Watch: IGS Brazil Hosts Geothermals Webinar

The use of geosynthetics in geothermal heat exchange applications was explored during a recent webinar.

IGS North America President John McCartney presented his insights as part of IGS Brazil’s webinar series.

Prof McCartney, of the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California San Diego, spoke about research opportunities and practical implementation techniques to improve energy efficiency.

Obtaining thermal energy sustainably and efficiently to help reduce carbon emissions was also discussed. Tips were shared on how geotechnical engineers could contribute to these important goals.

Online participants had the opportunity to quiz Prof McCartney in a Q&A during the event, which was hosted by IGS Brazil member and Chair of the IGS Panamerican Activities Committee Flavio Montez.

You can view the full webinar below or on Youtube by clicking here.

Watch: Nathalie Touze’s Full Giroud Lecture

IGS Vice President Nathalie Touze’s celebrated Giroud Lecture is now available to view in its entirety.

Recorded at the UK Chapter’s annual meeting in London in December last year, Dr Touze shared her talk, ‘Healing the World: A Geosynthetics Solution’, with members.

The lecture is an inspiring and eye-opening exploration of our symbiotic relationship with the world, and how geosynthetics can be a key driver in tackling some of society’s biggest challenges.

The 6th Giroud Lecture debuted at the 11th International Conference on Geosynthetics in Seoul, Korea, in 2018. It was dubbed “absolutely outstanding” by geosynthetics pioneer Dr. J P Giroud, after whom the lecture is named and awarded.

***You can also view Dr Touze’s ‘Two For A Few’ chat with Dr Giroud here.

***To find out more about the huge potential of geosynthetics in creating a sustainable future, download our eBook Preparing the ground for a brighter future here.

About the Giroud Lecture

The Giroud Lecture recognizes exceptional achievement and influence in the field of geosynthetics. It is delivered every four years during the opening of the International Conferences on Geosynthetics. First awarded in 1998, the Giroud Lecture on Geosynthetics is one of the International Geosynthetics Society’s highest distinctions. Previous lectures have been given by Dr. Robert Koerner (1998), Dr. R Kerry Rowe (2002), Chris Lawson (2006), Prof. Heinz Brandl (2010), and Dr. Richard Bathurst (2014). Dr. Giroud developed many of the design methods and originated many of the applications used in geosynthetic engineering, including many of those pertaining to landfills, liquid impoundments, and dams. He holds the status of Honorary Member of the International Geosynthetics Society, has been named a ‘Hero’ of the Geo-Institute of ASCE, has delivered major international geotechnical lectures such as the Mercer and Terzahgi Lectures, and has been recognized by the Order of the Legion d’Honneur in France. He remains very active in the field.

Watch: Two For A Few With Dr. Dipanjan Basu And Edoardo Zannoni

Increasing sustainability content in university curriculums and a better framework to measure infrastructure performance, are key ways to help geosynthetics positively impact the planet.

That’s according to Dr Dipanjan Basu, who spoke to IGS Secretary General Edoardo Zannoni for our Two For A Few interview series.

Edoardo stole a few moments to chat to Dr Basu at the recent 17th African Regional Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering in October 2019.

The conference was organized by the South African Institution of Civil Engineering’s Geotechnical Division, part of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). Dr Basu is Chair of ISSMGE’s technical committee on sustainability and geotechnical engineering.

Dr Basu, Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, said: “We need to introduce sustainability in the curriculum of civil and geotechnical engineering for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. We also need to establish a robust sustainability assessment framework, which I don’t think exists right now in geotechnical practices.”

He continued: “Geotechnical engineering practices require knowledge of sustainability to a great extent because we use a lot of resources, we generate a lot of waste and emissions. Therefore, as geotechnical engineers working in a multidisciplinary framework, it is necessary we understand how sustainability affects our profession and how we affect the world in general from a sustainability point of view.”

During the three-day conference in Cape Town, South Africa, Dr Basu delivered a short course on ‘Sustainability in Geotechnical Engineering’, sharing the latest developments in this important area. His talk described the connection between sustainability and engineering, examples of principles in action including the re-use and recycle of materials, construction methods to reduce carbon footprint, and the use of geotechnics for renewable energy.

Edoardo asked the sustainability ambassador what barriers he had faced in trying to bring the issue to the fore.

Dr Basu acknowledged there was some skepticism amongst peers at the beginning, and even initial resistance during the formation of his technical committee, but over time likeminded advocates rallied to give this important issue prominence.

