Skip to content

10 Questions With… Eric Blond

Recently elected as a Council member in the IGS elections Eric Blond has been involved with the Society for more than two decades. Here, the chairman of the IGS Technical Committee on Hydraulics (TC-H) and Secretary of IGS North America, shares his journey, reveals upcoming TC-H events and explains why now is an important time to get more involved with your industry.

Please tell us a bit about your time in the IGS.

I joined the IGS in 2000 as it was the best way for me to be part of a global network of professionals interested in geosynthetics. I was already involved in other industry associations such as the Canadian Geotechnical Society, and standardization committees such as ASTM D35 and ISO TC221. In 2010, somebody suggested I apply to be a member of the IGS Council. I was elected twice, in 2010 and 2014. I liked the experience so much that I decided to run again this year, and was elected again.

The IGS Technical Committees were also created in 2010, under the leadership of Jorge Zornberg, and I was secretary of what was, at the time, the Technical Committee on Filtration, which later became the TC-H.

I was also Chairman of the Corporate Committee between 2012 and 2014.

I have interacted a lot with the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) on behalf of the IGS, since the early 2010s. I signed the Memorandum of Understanding between ICID and IGS on behalf of Prof. Zornberg, while at the ICID Conference in Tehran in 2012, and coordinated and/or contributed to IGS-sponsored workshops at the 2017, 2018 and 2019 ICID conferences. IGS President Chungsik Yoo eventually appointed me as IGS Liaison to ICID.

More recently I accepted the position of secretary of IGS North America.

For the second half of 2021, I worked hard with some of the Canadian industry, with the Canadian Geotechnical Society, and eventually IGS North America to put forward a proposition to host the 13th ICG Conference in Montreal in 2026, which I’m pleased to say was successful.

You are chairman of the TC-H. Please share a bit about the committee, its key aims and purpose and what you’re proud of.

I consider the technical committees (TC) to be a cornerstone of the IGS. The TCs are the place where we produce documents, activities and lectures which give some ‘texture’ to the society, in a coordinated, consensual way. Consensus is not always easy to achieve but this is what makes the challenge interesting. The production of the TCs, for example, lectures, seminars/webinars, publications, is what will eventually allow us as an industry to reach a broader audience, so we must speak the language of our customer base.

I also consider the TC-H one of the most important technical committees of the IGS, because firstly it covers geosynthetics applications which are in relation to water management – water being a growing concern in many parts of the world, and secondly it is one of the functions where geosynthetics offer the biggest reduction of carbon footprint among all geosynthetics because of the size of the market and impact on the reduction of natural materials consumption.

Products and applications covered by the TC-H address water scarcity and carbon footprint, which are the two most important concerns mankind is facing in the 21st century.

When I took the position of chairman of the TC-H in 2020, I considered all the potential applications of geosynthetics which are covered by the TC-H to structure the committee accordingly. I decided to share the leadership position with other specialists:

  • David Shercliff, ABG, UK: to focus on civil and transportation infrastructures.
  • Véronique Heili, CEREMA, France: for applications in surface erosion control and shore protection.
  • Kelvin Legge, South Africa: specializing in hydraulic structures such as canals and dams.
  • Piergiorgio Recalcati, Tenax, Italy: environmental applications such as landfills and mining.
  • Sam Allen, TRI, USA: filtration and industrial applications.

Despite difficulties associated with the pandemic, we were still able to organize a few activities of high interest: on climate change at the Geosynthetics ‘21 conference in the USA, on environmental applications at the Sardinia Conference in Italy, on canal lining through a very successful webinar in Egypt, and we are now working on similar activities in Asia and Australia. Stay tuned!

You recently led a very successful TC-H virtual canals webinar. Why are events like this important to you? And are there any more planned?

This webinar was a success because of the contribution of fantastic speakers, but also because of the collaboration with a sister society – the ICID – and the support from the Egyptian authorities. I like to say that the canal restoration project in Egypt is of a Pharaonic dimension with more than 10,000km of canals being refurbished. Successfully influencing the practice in Egypt is a small contribution to the reduction of water scarcity in a populated country. It is helping people live better, with lower construction costs. It goes way beyond professional practice.

The TC-H is indeed working on the preparation of other activities, on canal lining as well as on other topics. Some will be in-person and some will be virtual. These include:

  • A full day on geosynthetics used in canal lining and erosion control at the next ICID conference in Adelaide, Australia, in October, this year.
  • Special sessions at GeoAsia in October 2022, and GeoAfrica in February 2023.
How has the IGS evolved since you joined?

