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Meet Your New President – Sam Allen

This summer Sam Allen was voted into the prestigious role of IGS President. Along with newly elected Council members, they started their four-year term this month. Mr Allen made his first formal address to IGS members at the recent EuroGeo7 conference in Poland where he shared an ambitious program for the years ahead.

IGS President Sam Allen

Here, we find out more about Mr Allen’s involvement and affinity with the IGS, his plans for the Society, and why now is the best time to be working in geosynthetics.

Congratulations! How does it feel to be the new President?

Thank you. It is my highest honor to serve as the President of the IGS. It is also a joy to support a Society I have served for so many years, and the agendas and investments that I am so passionate about. The IGS is a very special place to me.

Do you have any words for your predecessor Professor Chungsik Yoo?

Yes. Quite simply: thank you! I met Dr. Yoo many years ago and immediately valued his devotion to the IGS. Unique amongst all IGS Presidents before him, Dr. Yoo’s term was challenged halfway through with a global pandemic, shutting down industries around him, restricting his travel within his own country much less the world, and eliminating any possibility for his planned in-person meetings. Instead of uninterrupted time spent on IGS initiatives, Chungsik and his team of Officers found themselves devoting time to the navigation of postponed IGS conferences, endless online meetings, and the struggles of membership communications suddenly reliant solely on digital technologies.

They led the way with initiatives including the hiring of a new Executive Director and a Communications specialist, the establishment of the IGS Sustainability Committee, and IGS online events including conferences, webinars and the many Committee meetings.

I am very fortunate in that Dr. Yoo, as immediate Past President, will still be an active and appreciated resource to the IGS. He was also elected as the new President of the Federation of International Geo-engineering Societies (FedIGS), of which IGS is a part, so I look forward to working closely with him in his new capacity.

Tell us about your involvement with the IGS so far.

I feel in many ways that I have grown up within the IGS. I was first elected to the IGS Council in 2006 and again in 2010. I guess because I was an active volunteer, I was co-opted in 2014 and then re-elected in 2018. Through the years I chaired the Education Committee (2008-2010), co-chaired the Pan-American Activities Committee (2010), helped launch the Educate the Educators (EtE) program (Argentina – 2013, United States – 2015), and chaired the Communications Committee (2014–2022).

I was very involved in the development of major communications endeavors, such as the Two for a Few series, expanding the IGS’s digital and social media presence, helping manage the rebuild of the IGS Digital Library and IGS website, and working on the ‘Did You Know…?’ sustainability campaign. The IGS has been a fertile ground for relevant volunteer service to our industry.

What do you do outside the IGS?

I am Vice President and Director of the Texas Research International (TRI) Environmental Group, a series of independent, employee-owned geotechnical and geosynthetics testing and research centers around the world. Our firm operates labs and service centers in the USA, China, India, Australia, Brazil and South Africa. We serve industry participants from regulatory authorities to commercial engineering, installation, contracting and manufacturing firms.  Specific to geosynthetics, we are heavily involved in auditing and verification testing, as well as product development, and durability and materials engineering. I am extremely lucky to work with a large group of dedicated geosynthetic professionals who deeply care about our industry.

How does this relate to the IGS?

In my career of being an independent auditor of geosynthetics, performing testing and research services, geosynthetics promotion was never my immediate mission. In fact, my company’s independence as a third-party service firm was and still is related to the fact that we do not sell or distribute geosynthetics in any way. However, I also learned very early in my career that the more geosynthetics were used in applications, the more products that were sold, the more testing work we enjoyed. I also learned that education was directly related to the readiness and ability to design with and apply geosynthetics. Having been involved in many industry organizations, I can confirm that the perfect stage, the perfect platform from which to grow, invest in, support, and contribute to our geosynthetics industry was, and still is, the IGS.

Why did the role of IGS President interest you?

The IGS has always inspired me as the perfect place to ‘give back’. Having a wealth of experience working with and for the IGS, the next step was always a consideration. I am honored to serve in this capacity.

What are you most looking forward to doing?

One of my favorite aspects of IGS work is meeting our industry people and learning about their needs, their struggles and successes. The Presidency allows me to delve into this learning in new ways. I’m also very excited about the unique inflection point the IGS finds itself in: not pre-pandemic and yet not really free from it either. We are navigating a consistent pandemic – nearly an endemic – in a new world with serious environmental and financial challenges. I firmly believe geosynthetics play a key role in responding to these challenges. I’m very excited about promoting this message.

