledge to ensure proper usage of geosynthetics. My ultimate goal is to contribute to a brighter future for our industry and all the members of its community.

Oliver Detert

Oliver Detert has over 13 years’ experience in the field of geosynthetics and is engaged with geosynthetics even longer. The first contact with geosynthet-ics occurred at the chair of Prof. Ziegler at the RWTH Aachen in Germany, where he wrote his Diplomthesis on the topic of the interaction behaviour of geogrid and soil by means of the discrete particle method.After his studies he started his professional career in the engineering department at HUESKER Synthetic GmbH, Germany in the year 2005. Since 2014 he is in charge of the engineering department. In the year 2009 he started an external dissertation at the Chair of Prof. Schanz at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, which he finished in 2016. In his research he analysed a self-regulating interactive membrane foundation system for embankments on very soft soils. With this research a design approach for a new geosynthetic system respectively appli-cation was developed.He is actively promoting the knowledge and the application of geosynthetics on international conferences or lectures at different universities in Germany.He is active in working groups, like the AK 5.2 of the DGGT in Germany, which is responsible for the EBGEO. Furthermore he is member of the DIN NA 106-01-11 AA, CEN/TC 189 and ISO/TC 221, IGS/TC 218 and IGS TC-S.

“With over 13 years of experience in the design and application of geosynthetic structures, I would like to support the international geosynthetic society in our mission to improve and enlarge the knowledge of the extensive possibilities and benefits of geosynthetic applications and technologies throughout the world.” (Oliver Detert)

Kristof Fabian

I am Kristof Fabian. Having obtained my PhD in 1989 at the University of Queensland, Australia, based on my research in the use of geosynthetic materials in soil reinforcement. I have produced several papers in my field of re-search published at several locations and forums (see my attached resume). Also, I have completed a number of environmental remediation, mine construction, expansion and closure projects using geosynthetic materials. In particular, I have designed the upstream expansion of double lined tailings pond – complicated thing to change downstream double liners to upstream expansion. Beyond the use of geosynthetics, I have expanded my experience into the overall, strategic approach of geoenvironmental projects, and recently, I published a book, “Implementation Based Design” in both paper and eBook formats at Amazon expounding on my ideas of design and project execution.

I believe that I bring a broad based engineering approach for geoenvironmental projects, which almost always ex-tensively use geosynthetic materials. I would like to promote the concept of understanding of project objectives, opportunities and constraints and how the use of geosynthetic materials can make project execution more effective and more beneficial to the environment. The use of geosynthetic liners, drainage layers, filters, reinforcement to-gether with other soil improvement technologies like stabilization should increase the overall technology repertoire for geotechnical engineers in the large earthwork, mining, environmental remediation as well as in infrastructure business. I think our profession has a lot of knowledge and a lot to share.

I wish to promote myself as a Council member of the IGS to promote the use of geosynthetics for geoenvironmental applications, the use of Implementation Based Design and even more so to educate younger colleagues, who will carry on the profession.

Ian Fraser

Ian Fraser is a geotechnical engineer with over 30 years of international experi-ence in consultancy, specialist contracting and geosynthetics solution provision. In the past four years of active service on the IGS Council he has taken on the roles of Secretary of both the Corporate Committee and Hydraulics TC, is active on the Reinforcement TC and is Chairing the working group on the revision of the IGS Handbook. In addition he has supported the IGS with many years of service on the IGS UK Chapter committee as former Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. He was also a key member of the organizing committee and Treasurer for the very successful EuroGeo4 conference in Edinburgh. He has experience with sev-eral global market leaders in geosynthetics and roles include: Managing Director – Tencate Geosynthetics UK Ltd, Vice President Global Technology – Tensar Cor-poration and Business Director for Geosynthetics – Fiberweb and is currently Technical Director with TCS Geotechnics – a specialist geosynthetic distributor. Ian also serves on BSI Committee B/553 – Geotextiles & Geomembranes, the Comite European de Normalisation (CEN) TC189 – Geotextiles & geotextile related products and ISO TC221 – Geosynthetics. With his extensive industrial experience, Ian is ideally placed to represent the views of geosynthetic practitioners including designers, manufacturers, contractors and regulators. He is a stalwart supporter of the role played by the IGS Corporate Members and would like to continue working within the Council to ensure that the full value of Corporate Members’ contribution is recognised. Ian strongly believes that geosynthetics are massively underutilized and will continue to strive to promote their economic and sustainable benefits to drive increased appropri-ate application worldwide.

Werner Hack

Werner Hack. I am responding to this call and hereby state my intent to apply for the council to serve between 2018 and 2022 in the position of council member.
I have been a council member of the Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa (GIGSA) as well as one of the first council members of the Durban Branch of GIGSA since 2017. I have a keen interest in promoting the use and understanding of geosynthetics in all applications of engineering so that the importance of geosynthetics can be understood and appreciated.

