Dear IGS Colleagues,
I hope this message finds you well as we approach the end of another eventful year!
In 2021, after the challenges of 2020, the world cautiously emerged from the worst of the pandemic. Now, with global health matters by no means resolved, the IGS and its members continue to confront the unpredictable with compassion and resilience.
I would like to pay tribute to the incredible resourcefulness of our members, chapters and committees in bringing health and safety to the fore while striving to ensure many events still went ahead, whether by adapting activities for an online audience or hosting hybrid events to make them as inclusive as possible. Together, we not only ensured the continuation of networking, educational and collaborative opportunities, but also opened these up to a wider audience.
Indeed, chapters continue to successfully evolve and develop amid global upheaval and change, and it is heartening to see the debut of a new chapter this year, IGS Nordics, and efforts being made to establish chapters in Bolivia and Guatemala.
In-person and online, the IGS Council has continued its efforts to improve its offerings, and innovate and inspire members with a range of initiatives, which I’m delighted to share with you here.
I spoke to you in June about the creation of three new IGS Task Forces – IGS Structure, IGS Credentialing, and IGS Recognitions, the latter of which is tasked with reviewing our current awards and honoring system. I’m delighted to announce its first action; creating four new named lectures recognizing outstanding members of the scientific and engineering geosynthetics community.
The named lectures are:
- The Fumio Tatsuoka Lecture, to be given at every GeoAsia conference
- The Richard Bathurst Lecture, to be given at the IGS Technical Committee on Soil Reinforcement session at every International Conference on Geosynthetics (ICG)
- The Kerry Rowe Lecture, given at the IGS Technical Committee on Barrier Systems’ session at every ICG
- The Kelvin Legge Lecture, given at every GeoAfrica conference
I look forward to hearing the inaugural recipients making their addresses at these flagship events.
2021 has also seen the Council working hard to develop the new IGS website. Expect better functionality, navigation and interactive elements including a Chapter Map that displays contact details and upcoming events at the click of a button. Our growing Digital Library will also be packed with even more essential resources – including the IGS University lecture series videos.
Our revamped website is live so check it out and tell us what you think.
Our members are the society’s lifeblood and none more so than our Young Members. This year we have been given a wonderful opportunity to widen the availability of our Job Shadowing scheme – which has seen pilots run by IGS Brazil and IGS Australasia – thanks to a donation from the IGS Foundation. The funding will allow the Young Members Committee to develop guidelines and promotional materials to help chapters implement the scheme in their region. Soon, more Young Members will be able to get one-day placements or benefit from a virtual one-to-one with participating IGS corporate member companies.
Broadening the availability of geosynthetics education and spreading greater understanding is a key focus for the IGS and I’m particularly proud of the continued and growing success of our Educate the Educators (EtE) program. We have a healthy pipeline of events next year, which we are confident we can grow even further, continuing to help professors share the latest developments in geosynthetics.
Our efforts to drive the debate on sustainability in geosynthetics was also reinforced this year with two deep-dive news features focused on recycling and energy conservation initiatives being implemented by key players in our industry. It is fascinating to see what companies are doing to make a positive impact on the environment. I would urge members to read and share these articles with their network for inspiration and motivation.
We’d also love to hear about the green initiatives you have in place, and can offer guidance if you’d like advice on making your operations greener. Visit our dedicated web page here where you will find a range of resources including our Sustainability eBook, now in nine languages, and ‘Did You Know…’ information sheets.
Many major conferences were disrupted in 2020 and we look forward with great anticipation to the re-scheduled GeoAsia 7 conference in Taipei, Taiwan, on October 31-November 4. And talking of conferences, in April, next year, we will be selecting the host chapter for the 13th ICG – thank you to all who applied.
Members looking for a new challenge should also stay tuned as we invite applications for Council members, Vice President, and President, as next year will be my final year leading the IGS.
We have many exciting new initiatives ahead, and I look forward to sharing these with you in due course. Until then, I wish you and your families a healthy and joyous holiday season, and continued success in 2022.