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IGS Australasia Hails ‘Milestone’ Conference

Nearly 200 people from 10 countries gathered for the inaugural GeoAnz#1 conference – the first such event since IGS Australasia (ACIGS) formed 20 years ago.

Formally known as the 1st Australia and New Zealand Conference on Geosynthetics, GeoAnz#1 took place in Brisbane, Australia in June, and focused on the theme ‘Advances in Geosynthetics’.

The topic was explored and debated through masterclasses, workshops and talks, with keynote lectures delivered by J.P. Giroud, Craig Benson, Malek Bouazza, John Cowland, Boyd Ramsey, Tim Stark, David Williams, and Jorge Zornberg.

GeoAnz#1 conference organizers seen here with keynote lecturers Craig Benson, Tim Stark, Jorge Zornberg, and David Williams

Chapter President Siamak Paulson said: “GeoAnz#1 was a significant milestone for the chapter, coming 20 years after we were founded in 2002, and building on the smaller events we’ve hosted over the years. It was an amazing opportunity to celebrate two decades of activity advancing the geosynthetic industry in our region.”

Mr Paulson said his personal highlights included J.P. Giroud’s lecture around advances in geosynthetic barrier applications, keynote lectures from Professor Jorge Zornberg on resourcefulness of geosynthetics in engineering applications and Prof. Craig Benson on lessons for engineers in relation to geosynthetic clay liners. He also enjoyed panel discussions convened by Professors Stark, Bouazza and Williams.

J.P. Giroud gives a keynote address at GeoAnz #1

Mr Paulson said: “The technical level of the conference content was very high, with our distinguished speakers providing state-of-the-art lectures throughout the conference. We received massively positive feedback from everyone.”

Prof. Malek Bouazza (Left), Mike Sadlier (Center), and Fred Gassner (Right)

During the conference dinner, lifetime chapter membership was awarded to IGS Australasia’s founding members Mike Sadlier, Fred Gassner and Prof. Bouazza.

Conference attendee and IGS President-Elect Sam Allen praised the “glorious event” for its content and organization, adding: “It captured not only Australian-New Zealand interest but delegates and content from all over the world. A key factor of its success was how its configuration facilitated immediate access to the trade show sponsors, allowing maximum opportunity to interact with the vendors. Congratulations to Siamak and the entire Planning Committee for their Herculean work efforts, and resulting crowning achievement.”

Mr Paulson added: “We were thrilled with the support from industry and I’d like to thank our keynote speakers, sponsors and delegates for their enthusiastic involvement. I know many connections were made over the few days of the conference, which can only further benefit our industry.”

ACIGS Executive Committee

IGS Australasia has submitted a bid to host the GeoAsia 8 conference in 2025. If it is successful it aims to hold GeoAnz#2 in the same year. If unsuccessful, the chapter will hold the next GeoAnz in 2024 as planned – so watch this space!

GeoAnz keynote lecturer and IGS Sustainability Co-Chair, Boyd Ramsey, shares the sustainability benefits of geosynthetics with conference attendees. Read more about the “Did You Know…” series.