Since joining GIGSA, my knowledge in the use and application of geosynthetics has continually improved and I would like to ensure that I am able to keep contributing to GIGSA locally and contribute to IGS internationally.

As a young and impressionable engineer, my election as a member of the IGS Council will ensure that I will be at the cutting edge of geosynthetic applications which will allow me to further my own knowledge of geosynthetic applications globally and promote this knowledge throughout Africa.

Jie Han

Jie Han is the Glenn L. Parker Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Kansas, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1997. Dr. Han has conducted extensive research on ge-ogrid, geocell, and geotextile for stabilization of roads and foundations and for reinforcement of walls, slopes, and embankments. His research on geosynthetics has been sponsored by US governmental agencies and the geosynthetic industry in the world. Dr. Han has published more than 300 technical papers, mostly on geosynthetic-related topics. His design methods have been included in reference manuals and used by the geosynthetic industry in the world. He has been a fre-quent speaker for keynote/invited lectures and short courses on geosynthetics around the world. He was the technical co-chair for the 2011 ASCE/IFAI GeoFrontiers Conference focused on geo-synthetics. Dr. Han is the chair of the ASCE Geo-Institute Soil Improvement Committee. He serves as an associate editor for the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering and the ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering and as an editorial board member for Geosynthetics International. Dr. Han has received numer-ous awards including the 2014 International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) Award and the 2017 ASCE Martin S. Kapp Foundation Engineering Award. Dr. Han was elected to the ASCE Fellow in 2014. His interest in serving as a council member for the IGS is to promote education and research of geosynthetics for broader and more sustainable applications.

Chiwan Wayne Hsieh

Chiwan Wayne Hsieh is a distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering of National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST), Taiwan. He graduated in the Department of Hydraulic Engineering from the Feng-Chia University, Taiwan in 1980. He obtained a Ph.D. in the Department of Civil and Environment Engineering at the Penn State University, USA in 1991. From 1989 to 1992 he worked for Gannett Fleming Inc, Pennsylvania, USA, specialising in geotechnical design and construction of Highway projects. He has served as the council member for Chinese Taipei Chapter, IGS for near twelve years. Chiwan Hsieh is a Fellow of ASCE and CICHE, Council Member of the International Geosynthetics Society (2014-2018) and member of several international technical societies. He is the director of GSI-Taiwan as a member of Geosynthetic Institute (USA) since August 1999. He was elected as the International Board member of GSI on March 2009 & 2011.

Professor Hsieh’s research interests focus primarily on engineering behaviour and applications of geosynthetics and construction materials. His research has resulted in authoring/ co-authoring of more than 200 publications. He has been a keynote speaker at many conferences and symposia. In addition, he has established the Geosynthetic Laboratory at NPUST which is accredited by GAI and TAF for near 70 test methods. He has organized annual GSI-Taiwan (2006-2009) conference and 1st. GSI-Asia (2010) conference to promote the use of geosynthetic in the Asian region. He will be the chair of organizing committee for the 7th. Asian Regional Conference of IGS hosting by the Chinese Taipei Chapter of IGS on 2021. He would like to take a more active role in the IGS and to promote the geosynthetics in various parts of the world.

Takeshi Katsumi

Takeshi Katsumi is Professor at the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (GSGES), Kyoto University, Japan. He served as Assistant to the Executive Vice-President of Kyoto University for two years from 2012 October, and is currently Vice Dean of GSGES. He graduated from the Department of Civil Engineering, Kyoto University, and obtained his doctoral degree from the same uni-versity in 1997. He has research interests in a variety of topics of environmental geotechnics, including waste landfills, remediation of contaminated sites, and re-use of by-products in geotechnical applications. He has received several awards including the “JSPS PRIZE” by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, which is annually awarded to ~25 Japanese researchers under 45 years of age from all fields of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. He has been a member of ISSMGE Technical Committee No.215 on Environmental Geotechnics for more than 15 years, and has been the International Secretary of the Japanese Geotechnical Society (JGS) since 2014. He has delivered keynote lectures at several international conferences such as 14th ISSMGE Asian Regional Conference (Hong Kong 2011), 5th Asian Regional Conference on Geosynthetics (Bangkok 2012), and ISSMGE’s 7th International Congress on Environmental Geotechnics (Melbourne 2014). He has been involved in several projects regarding the recovery works from the 2011 East Japan earthquake and tsunami, and has been a contributing member to the Central Environment Council of Japan for the last two years.

Jacek Kawalec

Jacek Kawalec – born on 1st June 1971. Jacek is as chartered geotechnical expert with 24 years of experience, member of IGS Council in term 2014-2018, past president of Polish Chapter of IGS (for two terms 2012-2014 and 2014-2016), Chairman of new IGS Technical Committee – Stabilization, President of Silesian Branch of Polish Committee of Geotechnics, member of ISSMFE, involved in over 700 projects, expert opinions, researches, tests and designs.

