Skip to content

New IGS Council Sets Ambitious Agenda

Sam Allen
Newly elected IGS President Sam Allen addresses the audience in Warsaw at EuroGeo 7. The new IGS Council met at the event.

Greater collaboration, communication and creativity are set to define the next four years of the new IGS Council.

Newly elected IGS President Sam Allen shared the Society’s triumphs, initiatives and focus at an Extraordinary General Assembly, held during the EuroGeo7 conference in Warsaw, Poland, earlier this month.

Mr. Allen vowed to build on the legacy of outgoing President Chungsik Yoo, putting sustainability centre stage, expanding the education and understanding of geosynthetics worldwide, and strengthening the IGS’s role as the go-to authority on geosynthetics solutions and knowledge.

Being a more accessible and inclusive Society was also key, encouraging more collaboration, engagement and involvement with new stakeholders on new platforms.

Professor Yoo shared the Society’s many achievements over the last four-year term including:

  • Enhanced and optimized Technical Committee activities including specialist workshops and conference sessions, webinars and videos.
  • A boost in education resources and materials across platforms including the new IGS Digital Library, Sustainability eBook, and ‘Did You Know…?’ series.
  • A greater commitment to sustainability with the creation of the IGS Sustainability Committee and increased influence with policy-makers.
  • A commitment to greater collaboration with and accessibility for members including growing the Educate the Educators programs, a new and more intuitive IGS website, and launching the IGS Job Shadowing Program for students.
  • Continued robust communication materials and support for all IGS initiatives to raise awareness about IGS activities both internally and with the wider public. Most recently this has included the creation of a refreshed IGS logo to improve messaging.

The audience heard the IGS’s digital offering was also going from strength-to-strength with a 30% rise in followers on LinkedIn over the last 12 months, with numbers now approaching 5,000. There was also record participation in the recent digital election for the IGS Council.

Individual membership had also increased by almost 15% since 2019 (from 3,178 to 3,646) while corporate memberships saw a near 16% boost over the same period (from 145 to 168).

Mr Allen also reported the Society had received a satisfactory audit with no concerns over the management and governance of the IGS finances. The meeting elected outgoing IGS Treasurer Ian Fraser as chair of the Finance Committee, and co-members Elizabeth Peggs, Flavio Montez and Peter Legg. A more detailed financial report has been included in the minutes and is also available by contacting IGS Secretariat Manager Elise Oatman at

The packed agenda included a poignant moment as outgoing IGS President Prof. Yoo officially handed over the baton to Mr Allen. Prof. Yoo was presented with a plaque recognizing his special contribution over four years that included the unprecedented challenge of the pandemic. He continues as the IGS Immediate Past President and has also been appointed the role of President of the Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies, of which the IGS is a member.

A series of awards were also presented during the session. These were Service Awards to Professor Dr. Erol Güler, Pierpaolo Fantini, Steve Corbet and Arstain Watn. Additionally, nine Student Awards were given in recognition of academic achievement through papers submitted to the EuroGeo7 conference.

The next IGS Council EGA is due to take place at the 12th International Conference on Geosynthetics (ICG) in Rome, Italy. The 12th ICG runs from September 17-21, 2023, with the EGA on a date yet to be confirmed.