What are your priorities or main goals in the short term and also more long-term?

There is so much to do! In the short term we will facilitate the development of new IGS initiatives related to education. Namely, a ‘sustainability calculator’ inclusive of geosynthetic solutions, a Geosynthetics Handbook that is friendly to design engineers and contractors, and a new applications-focused curriculum that supports a post-graduate geosynthetics expertise credential: an IGS professional certification program. These ‘products’ are needed to propel our materials and their utility to greater widespread use and acceptance.

In the longer term, we will implement renewed educational programs leveraging these products, to accelerate the growth of geosynthetics design and contracting to achieve smarter, lower carbon footprint and sustainable infrastructure development. These programs will also assist our IGS Chapters in their own growth and outreach efforts. We will also be focused on connecting state-of-the-art with state-of-the-practice by celebrating our contracting and installation communities and soliciting their support in keeping the quality bar very high in practice.

Finally, we will work diligently to liaise with our sister geotechnical societies to speak with a common voice when communicating with global regulatory authorities and policy makers. This has never been more important as humankind faces a changing planet requiring new and modern construction practices.

What are your ambitions for the IGS and its members?

As we are all part of a global community facing urgent challenges, the IGS and our membership need to embrace our relevance to, and responsibilities for, the needed response. Geosynthetics are a mandatory material for better, more resilient infrastructure.

I also look forward to enjoying our ever-growing digital presence via leveraging our IGS website, our world class Digital Library, our social media presence and our soon-to-be-released IGS mobile app. These tools will assist us in continually connecting with, and supporting our Chapters and global membership.

What sort of challenges is the industry facing right now and how do you hope to help IGS members navigate them?

The challenges our industry faces are many, and not too unlike the challenges affecting all businesses. Global populations are facing unprecedented environmental stresses from inflation, global warming and food and energy security challenges. This is expected to worsen in the next four years and beyond. Geosynthetics are a key component of the needed solutions and best practices associated with sustainable, lower carbon footprint and economically advantageous design and construction practices.

While IGS educational programs and contributions (such as EtE and online geosynthetics university videos) have been successful, currently, the vast majority of global engineering students and professional engineers are not yet knowledgeable about, nor comfortable with, designing with and constructing with geosynthetics. The success of geosynthetics education has not kept up with the pace of geosynthetics education need. However, these challenges present wonderful opportunities for growth and transformation. We heard repeatedly at the EuroGeo7 conference, “education, education, education!” This continues to be the challenge of our time, and defines the urgent need to accelerate IGS educational outreach.

In addition, we all support the reduction and eventual elimination of single-use plastic pollution, and we will differentiate and promote our geosynthetic solutions. IGS members will be supported with our IGS programs, materials and education efforts. They will also play an important role in carrying our message forward to grow awareness of and appreciation for geosynthetics.

Do you have any messages for members?

I firmly believe that IGS members are in the right career at the right time.  The world needs our materials, our message, and our ingenuity and engineering solutions. We have never before been more necessary for the successful future of our planet and its infrastructure. The IGS is here to provide education and technical resources to meet these challenges, and to inspire new generations of enthusiastic and informed leaders. I look forward to working with all IGS members in partnership to realize a strong IGS and a better world for all.

How can members contact you?

I am always available via my company contact information:

Samuel (Sam) Allen
Vice President and Director
TRI Environmental Group
9063 FM2244 (Bee Cave Road)
Austin, Texas 78733 USA
Direct: 01 512 615 4415

Members can also say hello face-to-face as I hope to attend all IGS regional and international conferences not only as the IGS President but also as a technical contributor and conference attendee, learning as much as I can at all times.  I immediately look forward to meeting IGS members in person at the GeoAsia7 Conference in Taipei, Taiwan, and the much-anticipated GeoAfrica4 conference in Cairo, Egypt. I will also stay very active in global standardization communities including ISO and ASTM International. I look forward to every opportunity to interact with IGS members.

Any last remarks?

The IGS is stronger with each new Corporate and individual Chapter member, so please join us, engage with us and participate with us to grow our industry and help the world.

Yoshihisa Miyata


Dr. Yoshihisa Miyata is a Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, National Defense Academy of Japan. He received his doctoral degree from Kyushu University in 1999. Dr. Miyata specializes in soil reinforcement technology and physical and numerical modeling of geostructures. He has authored or co-authored more than 260 papers in referred journals and conference proceedings and more than 130 technical articles. 

