IGS North America’s
Educate the Educators, EtE 2019
A Geosynthetics Training Program for University Professors
University of California San Diego, La Jolla CA USA
December 9-10, 2019
Download the EtE 2019 PDF for more info!
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What is EtE 2019?

Modern civil engineering graduates need fundamental education on geosynthetic materials. Many schools do not teach geosynthetics because their instructors may not have the technical background, confidence or materials to effectively teach geosynthetics. Educate the Educators (EtE) is designed to provide specialized, hands-on training and lecture materials to equip Professors to offer effective geosynthetics content at their own schools. Our fundamental goal is to enable interested professors with the knowledge and materials to deliver at least one 50 minute lecture period on geosynthetic functions, types, and applications. For ease of implementation in engineering programs that already are packed full of content, we suggest the lecture period be incorporated into student’s first courses on civil engineering materials or geotechnical engineering. During EtE we provide much deeper training to increase confidence in providing that one lecture period along with more lecture material that can be used in senior level and graduate courses.

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

The program will run the two full days of Monday December 9 and Tuesday December 10, 2019 at UC San Diego in La Jolla California. Applications should plan on arriving on Sunday December 8 and departing on Wednesday December 11.

Educate the Educators uses geosynthetic experts to train professors. We provide high-quality, modern slides and notes that communicate the state-of-knowledge & -practice. Photos from industry make the slides more engaging and relevant for students. We assemble and provide generically labelled geosynthetic samples for hands-on-learning and have developed a geosynthetics identification workshop for professors to use with their students. We provide suggestions and facilitate discussions with professors on how to implement in their courses. Participants will enhance their knowledge through hand-on- interactions with leading industry professionals.


Apply by September 16, 2019


If you have any questions please contact Richard.Brachman@QueensU.ca or call 613-533-3096.


*subject to change

Monday, December 9 Tuesday, December 10
Opening: Welcome, introductions and philosophy Topic 6: Introductory class on geosynthetics for environmental protection
Topic 1: Introductory class on types and functions of geosynthetics Discussions
Discussion Case History 3
Workshop: Recognizing geosynthetic materials Case History 4
Topic 2: Fundamental properties Topic 7: Calculating and minimizing leakage through composite geosynthetic liners
Discussion Case History 5
LUNCH Case History 5
Topic 3: Introductory class on geosynthetics in roadway systems LUNCH
Discussion Topic 8: Factors affecting the service life of geosynthetic liners
Topic 4: Geosynthetics for stabilization of road subgrades Discussion
Topic 5: Geosynthetics for stabilization of road bases Topic 9: Introductory class on geosynthetics for soil reinforcement
Discussion Discussion
Case History 1 Topic 10: Advanced topics on geosynthetic reinforced soil walls
Case History 2 Topic 11: Geosynthetic reinforced slopes and embankments
Discussion Discussion
Introductory material suitable for undergraduate class
Advanced material suitable for senior undergraduate technical elective or graduate class
Discussion / small group activities
Interaction with industry professionals


The training at EtE 2019 will be lead by three prominent geosynthetic experts and leading educators.

Richard Brachman

Richard is a Professor at Queen’s University, Canada. ‘Buried but not forgotten’ captures his unique expertise on measuring the physical response of geosynthetic liners and buried polymer structures using innovative large-scale experiments, field studies and numerical analysis. He has made significant contributions on the assessment of service life and long-term strains in geomembranes, as well as geosynthetic clay liner hydration and dimensional stability and the field performance of exposed composite liners. He has received fourteen Best Paper Awards for works published in the Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, and Geosynthetics International, in addition the IGS Award from the International Geosynthetics Society. He is Past-President of IGS North America.

Richard Brachman

John S. McCartney

John S. McCartney is a Professor in the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California San Diego. His research interests include unsaturated soil mechanics, geosynthetics engineering, and energy geotechnics. He has received several research awards, including the Walter L. Huber Research Prize from ASCE in 2016, the Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award from ASCE in 2013, the J. James R. Croes medal from ASCE in 2012, the DFI Young Professor Award in 2012, the NSF Faculty Early Development (CAREER) Award in 2011, and the IGS and Young IGS Awards from the International Geosynthetics Society in 2018 and 2008, respectively. He is currently the President of the IGS-North America. He received BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2002 and a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007.

John S. McCartney

Ben Leshchinsky

Ben is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering and the College of Forestry. His research interests include slope stability, soil reinforcement, and applications of lidar to geotechnics. Ben’s work in geosynthetics has primarily focused on use of geocells in transportation applications, use of reinforced soil for bridge support, and applications of the limit equilibrium method towards internal and external stability of reinforced slopes and walls, some of which has been adopted into AASHTO code. Ben serves on four editorial boards, including Geotextiles and Geomembranes, Geosynthetics International, ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, and Landslides. He is the recipient of two best paper awards in Geotextiles and Geomembranes. He has also received the IGS Young Researcher Award from the International Geosynthetics Society. He is currently Vice President and Secretary of IGS North America. He received his BS from the University of Delaware in 2007, and his MS and PhD from Columbia University in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

Ben Leshchinsky