Dear IGS Members,
Last year, we had the excellent and memorable 11th International Conference on Geosynthetics (11ICG) in Seoul, Korea. The 11ICG was a great success in many aspects, where 1,239 experts from 66 countries participated a number of technical programs and 109 global exhibitors from 23 countries showcased full spectrum of innovated geosynthetics products and related technologies. Not only 11ICG was the largest ICG ever in the 42 years of ICG history but it also provided a new leap forward for us in opening the next chapter of geosynthetics technology through high-quality technical programs. The host chapter of 11ICG, IGS Korea, deserves to be proud of their achievement. The next ICG, the 12th ICG will be held in Rome in 2022.
As with the international conferences, the series of IGS regional conferences are held every four years between consecutive international conferences. In the next two years, i.e., 2020 and 2021, a series of regional conferences of the IGS will take place in four different continents, i.e., the Americas (GeoAmericas 2020), Europe (Eurogeo7), Asia (GeoAsia2021), and Africa (GeoAfrica2021). The importance of these regional conferences cannot be overemphasized as they have been premier outlets of recent advances in geosynthetics.
In April next year, GeoAmericas 2020, the Pan-American regional conference, will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (https://www.geoamericas2020.com) with a theme on “Geosynthetics Solutions for a Fast-Changing world”. From Mexico in 2008, to Peru in 2012 and most recently in the USA in 2016, GeoAmericas comes to Brazil in its 4th edition. In addition to a high quality technical program focused on the conventional and innovative topics on geosynthetics and related technologies, technical exhibits with full spectrum of geosynthetics will be offered. The exhibition program will offer great opportunity to all participants to discover new tools, equipment and materials, and advanced technologies for geosynthetics. A variety of social events will provide wonderful opportunities to learn the host country’s culture and to strengthen friendships. It should be noted that Young Members Committee (YMC) of the IGS is currently planning a GeoAmericas 2020 YMC Program for young members aged 35 and under. This program complements the regular conference technical program so that young members can experience both the rigor of the conference activities and the friendly nature of complementing activities. These are only a few examples why you should attend GeoAmericas 2020. As you noticed, the organizers are working diligently to make the conference one of the best regional conferences, anticipating over 1,000 participants from more than 30 countries, which ensures both broad representativeness and a plurality of cultures and markets.
Another regional conference that will take place next year is the 7th European Geosynthetics Conference, EuroGeo7 to be held in Warsaw, Poland (https://eurogeo7.org). The host Chapter PSG-IGS, a Polish Chapter of IGS is young but thriving organization will bring another success to the European conference as Turkish Chapter did for Eurogeo6 in Ljubljana in 2016. The Polish Chapter of the IGS has partnered together with the Road and Bridge Research Institute to attract local stakeholders and regulators to the joint venture event. The Road and Bridge Research Institute is a state-owned research & development entity, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction. As part of our cooperation, on September 9-10, 2020 the Road and Bridge Research Institute will organize their event GeoRoad20 (www.georoad20.org) conference sharing the venue with EuroGeo7. The organizing committee is planning a well-integrated technical program together with a state of the art technical exhibition program that will showcase innovative geosynthetics products.
These 2020 Regional Conferences will be followed by GeoAsia2021 and GeoAfrica2021 in the following year 2021. GeoAfrica2021, in particular, will be organized by a newly established Chapter, the Egyptian Chapter of IGS. As we see enormous opportunities for geosynthetics in the African region, this event will pave the geosynthetics industry’s paths forward. I am confident that these regional two conferences will also establish forums to discuss how geosynthetics can contribute to modern society in the face of its challenges and demands.
Geosynthetics technology has made phenomenal advances during the last decade in areas of manufacturing as well as practical applications. As a result, geosynthetics have become essential and regular construction materials that can be used to facilitate construction, ensure better performance of the structures and reduce the long-term maintenance in routine civil engineering works. The IGS Regional Conferences have been the main driving force of these technical achievements that are critical to the geosynthetics industry. We should continue to put our efforts in promoting and disseminating the geosynthetics technology through technical activities in our playground, the IGS Conferences.
I look forward to your participation in some of these IGS Regional Conferences, if not all. Have you submitted your abstracts?
Chungsik Yoo, Ph.D.
President – International Geosynthetics Society