Dr. Miyata is the vice chair of the Japan chapter of IGS. He is also vice-chair of the Technical Committee on Soil Reinforcement in IGS and a board member of Geosynthetics International. As an organizing or scientific committee member, he has contributed to the success of international and regional geotechnical engineering and geosynthetics conferences. Dr. Miyata has received many awards and accolades, including the IGS award twice (2010 and 2023) and the Best Paper awards of ICE Geotechnical Engineering. (2017), Geosynthetic International (2015), Soils and Foundations (2013), Canadian Geotechnical Journal (2008) etc. He gave the 1st Bathurst lecture during the 12th ICG held at Roma in 2023. Dr. Miyata has much experience in geosynthetics. He has strong potential to contribute to the development of IGS.

Please see his detailed information:

Huabei Liu


Dr. Huabei Liu is an engineering professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) with 25 years of experience in geosynthetic applications. Prior to joining HUST, he was granted tenure as an associate professor at the City University of New York in Dec. 2013. His research focuses on the long-term and dynamic responses of GRS structures, which has been materialized as more than 80 refereed journal papers, and has promoted the applications of GRS structures in earthquake-active areas and advanced the use of locally-available fill materials for GRS applications.

Dr. Liu has been an active member of IGS since 2009. Currently he is an IGS Council Member, the Secretary for the Chinese Chapter, an executive board member of China Technological Association of Geosynthetics, and a member of ISSMGE TC 218 “Reinforced fill materials”. He also serves on the editorial boards of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Computers and Geotechnics, Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, and Transportation Infrastructure Geotechnology.

Dr. Liu is looking forward to better serving the community. He is particularly interested in educating younger generations on geosynthetics, and promoting GRS applications in extreme environments.

G L Sivakumar Babu


G L Sivakumar Babu is an active researcher and academic in geosynthetics and contributed significantly. He is the President of Indian Chapter of International Geosynthetics Society. He served as the President of Indian Geotechnical Society during 2017-2020 and was the Chairman of International Technical Committee (TC-302) on Forensic Geotechnical Engineering (FGE) of International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) during 2013-2021. He is a Fellow of ASCE and also served as Governor, ASCE, Region 10 during 2014-2020.

He completed Ph.D.(Geotechnical Engineering) in 1991 from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, after Masters Degree (Soil Mechanics Foundation Engg.) in 1987 from Anna University, Madras and B.Tech. (Civil Engineering) in 1983 from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati. He worked as Humboldt Fellow in Germany during June 1999- July 2000 and as Visiting Scholar, Purdue University, Lafayette, USA during 2/95 – 2/96.

He guided 28 (23 Phds and 5 MS) research degrees and guiding 4 students for PhD. He wrote a book on soil reinforcement and geosynthetics, edited eight books and proceedings and has several publications (International and national Journals -200, International and national conf. more than 200, Total over 400). He received several awards such as John Booker award from IACMAG, Humboldt fellowship from Germany, DST Boyscast Fellowship, and a few awards for the best papers from Indian Geotechnical Society and American Society of Civil Engineers.

Dylan Armour


I believe fundamentally in the role that geosynthetics play in our future. For many countries, traditional methods of construction are often too resource-intensive and costly to apply throughout all levels of their society. Geosynthetics are an equalizing force in sustainable global development.

My career has given me the opportunity to work holistically in many roles and sectors, across a very broad range of stakeholders. As principal position as head of manufacturing in Canada, US and Europe, I have been exposed to a broad range of industry best practices and policy environments. My international business development and project management experience has provided me the opportunity to develop relationships with people around the world.

Finally, my current role as Director of Sustainability and Innovation is the culmination of this journey, which began with my post-graduate specialization in anthropology and sustainable development. I work to develop products, systems, and corporate strategy based on sustainable business practices.

I believe our industry sits at the centre of many of the most pressing conversations facing the world, and I’d be honoured to serve as an elected member of the IGS.

Fernando H. M. Portelinha


Fernando H. M. Portelinha holds a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and has post-doctoral experience from the University of Texas in Austin (USA). Prof. Portelinha has been a member of the IGS since 2008. In 2018, he was honored with the Young IGS Member Award for his contributions to the Brazilian IGS Chapter and his research with geosynthetics. Currently, Prof. Portelinha serves as a professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the Federal University of Sao Carlos (Brazil), where he has been passionately researching and teaching geosynthetics disciplines for over 10 years. In 2012, he created the Laboratory of Geotechnics and Geosynthetics at the Federal University of Sao Carlos to contribute to the development of geosynthetics in Brazil.