His scientific degrees MSc. in Civil Engineering (1994) as well as PhD in Geotechnics (2000) both received from Silesian University of Technology, Poland.

Jacek is an author or co-author of over 80 papers on geotechnics and geosynthetics published journals or presented at conferences, he occupies seat at the scientific board of Journal “Magazyn Autostrady”. Active in Standardization bodies: ISO TC221 WG6 Design with Geosynthetics and CEN TC 189 Geosynthetics. From very beginning of engineering practice active developer of new geosynthetic applications.

In year 2014 as President of Polish Chapter he initiated and organized “Educate the Educator” course in Poland with participants from Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. It was second “EtE” event of IGS and until now the only one which took place in Central & Eastern Europe. He is now member of Organizing Committee for forthcoming in 2020 European Regional Conference EUROGEO-7 in Warsaw, Poland where his activities are focused on leading the Scientific Committee of the Conference.

Researcher Carrier: In years 1994-2016 Assistant and Professor Assistant at Silesian University of Technology (SUoT), promoter of over 30 Master thesis in geotechnics and geosynthetics, from 2017 part-time Senior Lecturer at Department of Geotechnics and Roads at SUoT.

Current position in industry: Director of Technology for Eastern Hemisphere at Tensar International.

Preston Kendall

Preston Kendall. I am standing for the post of IGS Council Member for the 2018 – 2022 term. With a background in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and Physics from The University of the South I have been active in the Geosynthetics industry for the last 6 years working in the technical headquarters for Geofabrics Australasia in Gold Coast, Australia. In this role, while providing national technical support for locally manufactured Geosynthetics, I have worked to develop new testing methods to assess performance of various Geosynthetics in their installed environments as well as software tools to support the appropriate use of geosynthetics.

As an IGS member since 2013, I have been an active committee member in the Technical Committee on Filtration with the position of secretary. I was a finalist in the 2014 Young Members Session of the 10ICG in Berlin. Since this time, I have served as the Asia regional representative of the Young Members Committee as well as the Young Members Committee Treasurer. In this role, the Young Member team advanced the translation of the IGS glossary of terms to include Mandarin Chinese, developed an interview segment of the IGS news, organized the 11ICG Young Member Session, and developed a social media platform to promote young member involvement in IGS. As a council member, I am particularly interested in creating more avenues to spread the collective knowledge of the IGS members to future practitioners (i.e. students) as well as active practitioners including engineers, installers, and manufacturers.

Flávio Montez

Flávio Montez. My engagement with Geosynthetics started still as a student, when I wrote my graduation thesis on hydraulic properties of geotextiles, mentored by Professor Delma Vidal, at Aeronautical Institute of Technology (ITA), in Brazil. This was in 1986. After that, I have dedicated my entire professional life to the development and promotion of Geosynthetics, always working in the Industry. Since 1998, I am the Managing Director of HUESKER South America.

My involvement with IGS started in 1990, when I became an individual member and attended the 4th International Conference on Geotextiles and Related Products, in The Hage (NL). Since then, I have been present in all International Conferences, up to Berlin, 2014.

In Brazil, I was part of the group, led by Professor Ennio Palmeira (University of Brasilia), which was engaged in founding the Brazilian Chapter of IGS, in 1997. At that time, this group had already organized Conferences, Seminars and Courses on Geosynthetics in Brazil and South America. After IGS Brasil foundation, more Conferences were organized, including the 9th International Conference on Geosynthetics, led by Prof. Mauricio Ehrlich, from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
I have a strong belief that this close contact between Industry and Academy is very beneficial for the growth of Geosynthetics. And IGS is the learning Society which promotes this interaction.
Finally, I would like to say that I am very motivated to serve IGS as a Council Member for one more term.

Pietro Rimoldi

Pietro Rimoldi got a degree in Civil Engineering from the Technical University of Milano, Italy, in 1984. In 1986 he started to work in the Geosynthetics sector, and since then he has been involved in the development of new products and in many field and laboratory test projects related to geosynthetics and their applications. He has designed several important projects around the world, for soil reinforce-ment and stabilization, landfills, hydraulic applications and erosion control. He has contributed to the development of new testing apparatus and new testing proce-dures. He is the author of more than 250 national and international publications related to geosynthetics, and he has written design manuals for reinforced slopes and walls, for road and railway base stabilization, for geosynthetic drainage sys-tems and for erosion control. He is Certified Professional Soil Erosion and Sedi-ment Control Specialist (CPESC) in USA and Chartered Professional Engineer in Italy. He is an active member of IGS, ISSMGE TC218 “Reinforced Soil Structures”, ASCE Geo-Institute, and of the technical committees CEN TC 189 on Geosynthetics (where he is the Convener of the PG “Durability of Metallic Geosynthetics”), ISO TC 221 on Geosynthetics (where he is the Project Leader of WG6 TG4 “Design for drainage”), CEN TC 288 – Execution of special geotechnical works, CEN TC250 / SC7 / TG6 on design of Geosynthetic reinforced structures within the structural Eurocodes, CEN TC 217 “Sport surfaces”. He was elected by the third time Member of the International Council of the IGS, in September 2014, and he is presently the Chair of IGS Technical Committee on Hydraulic Applications (TC-H). He is Council Member of the Italian Chapter of IGS (AGI-IGS), he has been Council Member of the Italian Geotechnical Association (AGI), and Member of the Board of Directors of the Geosynthetics Institute (GSI) in USA. He is presently working as Civil Engineering Consultant, based in Milano (Italy).

