IGS-NA Newsletter Vol 2 Now Available!

The January/February 2018 IGS-NA Newsletter is now available!

Last year, IGS North America’s membership and leadership re-committed themselves to being a more active organization. This movement led to strong membership growth in 2017, a photo competition, and a high-level Educate the Educators (EtE) event in December in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Along the way, the chapter hosted successful webinars on hot topics such as electrical leak location technologies and how to properly interpret minimum average roll values for geosynthetic materials.

As 2018 opens, IGS-NA’s activity continues. We summarize here some of the chapter’s highlights and forthcoming opportunities, and we welcome your participation.

Kind regards,
Bruno Herlin, V.P. Communications, IGS-NA


IGS-NA Announce 2017 Photo Contest Winners

We proudly announced the winners of our first ever photo contest during the General Assembly held at Geotechnical Frontiers 2017. The photo contest was open to all members of IGS North America. Members were invited to submit photos demonstrating geosynthetics in action. Members submitted photos during the first quarter of 2017. Photos were evaluated on their clear demonstration of geosynthetic technology, esthetic quality of photos and clarity. A panel of judges scored these photos and winners were selected based on highest scores. All submitted photos will be used by IGS-NA to support educational efforts of the IGS-NA. Don’t forget to set you best geo-photos aside for next year’s contest!

Tough Cell being used on a Road Base with Sand Infill in a low CBR area. Location: Northern Alberta, Canada

High scale separation using Mirafi® S1000M Non-Woven Geotextiles for the construction of the New Mexico City International Airport to improve soil bearing capacity with imported bank materials over the area where the Texcoco Lake was in Estado de México, México.

Mirafi® Rsi Series for Soil Reinforcement. Sub grade stabilization facing unstable, saturated soft soils for the Villahermosa Freeway in Tabasco, Mexico.

Educate the Educators Participation Application

Educate The EducatorsEducate The Educators
A Geosynthetics Training Program for University Professors
4-5 December 2017, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Too many young engineers enter the field without state-of-the-art geotechnical knowledge because their formal schooling overlooks a key discipline in current geotechnical practice: GEOSYNTHETICS

Let the geosynthetics community provide you the resources to teach your students about geosynthetics!

We know that many undergraduate engineering programs lack geosynthetic instruction, often instructors may not have the resources, confidence or materials to effectively teach geosynthetics. In order to address this the IGS-NA offers Educate the Educators (EtE), a 2-day, funded program for university professors.

EtE provides specialized, hands-on training and lecture materials to equip attending professors with the tools they need to offer effective geosynthetics course work in their engineering programs. Attending professors receive instruction, course materials (including power point presentations, hand outs and sample binders) and have continued access to the instructors as they develop their own programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Building on the success of EtE Austin, held in 2015, IGS-NA is now offering a second EtE event, to be held in Kingston, Ontario in December of 2017. We are very excited to have four exceptional educators and pioneering researchers as the EtE lead instructors: R. Kerry Rowe (Queen’s University), Richard J. Bathurst (Royal Military College of Canada), Richard Brachman (Queen’s University) and Jorge Zornberg (University of Texas Austin).

Each successful applicant will need only to organize transportation to/from the course. The IGS and IGS-NA and their sponsors will provide food, lodging and course registration to all successful candidates.

Schedule Overview

  • 3 Dec. Travel into Kingston
  • 4 Dec. 8:00 am – 5:00 pm – Day 1 course
  • 4 Dec. Evening – Laboratory tour with demonstrations followed by hosted group dinner
  • 5 Dec.  8:00 am – 5:00 pm – Day 2 course
    * Attendees will be expected to stay to the course completion 
  • Departure on 5 or 6 of Dec. depending on availability


Applicants will be asked to upload their C.V., provide information about the courses they teach and write a short description identifying how they would hope to incorporate the information from EtE in their curriculum.

Interested participants can apply online.

Please send all questions to info@IGS-NA.org or call +1 561 463 5868

IGS-NA General Assembly Announcement at Geotechnical Frontiers 2017

IGS-NA General Assembly
March 14, 2017 | 6:00pm Eastern
Hyatt Regency Orlando

All members of the geosynthetics community are invited to the IGS-NA General Assembly meeting being held on Tuesday, March 14 at 6:00pm during Geotechnical Frontiers 2017 in Orlando, Florida. All are encouraged to attend the meeting and participate in the round-table discussion at the conclusion of the General Assembly.