The geotechnical engineer admitted: “I also had doubts; is [sustainability in geosynthetics] important or is this a buzzword? I convinced myself there is value in understanding sustainability and connecting it to our practices.

“I feel more resonance among people.”

Edoardo asked how sustainability could become integral to course curriculums. Dr Basu explained how it worked at his institution.

“In Waterloo we have three geotechnical courses. In the third I can freely introduce sustainability because this course is about case studies, so it’s much more flexible. Sometimes I also offer independent study courses to graduate students. We look at what sustainability means, how it is connected to geotechnical engineering, and how we can use the different tools to quantify sustainability for geotechnical engineering,” he said.

Dr Basu welcomed the change in mindset which allowed a greater acceptance for sustainability teaching.

He said his research also contributed to improving understanding as it focused on renewable energy in geotechnics and developing a combined sustainability and resilience assessment framework for geotechnical engineering.

He added: “The impact will show up at some point in time. I’m quite optimistic about it.”

Dr Basu also quizzed Edoardo about what the IGS was doing to impact sustainable development.

Edoardo said it was IGS’s mission to continually develop this aspect, giving examples of replacing granular and related natural materials with geosynthetics, the role geosynthetics have in helping to preserve water reserves as barrier systems in ponds and lagoons, the containment of waste, and preventing erosion which is becoming an increasing challenge with climate change.

Dr Basu added that research from a life cycle assessment aspect of geosynthetics found them to be more environmentally-friendly than alternatives.

The video can be found below and on our YouTube Channel.

Watch: Two For a Few With Dr. J P Giroud and Dr. Nathalie Touze

The IGS Vice President made a rallying call for using the human touch to improve understanding of geosynthetics during an interview with industry pioneer Dr. J P Giroud.

Dr. Nathalie Touze gave the prestigious Giroud Lecture at the recent International Conference on Geosynthetics (ICG) in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Giroud called her talk “absolutely outstanding”.

In the interview, part of the Two For A Few series, Dr. Touze said the IGS had a vital role to play in raising awareness among all stakeholders.

“The IGS is a human society and we tend to forget that. People attach more importance to social connections and values. The IGS can show the way to many people. For example, in environmental justice, the IGS can show the way by bringing more environmental justice, sharing resources and information,” she said.

Titled ‘Healing the world: a geosynthetics solution’, Dr. Touze’s lecture, which she said was inspired by philosopher Frédéric Lenoir’s book La Guérison du Monde, suggested ways geosynthetics could improve the socio-economic, environmental and resource challenges faced by the modern world.

An example was the issue of pollution and environmental sustainability.

“Geosynthetics play an important role in the protection of the environment but in many countries the economic situation is not so good so the tendency is to reduce the budget for measures aimed at protecting the environment. There is a belief protecting the environment costs money but at the same time geosynthetics can protect the environment and save money on the projects. This is a very important statement,” Dr. Touze told Dr. Giroud.

“Pollution controls economic development is a wrong statement. Pollution prevention can yield large net gains. For example, reducing waste and the cost of imported materials. Using natural materials brings more sustainability to geosynthetics.”

But Dr. Giroud played Devil’s Advocate.

“There is a potential risk of pollution by geosynthetics themselves,” he said. “They have long durability, can be around for centuries and well beyond their service life. Is there a risk the public one day could consider geosynthetics are like plastics today, and undesirable?”

Dr. Touze said it was true geosynthetic materials contained additives and these could leak into the environment but their advantage was they were buried or inside works. However, she acknowledged more research and answers were needed.

“We should get out of our box and address the real questions. It’s time for action,” she said.

She added: “Teaching is repeating but repeating always the same message in the same way you do not always succeed. We need to multiply the way we communicate with people.

“The IGS can no longer work on its own. If we want people to appropriate knowledge we need the help of human and social sciences that would facilitate the appropriation of the knowledge. Get out of the box and be open to other disciplines.”

Dr. Giroud said: “You gave a special new dimension to our discipline by showing how geosynthetics can address the issues of our times. The human touch was the special touch of your lecture.”

Dr. Touze’s full paper will soon feature in Geosynthetics International.

A short video highlighting the main topics in Dr. Touze’s full lecture can be found here below and our YouTube Channel.

