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.