Prof. Portelinha is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Geotextiles and Geomembranes Journal and is involved in the TC-Reinforcement and TC-Barriers committees for the IGS. He has contributed to the Brazilian IGS chapter by delivering courses, organizing conferences, and currently serving as secretary of the Geosynthetics Committee in the Brazilian Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.

Expressing his enthusiasm, Prof. Portelinha is honored to be a candidate and is eager to contribute to IGS initiatives by serving on the IGS council.

Francisco Pizarro


For more than a year as an IGS Council Member and Chair of the Pan American Activities Committee (PAAC), I’ve been able to enhance the development of our chapters across the region through the implementation of the IGS’s core programs. In addition, I have been involved in developing synergies between chapters and organizations, recruiting new lecturers for activities, helping to organize GeoAmericas 2024 and currently assisting a regional chapter to apply to host GeoAmericas 2028. Aside from this, there is still a lot to do. 

My commitment lies with all our chapters in the region to increase the widespread use of geosynthetics throughout the infrastructure and engineering industries.

Gary Ng

(Hong Kong)

I started G and E back in June 1984 in Hong Kong. It was a small contractor until the introduction of Amoco geotextile in 1987. From this point, I kicked off my geosynthetics journey and never looked back, specializing in its application, design, distribution and installation. 40 years later, I recognize the significance of educating the younger generation as a cornerstone of advancing geosynthetics. Being a council member offers me a stronger mandate to provide a helping hand.

I also take a strong view on sustainable construction, in which geosynthetics play an increasingly vital role. Its versatility was presented in my paper at GeoAsia 7 in Taipei, and I am proud to continue this excellency.

Having worked for more than a decade across Southeast Asia and China, I see the advantage of exchanging dialogue and sharing thoughts and technology from this region. Effective liaising with the IGS can be expected with closer geography, better mastering of construction mentality, and a better understanding of customs and culture.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve the IGS family with greater dedication, transitioning from being an ordinary member since 2009, after which time one becomes wiser but still has the energy to make meaningful contributions.

Giulia Lugli


Giulia Lugli, P.E., MBA, is a professional structural engineer with experience in design and project management of civil, and geotechnical structures for the geo-environmental and transportation sectors, especially, but not limited to, reinforced soil structures.

She has served in the Geosynthetic Industry for the past 10 years and is currently Head of the Geosynthetics Business Development team and leads the Vertical Walls division of the Maccaferri Corporate GSY Unit, along with focus on R&D with an eye on digitally enabled and sustainable solutions.

Her daily activities include experience with a broad portfolio of geosynthetics products and solutions for applications as reinforced fill structures and soil stabilization, erosion control, drainage works, coastal protection and basal reinforcement.

She is a member of AGI, IGS and ISSMGE. She has served on the ISSMGE Technical Committee on Reinforced Fill Structures TC218 since 2018: from 2018 to 2020 as Secretary, and from 2018 to date as Chairman.

She has served as Guest-Editor for recognized Journals in the field and authored or co-authored several technical publications.

As potential IGS Council member she would support the organization in any activity with dedication, facilitating the know-how dissemination, especially in the field of reinforcement and drainage.


Ioannis Markou


Ioannis Markou is a Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering of Democritus University of Thrace (DUTh), Greece, and the Director of the Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering Laboratory at DUTh. He is currently the President (2022 – 2025) of the IGS Greece chapter and has also served as its Vice-President (2019 – 2022), a Council Member (2016 – 2019) and is a founding member of the chapter. His candidacy for IGS Council Member has the strong support of the IGS Greece Council. 

Dr. Markou is an Editorial Board Member and Lead Guest Editor for the Special Issue on “Soil–Geosynthetic Interaction” of the International Journal of Geosynthetics and Ground Engineering (Q1, IF: 2.9). He is a member of the ISSMGE and serves as member of the TC211 of this society. He has also been a member of the organizing and/or scientific committees of a number of International and National Conferences.