Watch: Highlights Of Dr. Nathalie Touze’s Giroud Lecture Available Now

A summary of Dr. Nathalie Touze’s thought-provoking talk on how geosynthetics can mitigate the impact of a raft of global challenges is available to watch online now.

Entitled ‘Healing the world: a geosynthetics solution’, Dr. Touze’s Giroud Lecture described the many ways geosynthetics can tackle the socio-economic, environmental and resource pressures on the modern world.

Challenges discussed included quality food and water, environmental pollution and its health implications, the slowdown of economic development by natural disasters, overcoming economic imbalances, and learning to live together.

IGS Vice President Dr. Touze used the prestigious opportunity to put forward sustainable development goals that could be applied to each issue, such as quality education, sanitation, reducing inequalities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, and effective partnerships.

The ways geosynthetics could alleviate natural disasters and make an economic contribution were among other solutions explored at the 11th International Conference on Geosynthetics (ICG) in Seoul, Korea.

One of the IGS’s highest distinctions, the Giroud Lecture recognizes exceptional achievement and influence in the field of geosynthetics. It is delivered every four years during the opening of the ICG.

The lecture is named after Dr. J P Giroud who coined the terms ‘geotextile’ and ‘geomembrane’ in 1977 and has authored around 400 publications.

Dr. Touze was also presented with a plaque in recognition of her achievements.

Watch and share the short video below or on our YouTube Channel.

Dr. Touze will be giving her Giroud Lecture again at two events in August – at Regeo & Geossintéticos 2019 in Brazil on August 14, and for IGS Chile members on August 16.

About the Giroud Lecture

The Giroud Lecture recognizes exceptional achievement and influence in the field of geosynthetics. It is delivered every four years during the opening of the International Conferences on Geosynthetics. First awarded in 1998, the Giroud Lecture on Geosynthetics is one of the International Geosynthetics Society’s highest distinctions. Previous lectures have been given by Dr. Robert Koerner (1998), Dr. R Kerry Rowe (2002), Chris Lawson (2006), Prof. Heinz Brandl (2010), and Dr. Richard Bathurst (2014). Dr. Giroud developed many of the design methods and originated many of the applications used in geosynthetic engineering, including many of those pertaining to landfills, liquid impoundments, and dams. He holds the status of Honorary Member of the International Geosynthetics Society, has been named a ‘Hero’ of the Geo-Institute of ASCE, has delivered major international geotechnical lectures such as the Mercer and Terzahgi Lectures, and has been recognized by the Order of the Legion d’Honneur in France. He remains very active in the field.

ACIGS International Speakers Series Videos Now Available to View!

Earlier this year, the Australasian Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (ACIGS) hosted their International Speaker Series in Australia and New Zealand. We are delighted to now share with you, the videos that were produced during the events. These videos can also be viewed on the ACIGS’s YouTube Channel.

 

STATIC AND SEISMIC PERFORMANCE OF GEOSYNTHETICS IN CIVIL ENGINEERING – Monday 18th February 2019 – Auckland

Timothy Stark – Vertical Drains

 

GEOSYNTHETICS IN TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE – Tuesday 19th February 2019 – Melbourne

Chungsik Yoo – Geosynthetics In Tunneling

Chungsik Yoo – Lessons Learnt From A Failure Of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Wall

 

Allan Garrard – Reinforced Soil Walls Mechanisms Of Failure

 

Jorge Zornberg – Load-Carrying Geosynthetic Reinforced Bridge Abutments

 

Jorge Zornberg – Geosynthetics In Roads Built On Expansive Soils

 

GEOSYNTHETICS IN MINING – Friday 22nd February 2019 – Brisbane

Chungsik Yoo – Introduction To The International Geosynthetics Society

Timothy Stark – Geosynthetics In Heap Leaching And Tailings Dams

 

Jorge Zornberg – Geosynthetics in Mine Closures

Geotextile Burst Strength Extreme Performance

This video, courtesy of Karl Bester, is the demolition of a 14 story building in the inner city of Pretoria. The site has a higher education building on one side and a heritage church on the other. A NWNP geotextile was used extensively, both as shard capture at detonation points and to protect the university building but most impressively a short time before the blast a curtain of geotextile was raised by two mobile cranes to protect the adjacent church and its stained glass windows from damage. It took 3 seconds from first blast to total collapse into a mound of rubble – and the adjacent buildings suffered no damage. The blast curtain of geotextile retained rubble and spill, as evident at the toe of the curtain in particular. Watch the demolition.