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IGS Italy Delivers ‘Unforgettable’ 12th ICG

Attendees from 68 different countries descended on Rome for the 12th International Conference on Geosynthetics (12ICG) hosted by IGS Italy.

The event welcomed some 1,000 delegates (conference and exhibition) from five continents to explore the theme ‘Geosynthetics: leading the way to a resilient planet’ at the grand venue Auditorium Parco Della Musica, from September 17-21.

Hosted by IGS Italy, known as AGI-IGS, the conference programme included wide-ranging keynote lectures, short courses and site visits, with the prestigious Giroud Lecture given by Professor Ennio Palmeira on ‘Geotextile filters: from idealization to real behaviour’. IGS Young Members also enjoyed several dedicated events including a networking dinner, and demonstrated their passion for geosynthetics at the IGS Young Member Contest.

IGS Italy President Daniele Cazzuffi, who was also chair of the 12th ICG’s organizing committee, said: “The conference, exhibition and social events were really successful. There was immense satisfaction to observe that all areas of our industry were extraordinarily happy with our daily program. Delegates were impressed with the configuration of our venue, where event spaces were close to each other yet retained their own separate function.”

Dr. Cazzuffi said he was delighted with the rich content offered by the conference, but the response to geosynthetics leader J.P. Giroud was particularly memorable.

“The standing ovation for J.P. Giroud in the Opening Session was a fundamental highlight of the 12th ICG, because it represented a real appreciation from the overall geosynthetics engineering community to a person who has dedicated almost his entire professional life to the growth and the outreach of our discipline,” said Dr. Cazzuffi.

“For the first time in the history of the IGS international conferences, Dr. Giroud was not able to attend in-person but he followed the Giroud Lecture remotely, this time presented magnificently by Ennio Palmeira.”

Dr. Cazzuffi thanked colleagues, AGI-IGS members and the I2th ICG organizing committee for helping to create such a successful conference, and singled out three individuals.

“Susanna Antonielli, secretariat of the Italian Geotechnical Society AGI and IGS Italy, and general manager of the 12th ICG, had a motorbike accident just 10 days before the event and despite this was able to follow the entire conference with competence, dedication and professionalism, even from a wheelchair,” said Dr. Cazzuffi.

“Also, my longtime friend Nicola Moraci, who at the time as President of the Italian Geotechnical Society AGI, in 2017 encouraged IGS Italy to present the bid to host the 12th ICG and later co-chaired with me the conference organizing committee. His input was fundamental to the success of the conference.

“And finally my entire family who suffered a lot in the last years and months because of my limited spare time, in particular my wife Susanna, who also took the responsibility of accompanying delegates on site tours, and my children Anna, Lucia and Pietro who supported me throughout.”

Montreal in Canada is set to host the 13th ICG in 2026. Did Dr. Cazzuffi have any tips for the organizers?

“It will be important to maintain the same high level of proceedings as in the 12th ICG, so it will be crucial to set up a group of efficient and reliable assessors and reviewers to guarantee an adequate level of the definitive version of the papers. They should also have open access publications from the beginning of the conference to ensure effective circulation of the various contributions among the worldwide geotechnical and geosynthetics engineering communities. This will cost money, but it will represent credibility of the event and our entire profession,” he said.

++ Watch this space for updates on the 13th ICG in Montreal.