Two students attended the Young Engineers Conference at the 7th Asian Regional Conference on Geosynthetics thanks to a grant from the IGS Foundation (IGSF).
Hafsa Farooq, from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, and Meilani Adriyati, of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, were awarded scholarships for the event, which took place on the first day of the hybrid GeoAsia7 conference in Taipei, Taiwan, on October 31-November 4.
The funded places enabled them to meet peers – either virtually or in-person – from around the world, discuss their research projects and widen their knowledge, including learning from prestigious speakers including Professors Soon Hoe Chew, Junichi Koseki, Kerry Rowe, Fumio Tatsuoka and Abdelmalek Bouazza.
Both students said they appreciated the opportunity, which has made a significant impact on their ongoing studies.
Hafsa said: “I learnt about the vastness of my research area and the different experiments and technologies that are taking place worldwide, which will be helpful for my future endeavors.
“The conference was very interactive and the experiments and numerical investigations discussed by various presenters were valuable. In the future, I would wish to take part by presenting physically and involving myself more with face-to-face introductions and interactions with the famous and successful researchers.”
The conference speakers also made an impression on Meilani.
She said: “I met spectacular keynote speakers and invited lecturers in the geosynthetics world. The most special thing for me was meeting Dr. JP Giroud online because he is a pioneer of geosynthetics since 1970.
“I learned that geosynthetics have proven to be a sustainable solution in various civil engineering projects and are increasingly used as regular construction materials in transportation. Therefore, geosynthetics’ success is due mainly to high performance, easy construction, and a lot of sustainable benefits. The future development of geosynthetics technology, especially in transportation applications, will need to be safe, easily applied, economically friendly and sustainable.”
Established in 2019, the IGSF aims to support and extend the education efforts of the IGS. It has already built up nearly $100,000 in donations and provided grants and scholarships that have enabled free conference attendance, and supported research projects and educational initiatives.
IGSF Secretary-Treasurer Boyd Ramsey said: “It’s imperative we offer young engineers the opportunities to learn at the cutting edge of industry developments, and access networks to advance their research. We’re delighted to again have once again provided the means to do this at GeoAsia7. The IGSF is keen to support other initiatives in this way so please get in touch.”