It has evolved quite a lot!

First, with the creation of dedicated committees in 2010 – an excellent initiative, which ensures that continuous work can be done and coordinated globally.

Second, the growth of Chapters. The IGS used to be mostly in developed countries of Europe, Asia and the Americas. There are now chapters in many more countries, and in particular in countries where our technologies will have the biggest impact on the society, far beyond economics. Our influence depends on where we are and what we have to offer. The IGS clearly has a plan for being present everywhere and for producing educational documents and activities.

What do you do outside the IGS/who do you work for? Do you have a geosynthetics specialism or area of interest?

I am an independent consultant, offering technical services on geosynthetics and similar polymeric construction materials used in the building industry (roofing, dampproofing, air and vapor barriers). I am a geotechnical engineer, passionate about geotextile filtration, drainage, and lining / waterproofing. I have managed a research laboratory specializing in geosynthetics and polymeric construction materials until 2018, where I was also introduced to the durability of polymers. I work with regulators to develop evaluation frameworks for innovative products, with manufacturers to develop products and design guidance, with engineers for atypical applications of geosynthetics, and I also do forensic investigations.

How has the industry changed and how do you see it developing?

The geosynthetic industry is growing at a very good pace, but it remains relatively small overall, compared to competing technologies. I think we have room for much more growth. Until geosynthetics are taught in universities as much as concrete and steel, we cannot estimate the size of our footprint when the industry will be fully mature. The IGS is contributing to developing educational tools and to educating educators, but there is still a lot to do until we are seen as part of the portfolio of solutions an engineer is trained to use in their practice.

One major change that has taken place in the last few years is the merger of geosynthetic manufacturers who were already leaders in their respective markets. We now have one ‘super geosynthetic manufacturer’ Solmax with a footprint on all continents and a business volume several folds larger than the next company in size, to what I know. This will bring a whole new dimension on the way to do business in our industry, focusing more on the benefits of the technology, and less on smaller concerns, e.g. competition between manufacturers. At the end it should grow the industry overall and we will all benefit from it.

I wish I had a crystal ball telling me what the industry will be like in five years, but the appearance of manufacturer(s) with business volume(s) comparable to the ones of the technologies we are trying to replace is certainly a game changer.

What do you think are the challenges and opportunities for the industry over the next few years?

In the short term, the uncertainty on the cost of raw materials is probably the biggest challenge, as it brings financial uncertainty for manufacturers. Global warming and water scarcity, along with population growth are the world’s biggest challenge in the decades to come.

The world has no choice but to be more efficient in selecting the most effective technologies to deliver services which are necessary to maintain access to potable water, quality and quantity of food, resilient and sustainable infrastructures, to name a few of the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations. Geosynthetics do have a role to play.

What do you enjoy the most about being involved in the IGS?

I enjoy communicating with peers. My work and the IGS gives me the opportunity to develop true friendships all around the world. These are based on a common vision of how we can change the world, at our level. One conference, one webinar or one publication at a time, supporting a vision that goes beyond engineering.

What are you most looking forward to in the IGS calendar?

Any activity where I will be able to shake hands with my friends!

Do you have any messages for members?

Geosynthetics were first seen as a crazy innovation – imagine that somebody sold a geotextile as a replacement for 300mm of sand, or, even more crazy, a 2mm thick plastic film to replace one meter of clay. This must have been a fantastic sales pitch. But soon geosynthetics developed to eventually enter regulations in some countries. Some of them even became standard solutions quite fast, such as geomembranes – nobody would nowadays consider lining a landfill without using multiple layers of geosynthetics.

During all that time, the growth of the geosynthetic industry was globally between five and 10% per year, or even more – and it was much more than the growth of the construction industry – a sign that we are gaining market share, year after year.

This is where we are now. The future will still require cost-effective solutions, but it will also consider sustainability, climate change, water scarcity and management of extreme weather events. These are global problems for which geosynthetic solutions are almost always better than alternate solutions. I think the future will see annual growth at least equal or exceeding the ones we have seen in the past.

So I can only say to members: contribute to the development of your industry, and be prepared to benefit from it because it will only grow.

