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Focus On Barrier Systems In Barcelona

Back-to-back workshops on developments in geosynthetic soil reinforcement and barrier systems mark the start of a packed calendar of IGS events for 2020.

IGS technical committees (TC) will be sharing recent advances and new thought in these fields of engineering through high-level lectures delivered by renowned speakers. Participants will also have plenty of time to discuss what they have heard at the event in Barcelona from January 20-23.

The TC-B’s GeoReinforcement workshop on January 20-21 is themed ‘GeoReinforcement developments, advancements, durability, performance and innovative applications.’ Topics will include ‘Geosynthetic encased columns’, and ‘Reliability-based design and analysis of geosynthetic reinforced structures’.

TC-R’s sessions on January 22-23 has the same overall theme, but focused on GeoBarriers. Speaker topics will include a recap of the outcomes of the Munich workshop, ‘Advancements with Geosynthetic Clay Liners’, and ‘Case Histories of Usual and Innovative Barrier Applications’.

Organisers are keen to stimulate discussion in key areas with the aim of nurturing a group of experts who can create a white paper or guideline on some of the specific topics on the table.

Kent von Maubeuge, IGS’s chair of TC-Barrier Systems (TC-B), explained the value of holding such events, the second such gathering following the TC-B/TC-R inaugural event in Munich in June 2018.

He said of January’s event at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya’s School of Civil Engineering: “Often with conferences there is no time for deep discussions and typically the presentations last around 10 minutes. Here, we have specific hot topics and speakers invited to talk for 20 minutes, and there’s over an hour per session discussion time to give real focus on the issue at hand.

“With our workshop concept we are focusing on the technical input and are fulfilling the wish for more deep face-to-face discussions. Summaries and PDFs of the presentations will be available to participants following the talks.”

Gerhard Bräu, TC-R chair, added: “This open event is ideal for researchers, designers, consultants, manufacturers, industry insiders and any interested groups.

“It is important to stay up-to-date on new developments, and to improve barrier systems and reinforcement geosynthetics to ensure long-lasting and sustainable systems. There is always room for improvement and it is important to learn how geosynthetics can further ensure secure performance.”

There will also be an evening social event on January 20 and 22 for participants.

Kent and Gerhard added: “With a drink in your hand and a delicious local bite, topics of the day can be re-discussed. Often best ideas are generated in the evening and excellent Spanish food and drinks are exactly what you need after a hard day of work.”

For more information and the full line-up of speaker topics, click here.

Attendees can register for one or both workshops by clicking here.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Contact IGS Secretariat Manager Terry Paulo at

Check out the IGS calendar for more events and workshops for 2020 here.

View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain with moving clouds.