Amir Shahkolahi

Amir Shahkolahi has got his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and his Mas-ter’s degree in Environmental Engineering. He has been involved in geosynthetic industry over the last 15 years as a designer, project manager and researcher, with about 9 years of experience in Iran in different positions including technical consultant of NAUE’s local partner, followed by about 6 years of experience in Australia since 2012.

Amir has been a member of the technical and organising committee for more than 60 national and international conferences and has presented/published more than 20 technical papers during last 15 years.

These conferences and papers include wide range of geosynthetic applications such as landfill liners, geogrid reinforcement (roads, railways, reinforced slopes and retaining walls), Basal reinforcement, tunnel membranes, QA/QC, erosion control, oil and gas, hydraulic application and coastal protection.
Amir has been the member of technical committee for preparing geosynthetic technical specifications and guidelines regarding geogrid reinforcement and landfill liners. He has been involved in voluntary activities since 1999 at local and international societies such as Australian Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (ACIGS), Iranian geosynthetic society, Iranian Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (IsIGS), QLD landfill committee (Australia), Waste Management Association Australia (WMAA), etc. In 2009, Amir was awarded 1st place for the “Engineer of the Year in Research, Education and Development” Award by Iranian Civil Engineering Organisation (ICEO)/Engineers Iran. In 2015, he was awarded 3rd place for the “ISWA Publication” Award by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).

Amir is now with Global Synthetics, QLD (Australia), as the Technical Manager. He is also the secretary of the Australasian Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society, and is involved in several research projects in Australia and overseas as the industry supervisor.

Askar Zhussupbekov

Askar Zhussupbekov. When he was an Invited Professor of Columbia University, New York, USA from January, 2011 to May, 2012 he further extended scientific and educational activities of Kazakhstan Geosynthetics Society. He was an Ex-pert of United Nations on Global Energy and Environment Strategy, New York, USA (2012-2013) and invited lecturer at UN Conference «RIO+20» on «Sustain-able Development to All» was held in June, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro.

Prof. Zhussupbekov always supports a young geotechnical generation and he will continue activities moreover give opportunities which provided professional growth of geotechnical engineers from different countries (as an example, Prof. Askar provided financial support of travel expenses for young participants of 8AYGEC (2016, Astana, Kazakhstan) from USA, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Kyr-gyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Korea, Syria and other countries).

Prof. Zhussupbekov in collaboration with Prof. Eun Shul Shin, Prof. Jong-Sub Lee (Korean Geotechnical Society, Republic of Korea) and Prof. Der-Wen Chang (Chinese Taipei Geotechnical Society, Taiwan) organize the Summer school for young geotechnical engineers, including 60 Master Students of L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University (Kazakhstan), in Incheon National University, Korea University and Tamkang University every year from 2016.

Prof. Zhussupbekov as Head of Civil Engineering Department has found the Kazakhstani school of geotechnical researchers and civil engineers. As such, he made efforts to establish a special program of invited foreign professors and develop technological infrastructures of L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University.

Prof. Zhussupbekov has plan to attract new individual members in the nearest future as well as honorary members and company members. Future activity of KazGS will be fixed on interaction with road construction companies as a conducting research of geosynthetic and attract them in KazGS as a company member. KazGS would like to take part in elaboration of Kazakhstan Standard regarding geosynthetic by using information and great experience of IGS.

Prof. Zhussupbekov will provide an ideal academic platform for researchers and engineers to exchange and share their experiences for developing emerging technologies and directions in geosynthetics.

M. Venkataraman

M. Venkataraman is currently the Guest Professor in Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar, Gujarat State, India. He is the member of IGS for nearly 15 years. He has worked with Indian geosynthetic manufacturing companies in various capacities for 33 years and in the geotechnical industry for 47 years. He did his B. Tech in Civil Engineering from Indian Institute of Tech-nology (IIT) Madras in 1969 and M. Tech in Geotechnical engineering in 1971 from the same institute. He has designed and executed many projects, in most of the geosynthetic related applications. He has also developed indigenous products & systems for rockfall protection, reinforced soil walls and river & coastal applications. He is instrumental in initiating and popularising the use of Geotextile Tubes for Coastal Protection in India. He has published more than 50 papers in different journals and conferences.

