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IGS Young Member Photo Contest Winners Revealed!

Breathtaking images of geosynthetics in action have won four young members prize money and free entry to an IGS regional conference.

During the summer, the IGS Young Members Committee invited members and non-members aged 35 and under to submit original images showcasing geosynthetics around the world.

The idea was to share the many inspiring ways geosynthetics technology and materials are used in a range of applications. Prizes included a gift voucher, donation to a charity of the winners’ choice, and free entry to an IGS regional conference. Fifty-two photos were submitted by 21 entrants from around the world. Some 67% of entries were from IGS members and half of these were IGS student members.

Overall winner was Sergio Luiz da Costa Junior, of IGS Brazil, for his photo of a triangular geomembrane reservoir for irrigation water in Bahia, Brazil. His prize was $300, split between a gift voucher and charity donation, which he said would be going to an LGBT+ charity. His image also won ‘Best Photo by an IGS Young Member’, earning him an extra $150.

The civil engineer specializing in geotechnical and geosynthetic engineering said he was delighted to win, adding: “It is wonderful to see two works, two challenges, two achievements recognized internationally. This helps to raise awareness about geotechnical works that involve geosynthetics, especially in countries with great challenges like Brazil.”

Sergio also won the People’s Choice award for his image of a circular geomembrane reservoir in Minas Gerais, Brazil, voted for on social media.

Second overall winner was IGS Brazil member Daniel Moreno Meucci, a commercial engineer in a geomembrane technical department. His photo showed a water reservoir in Luís Eduardo Magalhães city in Bahia state, Brazil, one of the largest irrigated areas in the country. It demonstrates the waterproofing function of geomembranes, which offer greater irrigation security to ensure plantations continue to thrive.

Daniel, who received a $200 voucher/donation, said: “I’m very flattered that my photo was selected in second place with so many high level photos and projects submitted. There’s no doubt that initiatives like this benefit the growth of the geosynthetics community. The donation portion of my prize will go to one of the charities my company Sapphire supports but that is yet to be chosen.”

Third was Youchen Lee, who is a member of the Chinese Taipei chapter of the IGS, for an image of geogrid reinforced soil slopes in the mudstone badlands of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Youchen received a $150 voucher/donation.

An award was also given for Best Photo submitted by an IGS Student Member. This was won by Julian Gomez, of IGS Colombia, for his image of the Villeta-Bogotá highway in Bogotá. This triumph also earned Julian free entry to the 12th International Conference on Geosynthetics (12th ICG) in Rome in September 2023. His photo showed erosion control using a turf reinforcement mat and a geogrid system with soil nailing.

He said: “Winning was a nice surprise. Being able to attend the 12th ICG is a huge opportunity, and I look forward to taking part in one of the most important conferences in the geosynthetics world.”

Dawie Marx, chair of the IGS Young Members Committee, said: “The 2022 IGS Young Members Committee Photo Competition was a great success. Initiatives like this help widen the understanding and awareness of geosynthetics among members and the wider public and we thank everyone who entered for sharing their impactful entries.”

IGS Young Members membership is open to anyone aged 35 and under. You can find out more about the IGS Young Members Committee here. Student membership of the IGS is free. For more about membership options, and to join the IGS, visit the webpage here.

+++ Finalists for the Best Young Member Paper competition at the 12th ICG will soon be revealed. The IGS Young Members Session will see 10 contenders battle for the top spot and a chance to win $1,000. All finalists will get free conference entry. The shortlist will be announced on January 23, 2023.