Establishment and Call for Technical Committees

FaviconThe IGS is dedicated to the scientific and engineering development of geosynthetics and associated technologies. In support of this aim, the IGS Council wishes to encourage and facilitate the formation and operation of Technical Committees (TCs) and the wide dissemination of their outputs. At the 9th International Conference on Geosynthetics, Brazil, Council agreed the formation of the first three TCs. These are in the areas of: Filtration, Barriers and Reinforcement. A summary of the objectives, terms of references and planned activities of each of the TC is provided below and Members are encouraged to engage with the TCs and to consider joining a TC in order to be actively involved in their development and production of outputs. In particular, IGS Members are asked to encourage and support younger colleagues to get involved in order to develop the next generation of practitioners and researchers who will provide technical leadership in the future around the world.

Expressions of interest/proposals for the establishment of new TCs are welcomed from both Members and Chap-ters. These should be sent to Professor Neil Dixon, Chairman of the Technical Committee Coordination Task Force ( The rules of operation for TCs are described below. Any proposal for a new TC should address the key membership and operational conditions established through these rules.

Rules for Establishment and Operation of Technical Committees

Topic of a TC
The topic of a TC shall be clearly defined. It must be focused on addressing specific and current technical issues that can only be progressed and outputs widely disseminated through the collaboration of an international group of researchers and practitioners. In order to minimize overlap among TC efforts, the topic shall be centered on properties and/or functions of geosynthetics (e.g. filtration, reinforcement, durability, barrier etc), including interaction between geosynthetics and with other materials, and/or relating to issues of sustainability (e.g. water conservation, mitigation and adaptation strategies for reducing the impacts of climate change). This is because topics that are application specific (e.g. railways, highways, landfills etc) may overlap with property or function-specific topics.

TC operation
TCs will operate by facilitating communication both between members and with the wider geosynthetics communi-ty. This will be achieved via email exchanges, webinars, web forums and through meetings and workshops normal-ly organized to coincide with IGS sponsored conferences, symposia and workshops. It is expected that such meetings will enable wide international participation in TC activities and it will also increase participation at IGS events, which should be viewed as providing an opportunity for dissemination of TC outputs.

TCs are encouraged to engage with organizers of international events held under the auspices of the IGS at an early stage, in order to propose and organize technical sessions. Specifically, it is expected that TCs will be in-volved with the IGS International and Regional Conferences. In addition, TCs can propose to organize symposia, workshops or short courses under the auspices of the IGS on the condition that they do not interfere with other events organized under the auspices of the IGS.

TCs operate independently of other IGS Committees. However, TCs are expected to interact with Council initiatives on technical, communication and education activities, and with Regional Activities Committees in organization of technical meetings (e.g. specific sessions in Regional Conferences). Council has formed a Technical Committee Coordination Task Force to encourage and support the formation of new TCs and to prepare an annual report on each TC to Council. Each TC will be allocated a Council Member to act as a liaison officer. They will be included in all TC communications and they will be the point of contact with the Technical Committee Coordination Task Force, and hence Council, for any issues relating to TC operation.

It should be noted that no specific financial support is provided from the IGS for activities of TCs. The approved IGS TCs will be numbered chronologically based on the day of the approval. Professor Neil Dixon, Chairman of the Technical Committee Coordination Task Force ( can be contacted to provide advice on proposed TCs, including topics, terms of reference and membership.

Production and reporting of outputs
It is expected that TCs will report the outcome of activities through production of state-of-the-art reports, proceed-ings of workshops and symposia, guidance documents and position papers. The TC shall submit to the Chairman of the Technical Committee Coordination Task Force all documents produced so that they can be considered at the first IGS Council Meeting following the event. In addition, each TC shall submit an annual report on their activities to the Task Force Chair. They should also periodically (i.e. at least once every two years) report their activities in IGS News. A summary of all documents, and preferably the full report, shall be posted on the IGS webpage so that all IGS Members can benefit from the TC outputs.

Timescale of activities
The term of operation for a TC shall normally be four years. Shorter terms can be proposed where there is a clearly defined output by an agreed deadline. TCs will be reviewed by the Technical Committee Coordination Task Force, and hence Council, after 4 years. A TC can start its activities upon the approval of the proposal by the Council.

Performance of TCs will be reviewed by the Council annually. In preparation for this review, the Technical Commit-tee Coordination Task Force will assess reported activities and outputs against the original proposal. After four years the TC can be renewed if a request is received by Council, performance has been satisfactory and a plan for the next term is agreed.

How to form a TC
Any group of IGS Members can propose to organize an IGS TC. The proposal shall be made to the Chairman of the Technical Committee Coordination Task Force and must include the following information.

  • Name: The name of IGS TC should clearly reflect the area and scope of the activities.
  • Aim, objectives and activities: These should clearly define the purpose of the TC, including the terms of refer-ence, topic, scope, objectives, mode of operation, type of activities, anticipated outcomes and timescale of activities.
  • Membership: Each IGS TC shall have a named chairperson and a secretary and both shall be IGS Members. (Note that the three TCs established to date have three co-chairs, with one allocated as the lead, to ensure sub-ject coverage and wide geographical representation). A list of possible group members shall be submitted to the Chairman of the Technical Committee Coordination Task Force and a minimum of two thirds must be IGS Mem-bers. TCs are encouraged to recruit young scientists and engineers as members. It is suggested that more than a third of the TC should be younger than 36. This requirement is designed to encourage and nurture young re-searchers and practitioners, and hence to develop the future technical leaders in geosynthetics. Any member of the IGS can request to join any IGS TC without restriction. Members of TC that do not take an active part in activ-ities can be removed from membership. There is no specific restriction on the number of TC members from each chapter/country, however the TC members should be geographically distributed so that the TC does not become “an exclusive club” in terms of geography, theory or practice.
  • Approval: The Technical Committee Coordination Task Force will review the proposal and take it to the next Council Meeting for approval as required. If urgent approval is required then Council approval by email may be requested.

Reported by Neil Dixon, IGS Council Member and Chairman of the Technical Committee Coordination Task Force

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