IGS- NA General Assembly Agenda

1) Call to Order (Henderson)
2) Quorum (Peggs)
3) Agenda (Gupta)
  a) Request for new business from members
  b) Approval of agenda
4) President’s 2015-2017 Report (Henderson)
5) Treasurer’s 2015-2017 Report (McCartney)
  a) Statement and approval of accounts
  b) Approval of dues and other fees
6) Announcement of 2017-2019 Board of Directors (Henderson)
7) Introduction of 2017-2019 President (Henderson)
8) 2017-2019 President’s Address (Brachman)
9) Appreciations (Brachman)
10) Awards (Brachman)
  a) IGS-NA Photo Contest Results
  b) Other
11) New Business Stay Connected
12) Close General Assembly
13) Roundtable Discussion and Brainstorming Session (Brachman)


The Mission of IGS North America is to provide leadership in advancing geosynthetics education and research to attain their appropriate and widespread use as engineering materials as the Chapter of the International Geosynthetic Society (IGS) for the United States of America and Canada. IGS North America. Providing leadership in advancing geosynthetics education and research.

IGS-NA Opens First Ever Photo Contest!

igs-na-photocontest-samplepicIGS-NA is proud to announce the opening of its first ever Photo Contest to all members of IGS North America. The contest will be open from January 24 until Feb 20, 2017.

Take advantage of this great opportunity to demonstrate geosynthetics in action! All entries should include a photo title, description, and photo credit. First, second, and third place winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 14th during the General Assembly held at Geotechnical Frontiers 2017.

Photos should clearly display a geosynthetic type/function in use. Photos should provide a clear understanding of what geosynthetic type/function or event is being demonstrated. Contestants must be an IGS-NA member in good standing.

These photos will be used to promote the exemplary work of the geosynthetics community, raise awareness of the importance of your expertise, and add to the beneficial dialogue between professionals and the larger engineering community. Credit to the winning submissions will be given. Promote your work. Promote your field.


Thank you for your participation!

For questions about the IGS-NA Photo Contest please contact Becky Slaybaugh at info@igs-na.org.

IGS-NA 2017 Election Nominee Biographies

igs-na-voteballotboxThe IGS-NA 2017 Election will be held from 3 – 27 January 2017. Ballots will be cast electronically, each member in good standing will receive an electronic ballot to the email address on file with the IGS-NA. Each voting member may cast one vote each forPresident Elect and Treasurer. There are 3 open Vice Presidential seats on the board. Each IGS-NA Member in good standing may cast up to 3 votes for theVice-Presidential seats, the order of selection of up to 3 candidates does not affect the weight of the vote – each vote shall count as one point for the candidate. The 3 candidates with the highest number of votes will be the successful candidates.


If you have any questions about the voting process or any technical issues with the voting system you may contact:
BeckySlaybaugh | 561.768.9487 | info@igs-na.org

If you have any questions about the nominations please contact Immediate Past President, Robert (Bob) Mackey | bmackey@s2li.com.

Call for Nominations – IGS North America Board of Directors

igs-na-voteballotboxAs 2016 draws to a close it’s time to start thinking about 2017 and the election of Members to serve on the next IGS North America Board. The Mission of IGS-NA is to provide leadership in advancing geosynthetics education and research to attain their appropriate and widespread use as engineering materials as the Chapter of the International Geosynthetic Society (IGS) for the United States of America and Canada.

2017 will be an exciting year with IGS-NA. If you are interested in helping to develop the programming, services and leadership offered by IGS-NA, I encourage you to consider standing for office.