M. Venkataraman has long association with Indian Chapter of International Geosynthetics Society as a member of its Governing Board, and as Vice President during 2012-2017. Currently, he is the President of the Indian Chapter. He has travelled widely all over the world to attend different conferences and industry related assignments.

Chao Xu

Chao Xu is a Professor of Civil Engineering of Tongji University, Shanghai, China and is a co-opted member of IGS Council. He is currently the Chairman of IGS Chinese Chapter and the Vice President of China Technology Association of Ge-osynthetics, a local geosynthetic organization in China. During the past four years, he had actively attended the IGS council meetings and contributed in var-ious committees of IGS. He prepared and organized the first Educate the Educator Program in Asia,in August 2016 with the guide of IGS education committee and support of IGS members. As one of organizers, he hosted the International Workshop on Geosynthetic-Reinforced and Pile-Supported Embankments in Shanghai, China under the auspices of IGS Chinese Chapter. He has been closely working with IGS Secretariat and several TCs of IGS, bridging IGS and Chinese geosynthetic community. Dr. Xu has been a member of IGS for more than 10 years. His course on Geosynthetics and Reinforced Soil structures are popular elective course for students at Tongji University. He has presided over 4 national fund projects on Geosynthetic reinforcements and guided tens of research students on the topics of soil reinforcement, ground improvement, natural geosynthetics, Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil abutments, etc. Apart from the academic works, he also provides consultancy services to geosyn-thetic industry.

IGS to Host the 1st GeoBarrier Workshop

GeoBarrier Workshop

GeoBarrier Workshop

IGS TC-B GeoBarrier Workshop

6 – 7 June 2018 | Munich Workstyle | Landwehrstraße 61 | 80336 München, Germany

Schedule is subject to change

[button link=”” color=”B8AC9E” textcolor=”ffffff” target=”blank”]Download Brochure (PDF)[/button] [button link=”/igs-georeinforcement-geobarriers-workshops-june-2018/” color=”B8AC9E” textcolor=”ffffff” target=”blank”]Schedule Details & More – Register Today![/button]


GeoBarrierThe International Geosynthetics Society Technical Committee on Barrier Systems (TC-B) will welcome civil and geotechnical engineering professionals from around the world to the 1st GeoBarrier Workshop 6 – 7 June 2018 in Munich, Germany. This unique gathering combines high-level presentations from leading practitioners in the field with significant audience discussion time, enabling participants to share project experience, exchange technical concerns and solutions, and network with colleagues who influence diverse infrastructure sectors such as mining, coal ash, waste management, environmental protection, oil and gas, and more.

The two-day GeoBarrier Workshop is co-located with the GeoReinforcement Workshop, which takes place 4 – 5 June 2018. Note: Each workshop requires a separate registration fee. Both can be paid for at the same time via the online registration page Please see the Workshop page to learn more.

The IGS Technical Committee – Barriers (TC-B) workshop will devote half-day sessions to the following main topics:

  • Geomembrane Durability
  • Geomembrane Protection
  • GCL Hydration and Controlling Factors
  • Standard Protocols for Construction/Installation Quality Assurance and Quality Control

The internationally revered speaker list includes experts such as Kerry Rowe, Helmut Zanzinger, Craig Benson, Piet Meyer, Sam Allen, Richard Brachman, and more. Presentations include focuses on historical leakage rates and affiliated CQA strategies; preventing puncture in a geosynthetic barrier system; anti-oxidant depletion in geomembranes; agency perspectives on geomembrane end-of-service life; and more.

[button link=”/igs-georeinforcement-geobarriers-workshops-june-2018/” color=”B8AC9E” textcolor=”ffffff” target=”blank”]Schedule Details & More – Register Today![/button]
Schedule is subject to change

IGS to Host 1st GeoReinforcement Workshop

GeoReinforcement Workshop

GeoReinforcement Workshop

IGS TC-R GeoReinforcement Workshop

4 – 5 June 2018 | Munich Workstyle | Landwehrstraße 61 | 80336 München, Germany

Schedule is subject to change

[button link=”” color=”B8AC9E” textcolor=”ffffff” target=”blank”]Download Brochure (PDF)[/button] [button link=”/igs-georeinforcement-geobarriers-workshops-june-2018/” color=”B8AC9E” textcolor=”ffffff” target=”blank”]Schedule Details & More – Register Today![/button]


GeoReinforcementThe International Geosynthetics Society Technical Committee on Reinforcement (TC-R) will welcome civil and geotechnical engineering professionals from around the world to the 1st GeoReinforcement Workshop 4 – 5 June 2018 in Munich, Germany. This unique gathering combines high-level presentations from leading practitioners in the field with significant audience discussion time, enabling participants to share project experience, exchange technical concerns and solutions, and network with colleagues who influence diverse applications such as MSE walls, steep slopes, veneer stability, embankments, bridge abutments, and more.