Dr. Markou has 35 years of research experience in “Soil/Geosynthetic Interaction” and “Soil Reinforcement with Fibers”. As a result, he has authored/co-authored one book chapter and several scientific papers published in International Journals and Conference Proceedings. Having long-term experience in geosynthetic engineering research and teaching and in IGS Greece activities, Dr. Markou wishes to play a more active role in the IGS, contributing to the achievement of its goals.

Online profile:

Wang Deqi


Mr. Wang Deqi is the inventor of anti-UV weed mat in China, the  Deputy Director of the Innovation Committee of the China Agricultural Plastics Society under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, and a member of the International Association of Geomaterials. Previously, Mr. Wang served as the Workstation Director of the National Industrial Fabric Quality Supervision and Inspection Center. Mr. Wang led his team to successfully upgrade the “anti-aging” geotextile to the professional “anti exposure” stage, especially the weed mat (100-300g woven geotextile), with an exposed service life of up to 10-15 years, the world’s highest level.

Today, I am applying to join the IGS Council in order to participate in academic exchanges, technology promotion, and other related work, together with promoting the development and progress of international geotextiles in the field of environmental protection, and fulfill the mission of IGS.

Ivan P. Damians


Dr. Ivan P. Damians is an Associate Researcher Professor at the International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE®). He serves as a Geotechnical Engineer responsible for Research and Development (R&D) of the VSoL System at VSL International Ltd, which is part of the Bouygues Construction Group. Additionally, he works as an Assistant Professor at the School of Civil Engineering (ETSECCPB) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya·BarcelonaTech (UPC), teaching courses in Soil Mechanics, Geotechnical Engineering, Geotechnical Projects and Constructions, and Life-Cycle Analysis and Sustainability Assessment for both Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Dr. Damians actively participates in various research projects funded by national and international programs, as well as industry-sponsored initiatives. He is a member of technical committees and professional societies including:

  • CTN-UNE 140/SC 7, developing standards like EN 1997-3 (Eurocode 7) and 104 (Geosynthetics)
  • TC218 Reinforced Fill Structures and TC307 Sustainability in Geotechnical Engineering of the ISSMGE
  • International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) and the Sociedad Española de Mecánica de Suelos e Ingeniería Geotécnica (SEMSIG)
  • Current Secretary of TC-Soil Reinforcement at the IGS.

Dr. Damians is the author of several publications and an active reviewer of international journals in the sectors of soil reinforcement, geosynthetics, sustainability, numerical methods, and behavior of clays as a long-term insulation material for nuclear waste disposal facilities. Moreover, he supervises Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD theses in Geosynthetics at CIMNE/UPC·BarcelonaTech.

Links to online profile & publications:

Jabulile Msiza

(South Africa)

Over the past two years, I’ve had the honour of serving on the IGS Council alongside some brilliant fellow members whom I now regard as colleagues. Although all my activity has been rewarding, the following particularly standout – serving as vice chair of the Technical Committee on Barriers and Representing Africa and the Middle East as their Regional Activity Chair, particularly at a time GeoAfrica (Cairo) was held and the first named lecture series was announced.

I’m a Civil Engineer, Professionally registered, and specializing in Waste Engineering as a Consultant of the company Jones & Wagener Engineering and Environmental Consultants (J&W). I’m the Head of Department of a dynamic team of engineers, technologists and draughts persons servicing waste management facilities across South Africa and other African regions; I’m also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of J&W.

With over 18 years’ working experience, I’m passionate about design for environmental protection, particularly for waste management facilities, construction of barrier and capping systems, and promoting the understanding and appropriate use of geosynthetic materials. It is a humbling industry in that while many advancements have happened in the past few years, there’s still much to learn as installed systems are tested with time and various exposure conditions.

I’m a member of the Associations: South African Institute of Civil Engineers (SAICE), Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Board Member, the South African Chapter of the IGS and the Institute of Waste Management of South Africa. I have been an elected council member of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) for the past four years and eager to continue serving in the future.

Jacek Kawalec


I am a chartered geotechnical expert with 30 years of engineering experience, including 22 years of research and teaching at Silesian University of Technology (SUoT) in Poland where I obtained my MSc. in Civil Engineering (1994) and PhD in Geotechnics (2000).

My IGS membership began in 2005 and my involvement in the society since then has been divided between national and international activities. In Poland, as President of the Polish Chapter, I organized an “Educate the Educators” course bringing together participants from three countries (Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia). In addition, I had the honor of serving as Chairman and leader of the Scientific Committee of the very successful IGS event – the regional EUROGEO-7 Conference, held in Warsaw in 2022.