Seats open for the upcoming election are:

  • 1 Seat – President Elect, Each new President-Elect shall serve one 2-year-term of office in that capacity following which he/she shall serve one 2-year-term as President, followed by one 2-year-term as Past-President. As President-Elect, the successful candidate will be responsible for assisting the President and performing assignments directed by the President and/or Board.
  • 1 Seat – Treasurer, The Treasurer will serve a 2-year-term. The Treasurer is responsible for managing the finances of IGS-NA.
  • 3 Seats – Vice-President, Vice-Presidents will serve a 4 year term. Vice-Presidents are responsible for representing Members of IGS-NA and performing assignments directed by the President and/or Board.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • 04–18 November 2016 – Call for Nominations
  • 01 December 2016 – Nominations Committee sends a slate of nominees to the Board for approval.
  • By the end of December 2016 – The Ballot is developed and made ready for distribution to the membership.
  • 01–27 January 2017 – Voting period on Candidates to be Board Officers and Board members.
  • 01 February 2017 – Successful Candidates notified and announcement made.
  • 12–15 March 2017 – Newly elected Board Members will take office at the next General Assembly of the IGS-NA to be held in Orlando Florida during Geotechnical Frontiers 2017.

To nominate someone or yourself please email the requested information to Info@IGS-NA.org. Please include your: name, title, company/institution/organization name, address, email address & phone number as well as a 150 word description about your involvement in the geosynthetics industry and your reason(s) for running for the seat.

If you have any questions or need more information please contact the Chairman of the IGS-NA Nomination Committee and Past-President Bob Mackey (bmackey@s2li.com).

John HendersonKind regards,
John Henderson
President – IGS North America

Segmental Retaining Wall Best Practices Webinar Registration Open

nags-webinar-img-102616The IGS North America (IGS-NA) and the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) are co-hosting an October 26 webinar. The topic: Segmental Retaining Wall Best Practices. The session will be held from 1:00 – 2:30 pm (EDT) and is worth 1.5 PDHs.

scott-vollmerScott Vollmer, P.E. (Oldcastle) will serve as the instructor. He brings an extensive background in retaining walls and geosynthetics, and he also is an educational leader, having regularly taught NCMA’s Level 1 SRW Contractor Certification Course.


The 90-minute presentation is based on NCMA’s recently released Segmental Retaining Wall Best Practices Guide. The webinar presentation will explore best practices for design, specification, construction, and inspection for segmental retaining walls. The work in the guide and which will be presented by Vollmer is based on over 20 years of industry experience.

The takeaways for webinar participants include:

  • An understanding of the new recommendations for SRW Design and Construction
  • Familiarity with new SRW detailing options
  • Improved knowledge of material specifications for commercial SRW projects
  • Enhanced understanding of key SRW construction practices

IGS-NA, IGS, and NCMA members qualify for reduced registration fee: USD $50. The cost to non-members is USD $75.

Learn more and register at the IGS-NA website:


Want to get a jump on the webinar? Download a copy of NCMA’s Segmental Retaining Wall Best Practices Guide (PDF) now and get prepared for the webinar discussion.

Of the publication, NCMA writes:
This Guide ‡reflects a compendium of contemporaryŽ‡…•ƒ…‘’‡†‹‘ˆ…‘‡’‘ƒ› knowledge collected over several †decades that highlight proven solutions using segmental retaining walls (SRWs). The information and recommendations presented in this Guide are intended to augment the design practices and recommendations contained within NCMA’s Design Manual for Segmental Retaining Walls, but are equally applicable regardless of the design methodology selected. The creation of this resource was driven by the establishment of NCMA’s Zero Failures Initiative–an industry-wide program to educate owners, designers, site civil engineers, geotechnical engineers, and installers of SRW systems on the industry’s recommended practices and to promote a philosophy that strives for ensuring successful wall performance.

Learn more about NCMA at www.ncma.org.

Learn more about IGS North America.

NAGS/GMA Co-Sponsored Waste Containment System Design Seminar

The North American Geosynthetics Society and the Geosynthetic Materials Association co-sponsored a day and half seminar in Syracuse, NY on the design of waste containment systems on March 22 and 23rd. Over 100 attendees with representatives from the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, the New Jersey State Dept. of Environmental Protection, the Maryland State Dept. of the Environment, and US EPA’s Region 2 Headquarters, graduate students and their professor from Syracuse University, several landfill owners and operators, design consultants, contractors, and manufacturers/suppliers of various geosynthetic materials also participated.