The two-day GeoReinforcement Workshop is co-located with the GeoBarrier Workshop, which takes place 6 – 7 June 2018. Note: Each workshop requires a separate registration fee. Both can be paid for at the same time via the online registration page. Please see the Workshop page to learn more.

The IGS Technical Committee – Reinforcement (TC-R) workshop will dedicate a half-day to each of the following technical topics:

  • Facings of Walls and Steep Slopes
  • Use of Recycled and Amended Marginal Backfills in MSE and Reinforced Embankments/Slopes
  • Design of Load-Carrying MSE Bridge Abutments
  • Reinforced Veneer Stability

The workshop includes 21 presentations, four blocks of attendees case study/topic contributions, do’s and don’ts summaries, and a compilation of summary documents. Speakers include field luminaries such as Richard Bathurst, John Sankey, Chaido Doulala Rigby, George Koerner, Dimiter Alexiew, Jorge Zornberg, and Pietro Rimoldi. Presentation topics include some of the most pressing issues of the day: veneer stability and seismicity; MSE abutment load carrying; long-term performance of GRS walls; flexible reinforced facings; differing international approaches and standards; and much more.

[button link=”/igs-georeinforcement-geobarriers-workshops-june-2018/” color=”B8AC9E” textcolor=”ffffff” target=”blank”]Schedule Details & More – Register Today![/button]
Schedule is subject to change

Short Course and Workshop by Prof. Dov Leshchinsky – Napoli (Italy), 15 March 2018

A Short Course and a Workshop were delivered by Dov Leshchinsky (Emeritus Professor at University of Delaware, USA) in Napoli, on 15th March 2018. Both the initiatives were aimed to gather professionals and scholars of the various fields of Geotechnical Engineering interested in geosynthetics and related applications. Particularly, the Course was devoted to young participants (younger than 36 years).

The Course and the Workshop were organised by Stefano Aversa (University of Naples Parthenope), Sabatino Cuomo (University of Salerno), Sergio Gobbi (Engineers’ Association of Naples), under the auspices of the Italian Geotechnical Society (AGI) and of the Italian Chapter of IGS (AGI-IGS), with the logistic support of Sabrina Moretti (University of Naples Parthenope) and Lorenzo Frigo (Geosintex srl).

Dov Leshchinsky is a worldwide well-known expert in the field of geosynthetics, with more than 40 years of experience in Geotechnical Engineering, computer programming and numerical methods, more than 30 years of teaching at University, and over 100 refereed papers, many with results of numerical analysis leading towards advances in design methods.

The 3 hours lasting Short Course titled “Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Walls and Slopes: Theory and Application” provided an overview of modern soil reinforcing technology with an emphasis on geosynthetics. The key topics were the various available reinforcing materials, the facing components, and construction techniques. The methodologies to calculate the strength and layout of reinforcement in walls and slopes were also presented for potential various limit state failures of a reinforced structure. Attention was also given to the prediction of long-term performance of structures. More than 40 attendants were present, the most coming from Italy but also from other European Coun-tries.

The 3 hours Workshop was delivered into two parts. During the Part 1 titled “Limit State Design Framework for Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Structures” Prof. Leshchinsky proposed a new design method based on limit equilibrium analysis and Factor of Safety (FS) Map tool. As main novelty, it was shown that the proposed design method allows attaining attain a prescribed constant FS at any location in the reinforced soil mass, providing complete information for both slip surface, reinforcement loading and connection load. The Part 2 “Lessons Learned from Failed MSE Walls” of the Workshop focused on five case histories of failed MSE walls, spanning from metallic and geosynthetic reinforcements, with the facing made of steel mesh, small concrete units, or large reinforced concrete panels, and with different, simple or more complex geometry. It is shown the likely reasons for the failures were design error and/or poor construction. Not surprisingly, it was also shown that the cost of repair was far more expensive than the savings due to skimped construction. All of these topics were discussed at the end of the Workshop moving from experience to theory and vice versa focusing on the main factors playing a role in short- and long-term behaviour of real reinforced structures in both cases of well-designed or dramatically failed structures. Out of more than 90 par-ticipants, more than 70 were professional engineers with the others being PhD students.
Memories of Short Course and Workshop by Dov Leshchinsky in Napoli (Italy)

Reported by
Stefano Aversa (University of Naples Parthenope and IGS member) and Sabatino Cuomo (University of Salerno and AGI-IGS Board member)

Geosynthetics 2019 Conference: Houston TX, USA, 10 -13 February 2019

Calling all Civil, Environmental & Geotechnical Engineers & Academics: Hundreds of geotechnical professionals come together to write, peer review, publish and present the latest research and case studies. This is your opportunity to be part of one of the industry’s most respected events, Geosynthetics 2019.
This conference will be supported by IFAI and IGS North America and under auspices of IGS.

