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Circular Economy Explored At Italy Conference

Cutting edge ideas on geosynthetics and sustainability were shared at the 32nd Italian National Geosynthetics Conference.

The regular event in Bologna is co-organized by IGS Italy, known as AGI-IGS, and the Italian Geotechnical Association (AGI), and is in association with the biennial SAIE 2022 construction trade show organized by BolognaFiere and SENAF. Keynote speakers this year included former IGS Vice-President Nathalie Touze, IGS Council member Francesco Fontana and IGS Executive Director and IGS Sustainability Committee member John Kraus.

Speakers at the conference, themed ‘Circular economy and resilient applications’, included:

  • Nathalie Touze (President of the INRAE center at Jouy-en-Josas-Antony) – keynote speech on ‘The role of geosynthetics in sustainable development and the circular economy
  • Francesco Fontana – ‘Opportunities and limits of recycling in the production of geosynthetics from a circular economy perspective’
  • John Kraus – ‘Microplastics – why geosynthetics are not the problem
  • Antonella Senese and Beatrice De Felice (Milano University) – ‘Experimental studies on the impact of geotextiles in the alpine environment’
  • Valentina Grossule, also on behalf of her colleagues Raffaello Cossu and Maria Cristina Lavagnolo of Padua University – ‘The role of sustainable landfilling in the circular economy’
  • Quintilio Napoleoni (University of Roma ‘Sapienza’) – “Sustainable design of landfills
  • Filippo Crociati (Herambiente, Italy) – ‘The design parameters of geosynthetics for landfills in consideration of climate change issues
  • Piergiorgio Recalcati (Tenax SpA, Italy) – “An analysis of direct shear and inclined plane test results on different interfaces of landfill capping systems’
Nathalie Touze receives a gift after her keynote lecture in Bologna from the IGS Italian Chapter officers
John Kraus (far right) and Nathalie Touze during a break of the Bologna conference together with Daniele Cazzuffi (far left) and Francesco Fontana
Pierpaolo Fantini (with plaque) receiving his IGS Chapter Service Award from John Kraus (far left) and the entire Council Board of the IGS Italian Chapter

IGS Italy President Daniele Cazzuffi said: “The event had important international participation and gave excellent results both in terms of the number of registered participants and the quality of the presented papers. Moreover, the context of the SAIE exhibition – the international reference point for the world of construction in Italy – enhanced the importance and impact of the geosynthetics presentations.”

Proceedings have been edited into a volume of articles by conference organizers Mr Cazzuffi, Nicola Moraci and Claudio Soccodato. It includes four articles in English and four articles in Italian with English abstract. The volume can purchased here.

During the conference, Pierpaolo Fantini (Huesker srl) received the IGS Chapter Service Award, while Nicolò Guarena and Andrea Luciani (both from Torino Politecnico) jointly won the AGI-IGS prize for the best PhD thesis on geosynthetics engineering discussed in the last three years in Italian universities.

The 33rd Italian National Geosynthetics Conference will take place in October 2024. IGS Italy is also preparing for the 12th International Conference on Geosynthetics, taking place in Rome, Italy, from September 17-21, 2023. Find out more here.