Yoshihisa Miyata


Dr. Yoshihisa Miyata is a Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, National Defense Academy of Japan. He received his doctoral degree from Kyushu University in 1999. Dr. Miyata specializes in soil reinforcement technology and physical and numerical modeling of geostructures. He has authored or co-authored more than 260 papers in referred journals and conference proceedings and more than 130 technical articles. 

Dr. Miyata is the vice chair of the Japan chapter of IGS. He is also vice-chair of the Technical Committee on Soil Reinforcement in IGS and a board member of Geosynthetics International. As an organizing or scientific committee member, he has contributed to the success of international and regional geotechnical engineering and geosynthetics conferences. Dr. Miyata has received many awards and accolades, including the IGS award twice (2010 and 2023) and the Best Paper awards of ICE Geotechnical Engineering. (2017), Geosynthetic International (2015), Soils and Foundations (2013), Canadian Geotechnical Journal (2008) etc. He gave the 1st Bathurst lecture during the 12th ICG held at Roma in 2023. Dr. Miyata has much experience in geosynthetics. He has strong potential to contribute to the development of IGS.

Please see his detailed information:

Huabei Liu


Dr. Huabei Liu is an engineering professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) with 25 years of experience in geosynthetic applications. Prior to joining HUST, he was granted tenure as an associate professor at the City University of New York in Dec. 2013. His research focuses on the long-term and dynamic responses of GRS structures, which has been materialized as more than 80 refereed journal papers, and has promoted the applications of GRS structures in earthquake-active areas and advanced the use of locally-available fill materials for GRS applications.

Dr. Liu has been an active member of IGS since 2009. Currently he is an IGS Council Member, the Secretary for the Chinese Chapter, an executive board member of China Technological Association of Geosynthetics, and a member of ISSMGE TC 218 “Reinforced fill materials”. He also serves on the editorial boards of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Computers and Geotechnics, Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, and Transportation Infrastructure Geotechnology.

Dr. Liu is looking forward to better serving the community. He is particularly interested in educating younger generations on geosynthetics, and promoting GRS applications in extreme environments.

G L Sivakumar Babu


G L Sivakumar Babu is an active researcher and academic in geosynthetics and contributed significantly. He is the President of Indian Chapter of International Geosynthetics Society. He served as the President of Indian Geotechnical Society during 2017-2020 and was the Chairman of International Technical Committee (TC-302) on Forensic Geotechnical Engineering (FGE) of International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) during 2013-2021. He is a Fellow of ASCE and also served as Governor, ASCE, Region 10 during 2014-2020.

He completed Ph.D.(Geotechnical Engineering) in 1991 from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, after Masters Degree (Soil Mechanics Foundation Engg.) in 1987 from Anna University, Madras and B.Tech. (Civil Engineering) in 1983 from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati. He worked as Humboldt Fellow in Germany during June 1999- July 2000 and as Visiting Scholar, Purdue University, Lafayette, USA during 2/95 – 2/96.

He guided 28 (23 Phds and 5 MS) research degrees and guiding 4 students for PhD. He wrote a book on soil reinforcement and geosynthetics, edited eight books and proceedings and has several publications (International and national Journals -200, International and national conf. more than 200, Total over 400). He received several awards such as John Booker award from IACMAG, Humboldt fellowship from Germany, DST Boyscast Fellowship, and a few awards for the best papers from Indian Geotechnical Society and American Society of Civil Engineers.

Dylan Armour


I believe fundamentally in the role that geosynthetics play in our future. For many countries, traditional methods of construction are often too resource-intensive and costly to apply throughout all levels of their society. Geosynthetics are an equalizing force in sustainable global development.

My career has given me the opportunity to work holistically in many roles and sectors, across a very broad range of stakeholders. As principal position as head of manufacturing in Canada, US and Europe, I have been exposed to a broad range of industry best practices and policy environments. My international business development and project management experience has provided me the opportunity to develop relationships with people around the world.

Finally, my current role as Director of Sustainability and Innovation is the culmination of this journey, which began with my post-graduate specialization in anthropology and sustainable development. I work to develop products, systems, and corporate strategy based on sustainable business practices.

I believe our industry sits at the centre of many of the most pressing conversations facing the world, and I’d be honoured to serve as an elected member of the IGS.

