IGS North America 2019 Photo Contest Is Now Open

The IGS North America 2019 Photo Contest is open to all members of IGS North America. The contest will be open 1 October – 15 December 2018. First, second, and third place winners will be announced in February during the IGS North America General Assembly held at Geosynthetics 2019 in Houston, Texas.

Click on the pictures below to view the 2017 winners.

Take advantage of this great opportunity to demonstrate geosynthetics in action!  All entries should include a photo title, description, and photo credit.

  • 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

Contest 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.

Submit photos here.  Thank you for your participation in the 2019 Photo Contest!

If you have questions about the IGS-NA Photo Contest, please contact info@igs-na.org.


Not a member? Join now, gain access to valuable engineering resources (such as the official journals of the International Geosynthetics Society), and share your work through the photo contest! 

In Memoriam: André Rollin – Geosynthetic Pioneer

This past summer the geosynthetic community lost a great Geosynthetic Pioneer. André Rollin was always willing to help and promote communication between various parties in our industry from the Academic side to the Geosynthetic Contractor. News of his passing away was felt worldwide in our community. The sad news of losing André left a hole in our hearts, he will be missed and remembered at both International and Regional Conferences that he attended annually worldwide.


André Rollin was one of the few genuine pioneers of the geosynthetic discipline. Even in 1977 he was attending the 1st International Conference on Geosynthetics in Paris (France), he has worked to the end on this topic.

From 1966 to 1997, he was Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (Canada), in charge of a research team about geosynthetics. Afterwards, he was consultant, expert in geosynthetics applications in the environmental and mining fields, for the consulting firm Solmers-Genivar.

He is the author of more than 170 scientific papers and co-editor of two books on geomembranes, « Géomembranes, Identification and Performance Testing » (Chapman and Hall,1991) et « Géomembranes, Guide de Choix » (Presses Internationales Polytechnique,2002). He received several awards, among these, excellence de la North American Geosynthetics Society in 1991. He was the President of the Canadian Institute of Engineers between 1998 and 2000.

Convinced of the importance of the cooperation between academic and industrial institutions, he managed more than one hundred contracts of Research and Development on geosynthetics. He was the leader of many Training courses for professionals in Ecole Polytechnique ,McGill in Montreal ,University of Sherbrooke, Royal Military College in Kingston, University of Syracuse, Wisconsin, but also in South America, Brazil, Ecuador, and in Europe, University of Grenoble, Lyon Mulhouse in France , Liège in Belgium.

He took a very active part in the standardization process for tests on geosynthetics. He was President of the RILEM CommitteeTC103 about geomembranes, he was member of the Committee ISO-TC38 SC21 from the beginning, the first President of the ISO-TC221 on geosynthetics, and secretary of the Committee ASTM D35. He was also vice-President of the North American Geosynthetics Society.

His training as chemical engineer, his open-mindedness to the interdisciplinarity, his passion he’s passed to, his great and sparkling intellect made decisive his contribution to the development of the geosynthetic discipline. One will retain specifically his original morphometric approach, using picture analysis, for geotextile filters and his chimio-physico-mechanical study of geomembranes.

In his private life, he was very attached to his stone house of the Perrot island, in front of the Montreal city, where friends and work colleagues often met merrily. On the other hand, he was an outstanding collector of stamps, watches, jewels, and President of the Circle of Quebec Collectors.

André you will truly be missed by us all.

Biographical Note IGS France Chapter Leader & long-time colleague and friend of André,
Jean-Pierre Gourc | jean-pierre.gourc@ujf-grenoble.fr
University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble

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 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.

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.

GeoAmericas 2016 Extends Early Registration to January 29

geoamericas2016_logo_withtag_lg_4cHUESKER_Canal3_Mining2_550wWe open the week with an unexpected gift: The early registration discount for GeoAmericas 2016 has been extended to January 29. The conference, which is the 3rd Pan-American Conference on Geosynthetics, will be held 10 – 13 April 2016 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami.


Highlights for the event include:

  • 13 short courses
  • 49 technical sessions, each of which averages 6 papers per 90-minute session
  • Special sessions on mining, transportation engineering, coastal protection, installation, construction quality assurance, world case studies, soil reinforcement, barrier systems, and much more
  • Young Professionals Program
  • Keynote lectures from Dr. Robert Koerner, P.E. (Geosynthetic Institute); Dale Morris, Senior Economic Advisor at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC, and Nathalie Olijslager-Jaarsma, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Miami); and Mercer Lecturer Dr. Jorge Zornberg, P.E. (Immediate Past President, IGS).

Additionally, the conference will feature a large range of meetings from essential organizations in the geotechnical engineering field. They include the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) Council, the Geosynthetic Institute (GSI), the International Association of Geosynthetic Installers (IAGI), the Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI), the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA), the Erosion Control Technology Council (ECTC), the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) Ibero-American Chapter, and the Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies (FedIGS).


All activities for GeoAmericas 2016 will take place on Miami’s historic South Beach at the five-star Loews Miami Beach Hotel. The 790-room venue is just 20 minutes from Miami International Airport and 35 minutes from Fort Lauderdale International Airport. The Loews offers direct beach access and concierge service in multiple languages.

More than 60% of the room block has been reserved. Organizers encourage all bookings to take place online. The BOOK TODAY link on the GeoAmericas 2016 venue page should be used in order to get the special conference rate.


A few sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available. For questions regarding sponsorship and advertising opportunities with GeoAmericas 2016 or its publishing partner (Geosynthetica), contact André Lacerda, andre@geosynthetica.net, +1 561 570 1061.


Visit www.geoamericas2016.org for the latest conference information.