My involvement at the international level includes membership in the IGS Council (as an invited and co-opted member between 2014-2020, and as an elected member from 2020 to present). As Chair of TC-Stabilization, I organized the joint TC-S & TC-H workshop in Prague in 2019. Over the years I have also contributed to various IGS committees, including Educational, Corporate & Publication Committees. Currently, I am focused on a special IGS session at the Railways 2024 Conference.

I would like to declare my continuous commitment to the Society, and if elected, I hope to continue this mission for the next 2024-2028 Council term.

Kasia Ria Zamara

(United Kingdom)

Dr Katarzyna (Kasia) Ria Zamara is a founding member of the IGS Diversity Task Force (DTF). She was instrumental in organising the first DTF event at the Rome ICG 2023 with continued strong contribution to DTF activities. Kasia is also an active member of the IGS Sustainability Committee, and Vice Chair of the IGS UK chapter. She has supported IGS since joining the organisation in 2009.

Kasia is proactive and keen to table new ideas designed to open new lines of thought and encourage innovation. She is successful in her personal career and seeks to inject this same level of energy and influence into the Council.

To find out why I am worth your vote, look me up on LinkedIn.

Maria das Graças A. Gardoni


Dr. Maria das Graças A. Gardoni, is a Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She earned her PhD from the University of Brasilia with 1 year of research at École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal (Canada), and she completed a post-doctoral program at the Joseph Fourier University (UJF), Grenoble, France, and the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for the Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA), Anthony, France, in 2011.

She has more than 30 years of experience in applied and laboratory research in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering and geosynthetics. She has conducted research mainly on filtration and drainage, durability, waterproofing, and geotextile confinement systems in mining, dams. Prof. Gardoni has acted as an expert in tailings dam accidents in Brazil, and in waterproofing systems for dam reservoirs. She teaches geosynthetics in geotechnical and geoenvironmental applications in Civil and Environmental Engineering undergraduate and graduate courses and has supervised several MSc and PhD research projects.

She is a member of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) Council (2022-2024), the IGS Education Committee and was awarded by IGS in 2004. She is President of IGS Brazil (2023-2025), as well as the coordinator of the Educate the Educators program. In 2019, she received the Inconfidência Commendation, a medal awarded by the state government of Minas Gerais.

Song-Hun Chong


Dear IGS Members,

I am very pleased to apply to be a Council Member nominee on behalf of the Korean Geosynthetics Society (KGSS, IGS Korea Chapter). My short biography is as follows:

Song-Hun Chong, Ph.D. is an associate professor in Civil Engineering at Sunchon National University. He earned his PhD degree from Georgia Tech. My research group addresses the scientific and engineering development of geotextiles, geomembranes, and related products to stabilize geostructures. These research projects have been funded by National funding agencies and industry.

Because of my passion and profession for geosynthetic research, I expect to establish successful collaborations with many researchers in this area. Thank you in advance for your consideration of my application.


Song-Hun Chong, PhD
International Affairs Managing director of KGSS
Associate Professor
Department of Civil Engineering, Sunchon National University

Timothy D. Stark

(United States of America)

Timothy D. Stark (USA) is a Civil Engineering Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Stark has been conducting research on geosynthetics for 30 years ( Dr. Stark is Technical Director of the Flexible Geomembrane Institute, an industry-sponsored research organization at UIUC investigating geosynthetics for containment and other applications (

Dr. Stark is also an Editorial Board Member of the two IGS journals. Dr. Stark has received a number of awards including: 2023 J.E. Jennings Award, South African Institution of Civil Engineering; 2023 Cross USA Lecturer, ASCE; 2019 George H. Norman Medal, ASCE; 2017 Best Paper Award in Performance of Constructed Facilities Journal (ASCE); 2016 Best Paper in Geosynthetics International Journal, IGS; 2013 & 1998 Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award, ASCE, and others.

After serving as vice-president of IGS-North America, Dr. Stark was elected to IGS Council in 2020. He was then elected Chair of the IGS Pan American Committee Chair and helped reinvigorate this Committee. He is now serving as Chair of the IGS Education Committee, which is developing a certification program for geosynthetic engineers, chairing a subcommittee that is re-evaluating the EtE Program, and serving on the IGS Committee developing a Geosynthetics Handbook.