IGS-NA Awarded 13th International Conference on Geosynthetics

The 13 ICG launch logo

Every four years, the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) convenes the International Conference on Geosynthetics (ICG). The ICG is a major technical and commercial exchange in the geotechnical engineering field, drawing leading practitioners, producers, and researchers from around the world. IGS North America is proud to announce that it has been chosen to organize and host the 13th International Conference on Geosynthetics (13 ICG) in Montreal.

The conference and exhibition will be held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal from 13 – 17 September 2026.

“This will be the first time the ICG will be delivered in Canada,” says IGS North America President John Allen, PE. “We are honored to have been selected by the IGS Council to organize the event in such a major center of research, manufacturing, and design.”

The bid was selected on April 7 by the voting members of the IGS Council, following virtual presentations by three competing IGS Chapters. The IGS has 44 international chapters and 4000 members. Their geotechnical insight and material innovations are utilized in every major sector of civil engineering and contribute to significant improvements in infrastructure service lives, environmental protection, and society in general.

“We chose the theme ‘Legacy, Evolution, and Revolution’ to reflect how scientific and engineering progress is achieved through clear understanding of where the field has been and what is required of it in the future,” says Dr. Ben Leshchinsky (Oregon State University), who will serve as co-chair of 13 ICG alongside Villanova University’s Dr. Kristin Sample-Lord, PE.

Leshchinsky will begin his term as IGS North America’s President in 2023.

“When we talk about future needs and how geosynthetics are involved, we’re talking about much more than new designs and solutions for roads or water resource management,” says Dr. Sample-Lord, the Vice President – University Outreach for IGS North America. “It’s also about how we train the next generation of engineers. It’s about diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s about how geotechnical practice improves society.”

The initial topics selected by the chapter to center the 13 ICG program are transportation infrastructure; climate change, natural disaster mitigation and response; and energy and mining. The bid was supported by endorsements from the ASCE Geo-Institute, leaders of ASTM Committee D35 on Geosynthetics, the GeoEngineering Centre at Queen’s-RMC, the Geosynthetic Institute, and other major organizations.

The chapter will begin assembling the event organizing committees and announcing further conference and exhibition details soon.

About IGS North America

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. The chapter hosts webinars and in-person events and its members serve as leaders in all geotechnical engineering sectors, such as waste management, sustainability, environmental protection, coastal resilience, and mining. Learn more at www.igs-na.org.

About the International Geosynthetics Society

The International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) is a learned society dedicated to the scientific and engineering development of geotextiles, geomembranes, related products, and associated technologies. IGS is a global community of 4,000 members including corporate, individual, and student members, with a shared passion for how geosynthetics can make a fundamental contribution to meeting societal challenges through sustainable technological and engineering solutions. Learn more at www.geosyntheticssociety.org.

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal

The Palais hosts over 350 events each year. As a major hub of activity in Montréal, it generates significant economic, social and cultural benefits for the tourism, business and research industries. The Palais is a trailblazer in the industry and works hand in hand with local strategic partners as well as young, highly innovative start-ups gathered under the name Events Lab. As a leader in sustainability and social practices, it was one of the first convention centers in the world to operate a carbon-neutral building. The Palais is widely known as a proud supporter of emerging talent, the arts and community-based initiatives and is an innovative and resolutely forward-looking partner. Visit https://congresmtl.com.

Our Chapter Involvement in Tailings and Mine Waste 2020

Tailings and Mine Waste 2020 went virtual this year and drew a huge crowd to all of the sessions.  The IGS-NA chapter is proud to be a supporting organization of this annual event that alternates between Keystone, Colorado, Banff, Alberta Canada and Vancouver, British Columbia Canada.  The Geosynthetics session was hosted by IGS-NA board members Kate Patterson and John Allen, who also serve on the conference organizing committee.  There were a 190 attendees in the geosynthetics session which featured papers by Anna Norris who is finishing her PhD at Colorado State University where she is investigating GCL permeability with tailings solutions and pregnant copper and gold solutions.  Pascal Saunier, PE shared his research on a new drainage geocomposite for dewatering tailings.  Dr. Mike Donovan presented his work on lighter and longer geosynthetic clay liners for use in mining applications.  While polymers are the backbone of the geosynthetics industry we continue to see new and innovative uses within all of these papers and the incorporation of new polymers. Dr. Raymond Guang shared his work on how to transfer the use of polyacrylamide polymers from dewatering tailings and apply it to dewatering of dredge materials.   On behalf of the moderators, organizing committee, and the IGS-North America we would like to thank all of our authors and speakers for contributing to a very successful Tailings and Mine Waste 2020.

Attend the IGS-NA Workshop at Geosynthetics Conference 2020: CASE STUDIES

This four-hour workshop is organized by the North American Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society. It includes a happy hour reception and is open to all conference attendees. Additional fee applies. For more information, visit geosyntheticsconference.com/igs-na-workshop.

Changing practice by changing education – IGS North America Educates the Educators

January 30, 2020

IGS North America successfully held their third Educate the Educators (EtE) event on December 9-10, 2019 at the University of California, San Diego.  Richard Brachman (Queen’s University), John McCartney (University of California, San Diego) and Ben Leshchinsky (Oregon State University) served as the Instructors.  After one-half-day on the fundamentals of geosynthetics, the remainder of the two-day event provided specialized technical training on environmental, transportation and reinforcing applications of geosynthetics.

The 2019 EtE class was comprised of 22 professors (19 from the USA, 3 from Canada) at the Assistant to Associate Professor rank who all want to teach geosynthetics in their courses.

They were the ideal target audience for EtE as one-third initially identified as geosynthetic novices while the rest had intermediate knowledge on geosynthetics.  This served as an excellent common starting point for lectures and discussions aimed at equipping our class with new knowledge and materials to teach geosynthetics.

EtE 2019 was made possible with the generous financial support of TenCate Geosynthetics, Cetco / Mineral Technologies, Solmax, Huesker and the International Geosynthetics Society.  Sponsor representatives John Lostumbo, Adam Maskal, and Lilma Schimmel were also part of the instructional team.  In addition to delivering high-quality technical case histories, their active, hands-on involvement in the geosynthetics identification workshop was a key part of the training we offered.

IGS North America believes education is essential to attain the appropriate and widespread use of geosynthetics as engineering materials.  Educate the Educators (EtE) was developed and offered in conjunction with the International Geosynthetics Society and industry partners to provide specialized, hands-on training and lecture materials to equip Professors to offer effective geosynthetics content at their own schools.  Special thanks are expressed to Jorge Zornberg (University of Texas at Austin) and Richard Bathurst (Royal Military College of Canada) for sharing their transportation and reinforcement notes with our class.

IGS-NA Mission

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.

About IGS-NA

IGS-NA (The North American Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society) is an organization in which individual and student members comprise the learned society whose mission is to support the development of geosynthetics technologies through education, communication and networking. Towards those goals we organize short courses on a variety of geosynthetic topics (typically 3–5 per year), organize or participate as co-organizers and sponsors of conferences such as the Biannual Geosynthetics Conferences put on in odd years with IFAI and GMA, various conferences with the Geosynthetics Research Institute, ASCE, and other local and regional organizations. In many instances, IGS-NA provides the technical arm to develop the technical portion of the conference sessions. Our members are eligilble to participate in all IGS-NA and IGS events and receive discounts in accordance with the individual guidelines of each conference and are typically substantial enough to compensate for the IGS-NA membership fee with just one event registration. Programs sponsored by IGS-NA at our events include Student Award program, Awards of Excellence and others, all of which provide public and financial recognition to the award recipients.