The 5th International Conference on the Use of Geofoam Blocks in Construction Applications (EPS2018) was held in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus on May 9 – 11 2018. A total of 149 delegates including researchers, consultants, block molders, contractors, practitioners, raw material and machine producers, from 23 different countries were attended to ESP2018.
The proceedings of EPS2018 is dedicated to Geir Refsdal and Tor Erik Frydenlund who were the pioneers of the development of geofoam technology. They have implemented the use of geofoam as a lightweight fill material in Norway and also involve in the dissemination of the technology to other countries.
Conference has started with the opening lecture by Geir Refsdal. Geir has highlighted how the idea of using EPS blocks emerged and the lessons learned from the first application of the technology at the Flom Bridge site in the opening lecture of the EPS2018. The key note lecture by Tor Erik Frydenlund titled “Geofoam Blocks in Civil Engi-neering Applications” summarized the state of art regarding the various applications of the geofoam technology.
The conference program consisted of the combination of technical papers and panel discussions regarding the use, new development and implementation of geofoam technology. After the opening and keynote lectures, construction applications of geofoam, present use of geofoam technology, material properties and modelling, new concepts and special topics of the geofoam applications were discussed in a total of seven technical sessions. In addition, EPS technology development in emerging markets and future direction of geofoam applications were discussed in two separate panel discussions. Panels were moderated by Steven Bartlett (University of Utah, USA) and David Arellano (University of Memphis, USA). Tolga Özer (Okan University, Turkey), Libero Piscitelli (Surf Crest, Italy), Ryan Berg (Ryan R. Berg & Associates, Inc., USA), Milan Duškov (InfraDelft BV, Holland) and Todd Bergstrom (AFM Corpora-tion, USA) were served as panelists.
The themes of the conference comprised of discussions about the recent developments and future trends of the geofoam technology and its construction applications. Therefore, EPS2018 was not only offered benefit to the dele-gates representing countries where the geofoam is a mature technology but also offered significant technology awareness to the delegates who were just met with the geofoam applications. EPS2018 also offered social opportu-nities including welcome reception, gala dinner and exhibition area for the delegates.
EPS2018 contributed to the development of the geofoam applications after Oslo (EPS1985), Tokyo (EPS1996), Salt Lake City (EPS2001) and Oslo (EPS2011) conferences. It was decided to held the next conference in 2023 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first geofoam application.
Tolga Özer, Associate Professor, IGS Member, Okan University, Istanbul, Turkey