Fernando H. M. Portelinha


Fernando H. M. Portelinha holds a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and has post-doctoral experience from the University of Texas in Austin (USA). Prof. Portelinha has been a member of the IGS since 2008. In 2018, he was honored with the Young IGS Member Award for his contributions to the Brazilian IGS Chapter and his research with geosynthetics. Currently, Prof. Portelinha serves as a professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the Federal University of Sao Carlos (Brazil), where he has been passionately researching and teaching geosynthetics disciplines for over 10 years. In 2012, he created the Laboratory of Geotechnics and Geosynthetics at the Federal University of Sao Carlos to contribute to the development of geosynthetics in Brazil.

Prof. Portelinha is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Geotextiles and Geomembranes Journal and is involved in the TC-Reinforcement and TC-Barriers committees for the IGS. He has contributed to the Brazilian IGS chapter by delivering courses, organizing conferences, and currently serving as secretary of the Geosynthetics Committee in the Brazilian Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.

Expressing his enthusiasm, Prof. Portelinha is honored to be a candidate and is eager to contribute to IGS initiatives by serving on the IGS council.

Francisco Pizarro


For more than a year as an IGS Council Member and Chair of the Pan American Activities Committee (PAAC), I’ve been able to enhance the development of our chapters across the region through the implementation of the IGS’s core programs. In addition, I have been involved in developing synergies between chapters and organizations, recruiting new lecturers for activities, helping to organize GeoAmericas 2024 and currently assisting a regional chapter to apply to host GeoAmericas 2028. Aside from this, there is still a lot to do. 

My commitment lies with all our chapters in the region to increase the widespread use of geosynthetics throughout the infrastructure and engineering industries.

Gary Ng

(Hong Kong)

I started G and E back in June 1984 in Hong Kong. It was a small contractor until the introduction of Amoco geotextile in 1987. From this point, I kicked off my geosynthetics journey and never looked back, specializing in its application, design, distribution and installation. 40 years later, I recognize the significance of educating the younger generation as a cornerstone of advancing geosynthetics. Being a council member offers me a stronger mandate to provide a helping hand.

I also take a strong view on sustainable construction, in which geosynthetics play an increasingly vital role. Its versatility was presented in my paper at GeoAsia 7 in Taipei, and I am proud to continue this excellency.

Having worked for more than a decade across Southeast Asia and China, I see the advantage of exchanging dialogue and sharing thoughts and technology from this region. Effective liaising with the IGS can be expected with closer geography, better mastering of construction mentality, and a better understanding of customs and culture.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve the IGS family with greater dedication, transitioning from being an ordinary member since 2009, after which time one becomes wiser but still has the energy to make meaningful contributions.

Giulia Lugli


Giulia Lugli, P.E., MBA, is a professional structural engineer with experience in design and project management of civil, and geotechnical structures for the geo-environmental and transportation sectors, especially, but not limited to, reinforced soil structures.

She has served in the Geosynthetic Industry for the past 10 years and is currently Head of the Geosynthetics Business Development team and leads the Vertical Walls division of the Maccaferri Corporate GSY Unit, along with focus on R&D with an eye on digitally enabled and sustainable solutions.

Her daily activities include experience with a broad portfolio of geosynthetics products and solutions for applications as reinforced fill structures and soil stabilization, erosion control, drainage works, coastal protection and basal reinforcement.

She is a member of AGI, IGS and ISSMGE. She has served on the ISSMGE Technical Committee on Reinforced Fill Structures TC218 since 2018: from 2018 to 2020 as Secretary, and from 2018 to date as Chairman.

She has served as Guest-Editor for recognized Journals in the field and authored or co-authored several technical publications.

As potential IGS Council member she would support the organization in any activity with dedication, facilitating the know-how dissemination, especially in the field of reinforcement and drainage.


Ioannis Markou


Ioannis Markou is a Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering of Democritus University of Thrace (DUTh), Greece, and the Director of the Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering Laboratory at DUTh. He is currently the President (2022 – 2025) of the IGS Greece chapter and has also served as its Vice-President (2019 – 2022), a Council Member (2016 – 2019) and is a founding member of the chapter. His candidacy for IGS Council Member has the strong support of the IGS Greece Council. 

Dr. Markou is an Editorial Board Member and Lead Guest Editor for the Special Issue on “Soil–Geosynthetic Interaction” of the International Journal of Geosynthetics and Ground Engineering (Q1, IF: 2.9). He is a member of the ISSMGE and serves as member of the TC211 of this society. He has also been a member of the organizing and/or scientific committees of a number of International and National Conferences.