For more Information visit the website:

11th ICG International Conference on Geosynthetics – Geosynthetics: Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development Seoul, Korea, 16 – 21 September 2018

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, it is my great honor and pleasure to invite you to the 11th International Conference on Geosynthetics (11ICG), which will be held in Seoul, Korea from September 16 to 21, 2018.

The Korean Geosynthetics Society (KGSS) will have the privilege of hosting 11ICG in Korea, and plans to go to great lengths to ensure the conference surpasses all expectations. The 11ICG will provide all participants a firm platform for a meaningful academic, professional, social and cultural experience. The theme of the 11ICG is “Geosynthetics: Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development,” and will cover diverse disciplines of geosynthetics from funda-mentals to applications.

With the vision of making a multidisciplinary conference for the geosynthetics industry and engineers, we plan to offer special events as well as a very dynamic and stimulating array of scientific and practical engineering programs. At 11ICG, academia and industry will gather in force to not only show their best, but to share valuable ideas and develop new friendships.

11ICG will provide a comprehensive overview of the most recent developments in the field of geosynthetics, the latest technologies and applications, and a unique and extensive technical exhibition. With fascinating ancient tradi-tions and ultramodern lifestyle, the city of Seoul will surely be the center of many unforgettable moments.

We look forward to welcoming you in Seoul, Korea!

Sincerely yours,

Prof. Chungsik Yoo
Chair, Organizing Committee of 11ICG
Vice President, International Geosynthetics Society
President, Korean Geosynthetics Society


June 15, 2018        Pre-Registration Deadline

Theme and Topics

  • Geosynthetics: Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development
  • Geosynthetic Barriers
  • Geosynthetics in Filtration, Drainage and Erosion Control
  • Reinforced Walls and Slopes
  • Ground Improvement using Geosynthetics
  • Roads, Railways and other Transportation Applications
  • Soil-Geosynthetic Interaction
  • Hydraulic Applications
  • Innovative Uses and New Developments
  • Case Histories
  • Durability and Long Term Performance
  • Physical and Numerical Analysis
  • Geosynthetic Properties and Testing
  • Quality Control and Quality Assurance
  • Design Approaches and other Applications



Giroud Lecture
  Global Crisis: A Geosynthetics Solution

Dr. Nathalie Touze-Foltz

(Antony Regional Center, National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA), France)

Prestigious Lecture
  Geosynthetic-reinforcement Technology in Railway Applications– from Walls to    


  Prof. Fumio Tatsuoka

  (Tokyo University of Science, Japan

  Past President, International Geosynthetics Society)

Keynote Lecture
  Geosynthetic Liners: Conceptions and Misconceptions

Prof. R. Kerry Rowe

(GeoEngineering Centre at Queen’s-RMC, Queen’s University,

Kingston, ON, Canada)

  Reinforcement with Geosynthetics – How They Work in Soil

Prof. Martin Ziegler

(Geotechnical Engineering and Institute of Foundation Engineering,

Soil Mechanics, Rock Mechanics and Waterways Construction, RWTH Aachen University, Germany)

Geosynthetics in Roadways: Advances with Significant Impact in Sustainable


Prof. Jorge G. Zornberg (The University of Texas at Austin, USA)

Global Challenges, Geosynthetic Solutions and Counting Carbon

Prof. Neil Dixon

(School of Civil and Building Engineering Loughborough University, UK)

Geosynthetics for Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation-Japanese Challenge-

Prof. Jiro Kuwano

(Saitama University, Japan)

Full list of invited speakers to be added



All participants are required to register through the online registration system and advised to register in advance to receive the registration discount.

Online Registration:

  • Pre-Registration Deadline: June 15, 2018


Please go to 11ICG website ( and download the application form and fill out the form and then e-mail it to the 11ICG secretariat (

Conference Venue


Korea World Trade Center, 513, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06164, Korea

Phone: + 82-2-6000-0114


Tour Program

Additionally there will be arranged some special Half -/Full-Day Tours as well as Pre/Post-Conference Tours and Special Evening Programs by a third-party travel agency as optional programs.For more information visit

Updates from the IGS Young Members Committee

Young Member Photo Competition
The Young Member Committee of the IGS is holding its first ever photo competition in 2018. This contest intends to promote young members of the International Geosynthetics Society. The competition seeks the best photos of geo-synthetic materials or technologies taken by young members (under 36 years of age on 31st December 2018). Sub-missions will be accepted on the IGS website until June 2018, with the winner being awarded before the 11th ICG. Follow the Young Members Committee’s social media accounts for the launch details.

Recognising Wikipedia Contributions
The Young Members committee are to encourage and recognise the contributions of young IGS members on geo-synthetic-related Wikipedia pages. If you make changes to any page, you can let the committee aware by recording your Wikipedia user name on the below form:
It is set up so that you may choose to remain an anonymous, referred only by your username. Significant contributions may be recognised in future editions of the IGS Newsletter.

