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Educate the Educators: An Introduction to Geosynthetics for Students

The four short video presentations below make up the one-hour “Introduction to Geosynthetics” lecture, designed to give students an overview of geosynthetics, their different types and their functions.  The lecture is delivered by Prof. Jorge G. Zornberg, from the University of Texas at Austin, USA, and former president of the IGS. The PDF version of the slides for this lecture is provided below. You are strongly encouraged to take your own notes on these slides while watching the presentations.


A note to engineering professors: For educational context about this introductory lecture on geosynthetics, recommended additional educational materials, and guided experiential learning to introduce geosynthetics to undergraduate students, please visit the companion web page.

What are geosynthetics?

This 11-minute video introduces relevant definitions and provides an overview of the different types and engineering functions of geosynthetics.

Types of geosynthetics

This 22-minute video discusses the main characteristics of the various types of geosynthetics. You’ll learn that geosynthetics are not a single material but a family of materials that includes geotextiles, geomembranes, geogrids, geonets, geosynthetic clay liners, and many others.

Functions of geosynthetics

This 32-minute video covers the many engineering functions that different geosynthetics can fulfill. Geosynthetics can achieve many of the functions that have often been accomplished by soil or rock used as construction materials. Identifying the correct function of the geosynthetic in each application is important for defining the properties required in engineering design.


This 8-minute video is the final component of the Introduction to Geosynthetics lecture and illustrates how the different types and functions of geosynthetics can be integrated into a given application (e.g. a solid waste containment facility or mining related structure). The lecture challenges students to assign the correct function(s) to the different geosynthetic types.

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