Dr. Markou has 35 years of research experience in “Soil/Geosynthetic Interaction” and “Soil Reinforcement with Fibers”. As a result, he has authored/co-authored one book chapter and several scientific papers published in International Journals and Conference Proceedings. Having long-term experience in geosynthetic engineering research and teaching and in IGS Greece activities, Dr. Markou wishes to play a more active role in the IGS, contributing to the achievement of its goals.

Online profile:

Wang Deqi


Mr. Wang Deqi is the inventor of anti-UV weed mat in China, the  Deputy Director of the Innovation Committee of the China Agricultural Plastics Society under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, and a member of the International Association of Geomaterials. Previously, Mr. Wang served as the Workstation Director of the National Industrial Fabric Quality Supervision and Inspection Center. Mr. Wang led his team to successfully upgrade the “anti-aging” geotextile to the professional “anti exposure” stage, especially the weed mat (100-300g woven geotextile), with an exposed service life of up to 10-15 years, the world’s highest level.

Today, I am applying to join the IGS Council in order to participate in academic exchanges, technology promotion, and other related work, together with promoting the development and progress of international geotextiles in the field of environmental protection, and fulfill the mission of IGS.

Ivan P. Damians


Dr. Ivan P. Damians is an Associate Researcher Professor at the International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE®). He serves as a Geotechnical Engineer responsible for Research and Development (R&D) of the VSoL System at VSL International Ltd, which is part of the Bouygues Construction Group. Additionally, he works as an Assistant Professor at the School of Civil Engineering (ETSECCPB) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya·BarcelonaTech (UPC), teaching courses in Soil Mechanics, Geotechnical Engineering, Geotechnical Projects and Constructions, and Life-Cycle Analysis and Sustainability Assessment for both Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Dr. Damians actively participates in various research projects funded by national and international programs, as well as industry-sponsored initiatives. He is a member of technical committees and professional societies including:

  • CTN-UNE 140/SC 7, developing standards like EN 1997-3 (Eurocode 7) and 104 (Geosynthetics)
  • TC218 Reinforced Fill Structures and TC307 Sustainability in Geotechnical Engineering of the ISSMGE
  • International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) and the Sociedad Española de Mecánica de Suelos e Ingeniería Geotécnica (SEMSIG)
  • Current Secretary of TC-Soil Reinforcement at the IGS.

Dr. Damians is the author of several publications and an active reviewer of international journals in the sectors of soil reinforcement, geosynthetics, sustainability, numerical methods, and behavior of clays as a long-term insulation material for nuclear waste disposal facilities. Moreover, he supervises Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD theses in Geosynthetics at CIMNE/UPC·BarcelonaTech.

Links to online profile & publications:

Jabulile Msiza

(South Africa)

Over the past two years, I’ve had the honour of serving on the IGS Council alongside some brilliant fellow members whom I now regard as colleagues. Although all my activity has been rewarding, the following particularly standout – serving as vice chair of the Technical Committee on Barriers and Representing Africa and the Middle East as their Regional Activity Chair, particularly at a time GeoAfrica (Cairo) was held and the first named lecture series was announced.

I’m a Civil Engineer, Professionally registered, and specializing in Waste Engineering as a Consultant of the company Jones & Wagener Engineering and Environmental Consultants (J&W). I’m the Head of Department of a dynamic team of engineers, technologists and draughts persons servicing waste management facilities across South Africa and other African regions; I’m also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of J&W.

With over 18 years’ working experience, I’m passionate about design for environmental protection, particularly for waste management facilities, construction of barrier and capping systems, and promoting the understanding and appropriate use of geosynthetic materials. It is a humbling industry in that while many advancements have happened in the past few years, there’s still much to learn as installed systems are tested with time and various exposure conditions.

I’m a member of the Associations: South African Institute of Civil Engineers (SAICE), Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Board Member, the South African Chapter of the IGS and the Institute of Waste Management of South Africa. I have been an elected council member of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) for the past four years and eager to continue serving in the future.

Jacek Kawalec


I am a chartered geotechnical expert with 30 years of engineering experience, including 22 years of research and teaching at Silesian University of Technology (SUoT) in Poland where I obtained my MSc. in Civil Engineering (1994) and PhD in Geotechnics (2000).

My IGS membership began in 2005 and my involvement in the society since then has been divided between national and international activities. In Poland, as President of the Polish Chapter, I organized an “Educate the Educators” course bringing together participants from three countries (Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia). In addition, I had the honor of serving as Chairman and leader of the Scientific Committee of the very successful IGS event – the regional EUROGEO-7 Conference, held in Warsaw in 2022.

