Dear IGS Colleagues,
It is a great honor to be delivering my first holiday message to members as the new President of the IGS. I am excited to be leading the IGS over the next four years with the support of my colleagues on the IGS Council.
Last year, the world cautiously emerged from the shadow of the pandemic, with 2022 offering an opportunity for renewal and the first real chance to plan for the future. After the challenges we have all experienced, the IGS is excited for the opportunities that lie ahead for our industry. Indeed, our 2023 operational plan and financial budget, just approved by Council in early December, embraces the future with new initiatives while leveraging traditional programs in new and exciting ways.
Our year began with the rejuvenation of our website. Our new site makes it easier for members to access and manage their accounts online, and for our community as well as the wider world to find a wealth of resources and educational materials quickly and easily.
This was soon followed by a refresh of our logo, part of our drive to improve our communications offering. We also ensured every chapter, committee and IGS-related group had a tailored logo to help promote their activities in a unified way. Regular news content on our website and social channels has also helped drive follower numbers on our LinkedIn page.
We also continued to ensure our internal initiatives were fulfilling our strategic aims with education a top priority. This included the launch of the IGS Job Shadowing Program, supported by a grant from the IGS Foundation. The scheme offers engineering students an opportunity to get on-the-job training and for employers to benefit from fresh, new talent. We also created a digital version of the ‘Introduction to Geosynthetics’ lecture, part of the IGS Educate the Educators program traditionally delivered in-person, so it can be accessed anywhere at any time.
Interaction, collaboration and networking experienced a resurgence as travel restrictions loosened. In-person meetings grew steadily with hybrid alternatives still popular. The IGS Officers previous and new were incredibly proud to attend the 7th European Conference on Geosynthetics in Warsaw, Poland, in September, this year, and meet so many of you face-to-face. The event was an example of the resilience of our chapters, with hosts IGS Poland staging such a successful event despite multiple postponements and uncertainty due to the pandemic.
Addressing members at this event as the new President, I vowed to put sustainability and education center stage for the IGS moving forward, broadening understanding about their many positive benefits to the environment and infrastructure development. Our efforts here are ongoing with initiatives such as the Did You Know…? series, our new Sustainability Case Study resource soon to launch, and developing our Sustainability Benefits Calculator. And significantly, I will be working closely with our Technical Committees to develop key educational curriculums that will feed the new IGS Handbook and IGS certification programs.
We also look forward to putting greener construction in the spotlight at the much-anticipated 12th International Conference on Geosynthetics in September, next year, which is themed ‘Geosynthetics: leading the way to a resilient planet’. I hope to see you there!
Lastly, I want to thank again the outgoing IGS President Chungsik Yoo and his dedicated IGS Officer team for their leadership, support, encouragement and advice over the years. I know they will continue to be key voices in our expanded IGS community for years to come.
There is much to look forward to next year and I greatly anticipate meeting many of you in person in 2023 and beyond. As we renew our hope for the promise of peace on earth, I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and every blessing in 2023.