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IGS Chapter Focus: Egypt

At just two years old, IGS Egypt is among the society’s youngest chapters. But it’s already aiming to make its mark with hosting the 4th GeoAfrica conference in February, next year, in Cairo. Here, event secretary general and IGS Egypt member Mohamed Salah Morsy offers an insight into the chapter.

Laptop graphic with Egyptian Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society centered on the screen

When was the Egypt chapter formed?

IGS Egypt was formed in January 2020. We had a wonderful inauguration event where IGS President Professor Chungsik Yoo gave an impressive lecture on the role of geosynthetics in sustainability. We also had other lectures about the use of geosynthetics in Egypt.

Tell us a bit about your membership.

Currently there are 33 members in the Egyptian chapter, 32 individuals and one corporate.

Mohamed Salah Morsy, GeoAfrica4 Event Secretary General
What are your chapter’s key activities?

The chapter is working on spreading knowledge about geosynthetics in Egypt. Our main approaches involve organizing webinars and trying to include geosynthetics in the curriculum of engineering schools here.

The eruption of the pandemic just one month after the chapter inauguration made it a bit difficult to hold many events, but we hope things get better soon.

We are now putting all our efforts into organizing GeoAfrica 2023 but we are also looking at hosting an Educate the Educators event.

Tell us a bit about the theme of GeoAfrica 2023.

Our theme is ‘Geosynthetics in sustainable infrastructures and megaprojects’; because we want to illustrate the contribution of geosynthetics to sustainability goals and reflects the huge demand for geosynthetics nowadays in Africa, and particularly in Egypt where geosynthetics are widely used in highways, railways, MSE walls and landfills.

Does the chapter have a youth section? What initiatives/events do you have for younger members?

The involvement of our young members is important and we currently have 14 of these. IGS Egypt does not have a youth section but we plan to do so when the number of members increases. GeoAfrica 2023 will also include a conference for young engineers.

What are you proud of in the chapter?

We’re proud of sharing both knowledge and experience in the geosynthetics field in Egypt.

Tell us a bit about the geosynthetics market in Egypt.

Usage of geosynthetics has evolved greatly in Egypt since 2014. This is attributed to the mega infrastructure projects going on here. Geosynthetics has been used in the construction of more than 35 new landfills in Egypt as well as fish farms and a lot of MSE walls in bridges.

Where are the areas of most opportunity?

Every single application of geosynthetics has a great opportunity in Egypt with all the ongoing construction projects involving MSE walls, reinforced slopes, and landfills.

And what are the challenges?

Geosynthetics practice is still developing in Egypt. One of the main goals of the chapter is to spread the knowledge and share experience in the field of geosynthetics.

Is the industry concentrated in particular regions in Egypt?

The industry is mostly concentrated in the Greater Cairo area.

What chapter events or activities are planned in 2022 for members?

We are planning a series of lectures called Geosynthetics Awareness. Watch this space for more details!

Anything else you would like to add?

Geosynthetics knowledge and practice has been developed notably in Egypt in the last seven years and is still developing. IGS Egypt welcomes all those interested in geosynthetics to attend GeoAfrica 2023 at which research findings and case studies from real projects will be presented besides a site visit to one of the megaprojects currently going on in the country.