My involvement at the international level includes membership in the IGS Council (as an invited and co-opted member between 2014-2020, and as an elected member from 2020 to present). As Chair of TC-Stabilization, I organized the joint TC-S & TC-H workshop in Prague in 2019. Over the years I have also contributed to various IGS committees, including Educational, Corporate & Publication Committees. Currently, I am focused on a special IGS session at the Railways 2024 Conference.

I would like to declare my continuous commitment to the Society, and if elected, I hope to continue this mission for the next 2024-2028 Council term.

Kasia Ria Zamara

(United Kingdom)

Dr Katarzyna (Kasia) Ria Zamara is a founding member of the IGS Diversity Task Force (DTF). She was instrumental in organising the first DTF event at the Rome ICG 2023 with continued strong contribution to DTF activities. Kasia is also an active member of the IGS Sustainability Committee, and Vice Chair of the IGS UK chapter. She has supported IGS since joining the organisation in 2009.

Kasia is proactive and keen to table new ideas designed to open new lines of thought and encourage innovation. She is successful in her personal career and seeks to inject this same level of energy and influence into the Council.

To find out why I am worth your vote, look me up on LinkedIn.

Maria das Graças A. Gardoni


Dr. Maria das Graças A. Gardoni, is a Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She earned her PhD from the University of Brasilia with 1 year of research at École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal (Canada), and she completed a post-doctoral program at the Joseph Fourier University (UJF), Grenoble, France, and the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for the Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA), Anthony, France, in 2011.

She has more than 30 years of experience in applied and laboratory research in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering and geosynthetics. She has conducted research mainly on filtration and drainage, durability, waterproofing, and geotextile confinement systems in mining, dams. Prof. Gardoni has acted as an expert in tailings dam accidents in Brazil, and in waterproofing systems for dam reservoirs. She teaches geosynthetics in geotechnical and geoenvironmental applications in Civil and Environmental Engineering undergraduate and graduate courses and has supervised several MSc and PhD research projects.

She is a member of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) Council (2022-2024), the IGS Education Committee and was awarded by IGS in 2004. She is President of IGS Brazil (2023-2025), as well as the coordinator of the Educate the Educators program. In 2019, she received the Inconfidência Commendation, a medal awarded by the state government of Minas Gerais.

Song-Hun Chong


Dear IGS Members,

I am very pleased to apply to be a Council Member nominee on behalf of the Korean Geosynthetics Society (KGSS, IGS Korea Chapter). My short biography is as follows:

Song-Hun Chong, Ph.D. is an associate professor in Civil Engineering at Sunchon National University. He earned his PhD degree from Georgia Tech. My research group addresses the scientific and engineering development of geotextiles, geomembranes, and related products to stabilize geostructures. These research projects have been funded by National funding agencies and industry.

Because of my passion and profession for geosynthetic research, I expect to establish successful collaborations with many researchers in this area. Thank you in advance for your consideration of my application.


Song-Hun Chong, PhD
International Affairs Managing director of KGSS
Associate Professor
Department of Civil Engineering, Sunchon National University

Timothy D. Stark

(United States of America)

Timothy D. Stark (USA) is a Civil Engineering Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Stark has been conducting research on geosynthetics for 30 years ( Dr. Stark is Technical Director of the Flexible Geomembrane Institute, an industry-sponsored research organization at UIUC investigating geosynthetics for containment and other applications (

Dr. Stark is also an Editorial Board Member of the two IGS journals. Dr. Stark has received a number of awards including: 2023 J.E. Jennings Award, South African Institution of Civil Engineering; 2023 Cross USA Lecturer, ASCE; 2019 George H. Norman Medal, ASCE; 2017 Best Paper Award in Performance of Constructed Facilities Journal (ASCE); 2016 Best Paper in Geosynthetics International Journal, IGS; 2013 & 1998 Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award, ASCE, and others.

After serving as vice-president of IGS-North America, Dr. Stark was elected to IGS Council in 2020. He was then elected Chair of the IGS Pan American Committee Chair and helped reinvigorate this Committee. He is now serving as Chair of the IGS Education Committee, which is developing a certification program for geosynthetic engineers, chairing a subcommittee that is re-evaluating the EtE Program, and serving on the IGS Committee developing a Geosynthetics Handbook.