Dear IGS Colleagues,
The time for passing the torch has come.
I have been truly humbled, delighted and privileged to serve you as President of the IGS for the past four years (2018-2022). It has been my greatest honor to have your support; earning your trust has not only been a professional effort but a personal one too.
During my endeavor, I have had the full support from my outstanding fellow Officers – Vice President Nathalie Touze-Foltz, Secretary Edoardo Zannoni, Treasurer Ian Fraser, and Past President Russell Jones – as well as the Council members who represented the major regions of the world. Thanks to the support from the leadership and Executive Director John Kraus and IGS Secretariat Manager Elise Oatman, I have been able to make significant strides in achieving the goals I set four years ago to help take the society to the next level.
These were 1) Enhance activities of Technical Committees (TC), 2) Improve education and knowledge sharing through up-to-date communication tools, 3) Enhance awareness of geosynthetics. 4) Get connected with members, 4) Get Young Members involved.
IGS Officers and Council members have worked tirelessly to achieve these goals, despite the Covid-19 disruptions. For example, our TCs were still able to deliver resources to members, such as specialty workshops, webinars, and online educational materials. Furthermore, the creation of our open access IGS Digital Library is making significant impact on education and knowledge sharing, not only for our members but the general public too.
We have also been diligent in delivering the important message that geosynthetics make significant contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainability Committee launched the ‘Did You Know…?’ series, which has been very effective in communicating messages to the members as well as the general public about how geosynthetics can benefit sustainable development. Electronic versions of the IGS Newsletter and Chapter Chat have also enhanced our communication offering. Additionally, the Educate the Educators programs have been successfully executed, many virtual, by Chapters in different regions despite the pandemic.
Another of my top priorities was expanding the involvement of Young Members in IGS activities. As part of that, chair of the Young Members Committee Dawie Marx has been involved in Council activities as an invited member to incorporate young minds for leadership development in the IGS.
Through these dedicated efforts, the IGS has successfully redefined its shape and capacity as a global leader in the fields of geosynthetics and beyond. All these achievements have been the result of concerted efforts by each and every member of the IGS, including the leadership, Council members, and Individual and Corporate members. More importantly, when carrying out my presidential duties, my focus has always been to bring all the members together, while integrating each and every member’s voice to lead this society in harmony.
Now, I can pass the torch to my successor Sam Allen. I am confident our new President and leadership will lead the society to an even higher level and I wish them the best of luck. I will still be around supporting the IGS in any way I can and very much look forward to seeing you all at EuroGeo7 next month where I will host the Extraordinary General Assembly as President.
My dear fellow IGS members, I once again thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve and represent you. I wish you all the best!