GeoMontreal 2013 – Conference Report by Richard Bathurst

GeoMontreal - Dr. Richard Bathurst & Dr. Michael Heibaum GeoMontreal was held 29 September to 3 October 2013 in beautiful downtown Montreal. The conference was a joint conference of the Canadian Geotechnical Society, the North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS) and the Canadian Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists.

The conference attracted over 875 delegates and 57 exhibitors. A total of 348 oral presentations were given in 7 parallel sessions over three days. Another 30 papers were delivered in a poster session. The technical program was very broad as a result of the three-society partnership.

Dr. Michael Heibaum gave the Mercer Lecture at the morning Plenary Session on the second day of the conference. His talk was titled “Geosynthetics for Waterways and Flood Protection Structures – Controlling the Interaction of Water and Soil”. There were four geosynthetics sessions: Wall Reinforcement; Landfills and Mining Operations; Environmental and Transportation, and Drainage and Filtration – for a total of 27 papers.

One of the social highlights of the conferences was “Colour Night” which was a heavenly experience as can be seen in the photograph.

Shown on the left is Dr. Michael Heibaum the Mercer Lecturer and joining him is Dr. Richard Bathurst, a past Mercer Lecturer and past-President of NAGS and IGS, and currently President of the Canadian Geotechnical Society.

2013 NAGS Biennial Meeting Report – by David Suits

NAGS hosted its 2013 Biennial General Meeting during the Geosynthetics 2013 Conference in Long Beach, CA.  The meeting report can be downloaded using the link below.  Meeting highlights included the transition to the newly elected Board Members and an excellent presentation by Robert (Bob) Mackey as the new President of the chapter.  Bob, with the help of other NAGS Officers, outlined goals and helped to define the path forward for his term.  There were a number of great comments from the audience which consisted of a number of NAGS Members.

Download: 2013 NAGS Biennial Meeting Report by DSuits – EP 20130426

North American Geosynthetics Society 2012 Year-end Report

The year 2012 has been an active year for NAGS. We have co-hosted, with GMA, a series of regional short courses. We anticipate at least four of these sessions to be held during 2013.  

We have participated both with financial support, and attendance at, the Lobby Days organized through GMA and its lobbyists. There have been very positive results from that activity with a congressional mandated report by the Government Accounting Office was released in November on the benefits of using geosynthetics, as well as language in the transportation bill encouraging the use of innovative materials such as geosynthetics in the design and construction of transportation facilities. A copy of the report is available HERE

We worked with IFAI and GMA in conjunction with the Geosynthetics 2013 Conference to be held in Long Beach, CA. April 1-4, 2013. The conference is co-located with the FHWA Southwest Geotechnical Engineers, and the GRI 25 Conferences. We have agreed on the arrangements to participate in the Canadian Geotechnical Society Annual Conference to be held in Montreal in late September 2013.

In conjunction with the Geosynthetics 2013 NAGS will hold its biennial meeting where the new Board of Directors, including the new President, President-elect, and Board members will be introduced.

One of the Board of Directors’ initiatives for 2013 is recruitment of new members

While we have over 200 members now, growth in membership will allow us to pursue other activities that promote the use geosynthetics. In that regard we would like to ask your help. We encourage each member to recruit at least one new member. As an incentive to do this we are offering, compliments of IFAI/GMA, a one year subscription to “Geosynthetics” for any US or Canadian  member renewing for 2013 who recruits at least one new member.

A new website that incorporates many new features, including the ability to share news of members and the industry, a calendar of upcoming events, links to various other sites including the IGS site and a LinkedIn Group, pictures, and more, will be available during the first quarter of 2013. Watch for the announcement.  

Should there be any questions regarding anything about NAGS, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We are looking forward to another successful year in 2013, and it will be with your support that this will be possible.

L. David Suits, Executive Director