Welcome Attendees

Left, Dave Suits, NAGS Executive Director, & Right, Jonathan Curry, GMA Division Director, Welcoming Attendees

Dr. Richard Brachman, Queen’s University, and president-elect of NAGS, was the lead lecturer. Robert Phaneuf, NYS DEC’s Division of Materials Management, presented overviews of the proposed revisions to New York State’s solid waste regulations, 6 NYCRR Part 360, as they relate to landfill liner and final cover systems. Mr. Phaneuf also provided a brief introduction of the points of interest from a New York State regulatory perspective for each of Dr. Brachman’s design topic lectures. Abigail Beck, TRI Environmental, provided information on electrical leak detection with a video demonstration of the test, and guidance in designing an electrical leak detection program. The program concluded with a panel representing three consultant firms presenting “Take Home Points” from the design consultant perspective. The panel members included Cory McDowell, representing Baron and Loguidice, D.P.C, Bradford Smith, representing GHD Consulting Services, Inc., and Mark Swyka, representing Cornerstone Environmental Group.


L-R, Robert Phaneuf, Abigail Beck, Richard Brachman, Cory McDowell, Mark Swyka, Brad Smith

Providing sponsorships from the Geosynthetic Materials Association membership were GSE, Inc., Agru Americas, Titan, and Terrifix. Sponsorship included the opportunity for table top displays¸ along with a fifteen-minute time slot during meals to speak about projects that their companies had been involved with. Upon adjourning the seminar, Mr. Phaneuf expressed appreciation on behalf of the Division of Materials Management to the seminar sponsors (NAGS and GMA) for bringing this training opportunity to a New York State location and providing a venue where both regulators and design engineers have an opportunity learn together at a very reasonable cost.


Syracuse University Students w/Dr. Shobha Bhatia on the right next to the sign

Comments across the board from participants, whether from the youngest in regards to experience, or from the seasoned practitioner were that the seminar was timely and well worth the day and half. See the comment from the graduate students below.

“We found the technical seminar both comprehensive and enjoyable. As graduate students, it was stimulating as well as valuable to not only learn about the proper selection, design and construction of geosynthetic materials being used in today’s landfill liner and final cover systems but also be cognizant of the many reasons for failures encountered in real projects. The opportunity enabled us to widen our knowledge of the fundamentals when it comes to landfill engineering, design, and construction—while complementing that knowledge with the technological tools, techniques, and advances available to us today, as well as get the unique opportunity to understand the many regulatory concerns associated with each area of discussion.”

A comment from one of the regulators in attendance: “Simply the best professional technical training opportunity that I have had while being at the DEC”.


Meal and Networking Time

Sales Workshop at GeoAmericas 2016

Instructor: GARY ROSS
Oldcastle APG
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 – 10:15 am – 1:15pm
“Smart Prospecting, Simplified”

When planning your staff travel, please consider which members would benefit from this complimentary, 3-hour sales workshop held immediately after the close of the exhibition.

GeoAmericas 2016 is proud to present a bonus session for exhibitors! Attend a 3-hour sales workshop led by Gary Ross, to be held immediately after the close of the exhibit hall.

ross-gary_Head137x168Gary Ross is the Director of Sales Training & Coaching and is a Motivational Speaker for Oldcastle APG. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resource Management from Palm Beach Atlantic University, and earned his certificate in Supervisory Development from the University of Notre Dame.

Prior to his role as Director of Sales Training & Coaching, Gary was the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Coastal, an Oldcastle Company based in Florida. He has over 38 years of sales experience including 13 years in Sales Management.

Gary resides in West Palm Beach, Florida with his wife, Daryl.

The Sales Workshop – “Smart Prospecting, Simplified” will focus on:

  1. Developing a better message to get your prospect to call you back and schedule an appointment
  2. The importance of being relentless in your follow up
  3. The idea to Probe more, pitch less
  4. The value of making one more sales call and who you should target

Full information on GeoAmericas 2016, including registration, venue, and social/networking opportunities can be found at www.GeoAmericas2016.org.


Full information on GeoAmericas 2016, including registration, venue, and social/networking opportunities can be found at www.GeoAmericas2016.org.