You can stay in touch with news and events from the IGS Young Members committee by checking out the webpage and their social media accounts:

Reported by
Ian Scotland, Communications officer of the Young Members Committee.

IGS Young Members: Down to Earth – An Interview with Dr. Laura Carbone

In this edition of the feature, the Young Members Committee interviewed the new president of the Young Members Committee. Dr. Carbone shares her formative experiences of the geosynthetic industry and her hopes for her time as president of the Young Members Committee.

Name / Institution: Dr. Laura Carbone, HUESKER GmbH, Germany

Specialist Field: Specialist Field: slope stability, landfill design and engineering with geosynthetics

Can you summarise your experience of working with geosynthetics?
I was first introduced to geosynthetics during a course on environmental geotechnics and soil improvement methods with Prof. Nicola Moraci at the University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria in Italy. During this time, I developed a special interest for their use in landfill barriers on slopes and hence I decided to further study it during my Ph.D. Thanks to an international agreement for the joint supervision of the thesis, I was able to conduct my research on the interaction of geosynthetics on slopes in Italy with Prof. Nicola Moraci and in France with Prof. Jean-Pierre Gourc. During this time, I studied the friction mobilization between geosynthetics, which led me to carry out a lot of laboratory tests, some of which were with a very innovative test device at the University of Padua with Prof. Paolo Carrubba. I also had the opportunity to learn different research approaches in different countries, getting to know the IGS world and many engineers, researchers and professionals from the industry. The world of geosynthetics is attractive as it comes with infinite possibilities of innovation, design challenges and sustainable solutions, and this led my decision to con-tinue to this field of work at the engineering department of Huesker Synthetic in Germany.

What do you hope to achieve as president of the Young Members Committee?
The Young Member Committee is something I really care about and deeply believe in. Giving the young generation of engineers the opportunity to be more actively involved in the IGS tasks, to have a platform to share and exchange experiences and being more easily connected to each other is very important.
Since 2012, the year in which the committee was founded, together with Irene Inan, we carried out different activities for the young members and set up a structure enabling us to better organize our initiatives in the world. Looking at the results we have achieved throughout the years, I consider myself very satisfied but certainly, a lot still needs to be done. Many initiatives are being carried out together with the members of the International Board. During my presidency, I aim to motivate new young members to join the committee and encourage the pro-active participation of the young members locally within Chapters. I would also like to create a strong platform where young researchers and professionals can share information and provide young members with more exposure in order to open up more opportunities.

How can more young people be encouraged into the industry?
I truly believe that early theoretical education combined with practical experience is fundamental to making the best start into the industry. Thus, studying geosynthetic materials and solutions during the university courses is, in my opinion, ideal to get an idea of the wide range of possibilities that they offer.
For young graduated engineers, technical trainings and seminars are also good opportunities to learn and continually increase awareness and their knowledge about geosynthetics.

What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
On a weekly basis, I do capoeira which is a mix of martial arts and dance. Other than that, I enjoy playing the piano and I like travelling.

Are you a fan of music? If so, do you have favourite artists?
I love music! I listen to a very wide range of music but particularly soul and funk music as well as Italian singer-songwriters as De André, Lucio Dalla and Niccoló Fabi.

Dr. Kerry Rowe to Present the 2018/19 Mercer Lecture

Kerry Rowe

The 2018/19 Mercer Lecturer will be Dr Kerry Rowe from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, who will discuss the use of geosynthetics in construction on soft soils.

Dr Rowe, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering at Queen’s University, 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.

He has given some of geotechnics’ most prestigious lec-tures, including the Rankine Lecture in 2005, the Casa-grande lecture in 2011 and the Karl Terzaghi Lecture in 2017. In 2018, Rowe was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour.

“We are delighted Kerry has agreed to be the next Mercer Lecturer,” said Tensar’s Vice President Global Applications Technology Tim Oliver, who represents the lecture’s sponsor, Tensar, on the Mercer Lecture advisory committee.

“Kerry has built an unrivalled global reputation for his work in both research and engineering practice in a wide range of disciplines, including geosynthetics. He is therefore an ideal person to deliver the Mercer Lecture, which aims to promote co-operation and information exchange between the geotechnical engineering profession and the geosynthetics industry,” Oliver said.

“The Mercer lecture series aims to reach out beyond the world of geosynthetics and engage with geotechnical engineers at large –some of whom may not yet be fully familiar with the potential for geosynthetics in their area of interest.”

The biennial Mercer Lecture 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 (ISSMGE) and the IGS, 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 in three continents.

The Mercer Lecturer is chosen by an advisory committee of representatives from IGS, ISSMGE and Tensar. Chaired by Professor Jorge Zornberg (the 2015/16 Mercer Lecturer), the members are Jose Luis Machado from Portugal, Professor Junichi Koseki from Japan, Professor Ennio Palmeira from Brazil and Tim Oliver from Tensar.

Reported by
Tensar International