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Anatomy of the 10ICG (Berlin 2014)

JZ_HeadshotDear Members of the IGS,

The 10th International Conference on Geosynthetics will take place in Berlin, Germany, from 21 to 25 September 2014 ( The IGS German Chapter, the German Geotechnical Society (DGGT) and the IGS are extremely pleased to invite you to this celebration of geosynthetic technology. Every International Conference on Geosynthetics (ICG) has a myriad of activities, which I try to summarize below, that make this quadrennial event a special milestone in geosynthetics history. This will certainly be the case in Berlin, with the added important note that the event will be colocated with the 33rd Baugrundtagung (i.e. the German Soil Mechanics Conference) of the DGGT. As the biennial Baugrundtagung expects more than 1,200 participants, great synergy and interaction is anticipated between these events, especially in the co-organized, co-located exhibition. There will be opportunities for participants of the Baugrundtagung to join the 10ICG as well as to also participate Baugrundtagung presentations, which will be simultaneously translated to English. The special lectures from both events will include deliveries from key experts from both the geotechnical and geosynthetics professions. This is an opportuni- ty to offer exposure to the geosynthetics industry to a very progressive group of engineers that may (or may not) have known (so far) about geosynthetics.

The conferences of the IGS have played a remarkable role in the development of geosynthetic products and their applications. Much of the information on material properties, testing methods, applications and design approaches that we use in geosynthetics engineering has been vetted through these conferences. Of particular importance are the International Conferences on Geosynthetics. This series has been a premier outlet of, and in many cases has indeed triggered, many of the advances in geosynthetics. Figure 1 illustrates the location of the various internation- al conferences (see yellow stars, with the corresponding conference number). As illustrated in this figure, the inter- national conferences of the IGS have been well distributed throughout the globe. The first ICG was held in Paris (France) in 1977, and was followed by the 1982 Las Vegas (USA) conference, the 1986 Vienna (Austria) confer- ence, the 1990 The Hague (Netherlands) conference, the 1994 Singapore conference, the 1998 Atlanta (USA) ICG, the 2002 ICG in Nice (France), the 2006 ICG in Yokohama (Japan), and the most recent event (9ICG) held in Guarujá (Brazil) in 2010. The forthcoming Berlin conference will be the 10th Conference of the important series of ICG events.
Figure 2 shows the same information as in Figure 1, but in a more interesting way, as conceived by the organizers of the 10ICG. Inspection of this figure will reveal an interesting mixture of artistic, historic, and “geosynthetic” views of our field. You may discover the characteristic landscape of the various conference locations. Can you find the multiple geosynthetics uses in this figure?
The 10ICG will see a major display of technical and organizational activities of the IGS and the geosynthetics in- dustry at large. This is where the next Giroud Lecture (to be deliv- ered by Prof. Richard Bathurst) will be offered. Key activities and meetings of the IGS Technical Committees on Filtration, Reinforce-ment and Barriers will take place. The current (15th) IGS Council will finish its term and the new (16th) IGS Council will begin along with a new IGS President’s tenure. He/she will be the ninth IGS Council President in the Society’s history. Also of note, the IGS Awards will be granted, among many other activities, during 10ICG. The highlight of the conference will certainly be its technical contri- butions. While the themes of the conference cut across the many areas of geosynthetics and their affiliated applications, the confer- ence organizers have identified three timely areas of emphasis:

  • Geosynthetics for mitigation of natural disasters
  • Geosynthetics for implementation of energy-efficient solutions
  • Cost benefits of geosynthetic solutions

Stay tuned for upcoming information on these specific aspects in the technical program of the 10ICG.
Some of the important deadlines regarding the submission of tech- nical contributions to the conference are noted in the inset box. The deadline for receiving abstracts has recently passed and we are pleased to report that a record-high number of 480 abstract submis- sions have been received by the 10ICG Organizers. This is an early indicator of the great feast of geosynthetics technology that will take place in Berlin. The reviewing process will be conducted next, and early releases of the upcoming technical program will be issued to provide continued information on the upcoming technical activities. Some special workshops and training lectures are also being planned, which constitute additional opportunities for participation. If you have special ideas/whishes on such lectures or want to potentially offer a contribution, please contact the organizing team of the 10ICG.

The technical program will include a number of educational training lectures, where the most qualified experts on different aspects of geosynthetics and geosynthetic applications will deliver state-of-the-knowledge lectures. These training lectures are expected to be delivered to address the needs of both geosynthetic experts and novices. Key aspects of geosynthetics in transportation, mining applications, waste containment, hydraulic projects, energy- related systems, pavements, and disaster mitigation will be covered by the training lectures. The 10ICG will place special focus on the major contributions that the two official journals of the IGS, Geotextiles & Geomembranes and Geosynthetics International, have made throughout the years to the geosynthetics industry and to the engineering community at large.

Finally, 10ICG will offer unique social events, including those in a magnificent exhibit hall which, because of the particularly suitable layout of the conference venue, will be fully integrated with the multiple activities of the tech- nical program. The main feature among the conference social activities will be the gala dinner at a “surprise loca- tion,” which has been closely guarded by the conference organizers.

We look forward to your participation in the technical activities of the 10th International Conference on Geosynthet- ics in Berlin, September 2014.

All best regards,

Jorge G. Zornberg, Ph.D., P.E.
IGS President
tel: +1(512) 232 3595
Skype ID: jorgezor
Web site: