Survey results 2015 and 2017 EtE: Educate the Educators

A Geosynthetics Training Program for University Professors

November 5, 2018


IGS North America (IGS-NA) 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.


IGS North America has completed two very successful events: EtE 2015, held in Austin, and EtE 2017, held in Kingston.  Surveys were conducted during the summer of 2018 to assess the effectiveness of our EtE offerings.  A summary of key findings are presented here.


The 2015 & 2017 classes were similar in that prior to EtE:

  • 30-35% had no geosynthetics content in their programs, while
  • 65-70% offered some.


In terms of our First Goal of getting geosynthetics in university programs, of those with no geosynthetics in their courses:

  • 88% of EtE 2015 added new geosynthetics content, and
  • 38% of EtE 2015 still intend to add new geosynthetics content.


Recognizing that it takes time to implement new educational material, it is remarkable that:

  • 31% of EtE 2017 have already added content (2018 Winter & Spring terms), while
  • 75% of EtE 2017 are adding content this academic year (2018-19)!


With respect to our Second Goal of improving the effectiveness of geosynthetics education, of those respondents with some geosynthetics content in their courses:

  • 67% of EtE 2015 enhanced existing content
  • 83% of EtE 2015 added new content
  • 70% of EtE 2017 will add new content
  • 56% of EtE 2015, and 52% of EtE 2017 have greater confidence teaching geosynthetics.


Interaction with industry professionals is important and effective.  Specifically,

  • 80% of EtE 2017 benefitted from case histories offered by industry professionals, and
  • 73% of EtE 2017 benefitted from industry involvement in with sample identification.


2017 class: 35 Participants; 26 Respondents; 2015 class: 40 Participants; 20 Respondents


EtE 2017 Sponsors: Cetco, Propex, Solmax, TenCate, Agru, Huesker, and Thrace Linq.

EtE 2015 Sponsors: GMA, Geosynthetics Insitute, TenCate, ECTC, Presto Geosystems, GSE, Huesker, Thrace Linq and TRI Environmental.


Questions, comments or suggestions can be sent to:

Richard Brachman, President, IGS North America,