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New IGS Task Force Launches Inaugural Honors

The IGS has created four new keynote lectures in honor of some of the industry’s most pioneering engineers.

Fumio Tatsuoka, Richard Bathurst, Kerry Rowe and Kelvin Legge have been recognized in new named lectures as the first action of the newly-formed IGS Recognitions Task Force (TF).

The TF, formed in June, last year, is reviewing the IGS’s current awards and honoring system. Its lead, Edoardo Zannoni, explained that the IGS had a long list of individuals deserving recognition so the TF was keen to expand the names formally honored for their work over the decades.

The new named lectures are:

Mr Zannoni said all the nominees had something in common: long service to the IGS and an outstanding contribution to geosynthetics.

He explained: “In particular, Fumio Tatsuoka for his significant achievements in advancing the study of reinforcement geosynthetics, Richard Bathurst for his contribution to the technical advancement of all aspects of reinforced soil structures with geosynthetics and his overall contribution in the development of the IGS, Kerry Rowe for his powerful contribution to the understanding of barrier behaviour and performance, and Kelvin Legge for the development of barrier system legislation.

“Establishing these keynote lectures at global and regional conferences also allows us to keep these topics front of mind, widening the understanding of and development of discussion on these important technologies.”

Dr. Tatsuoka said he was ‘extremely honored’ to be recognized and thanked IGS colleagues including those in IGS Japan with whom he had been working to promote geosynthetics engineering in a wide variety of ways.

He added: “I believe this series of lectures will also contribute to further developments of geosynthetics engineering, in particular in Asia.”

Dr. Fumio Tatsuoka (right) receives notification of being recognized with an IGS Named Lecture from Professor Jiro Kuwano, President of IGS Japan Chapter.

Dr. Bathurst said he was delighted to receive the honor, adding: “The award is particularly welcome because it reminds me of the satisfaction working with many collaborators to advance understanding of the analysis, design, and performance of geosynthetic reinforced soil structures, and the enjoyment of working with many IGS colleagues over many years to advance the mission of the IGS.”

Dr. Richard Bathurst, IGS Named Lecture honoree

Mr. Legge called the honor “incredible” and “unanticipated in my wildest dreams”.

He added: “I am strangely delighted by the honor as I have merely done what I believe to be the best for environmental protection by developing and implementing appropriate technology for the benefit of present and future generations. The recognition is shared with numerous people, in particular IGS members and heroes who have encouraged and supported my efforts over decades.

“I sincerely hope that the lecture series will encourage citizens of Africa to embrace the beneficial use of geosynthetic materials through the development and implementation of appropriate technology for socio-economic improvement and sustainable development in our continent’s uniquely diverse environment.”

Kelvin Legge (left) receives notification of being recognized with an IGS Named Lecture from Charl Chillers, President of IGS South Africa (GIGSA).

Also “absolutely delighted” was Dr. Rowe, who additionally paid tribute to the “extremely talented” colleagues and graduate students that have made significant contributions to the work for which he was being recognized.

He added: “I think a common characteristic of all of those being recognized by this announcement of named lectures is that they have succeeded through perseverance and periods when the significance and value of the work was not recognized, and sometimes discouraged,  until a decade or two later. It is my hope that our success will encourage others to show equal perseverance in following a vision for the development of the application and improvement of geosynthetics.”

Kerry Rowe (right) receives notification of being recognized with an IGS Named Lecture from colleague Richard Brachman. This photograph was taken at Queen’s University’s geosynthetic liner test site (QUELTS) – where several of his pioneering contributions on geomembrane wrinkles and ageing, and GCL hydration, overlap stability and bentonite migration originated.

Mr Zannoni added: “All these experts have made an outstanding impact in our industry and I hope the new named lectures go some way in acknowledging their pioneering work and inspire the next generation of engineers.

“The IGS has so many hard-working members so the named lectures are just the start in our honoring activities – there is more in the pipeline so watch this space!”

*** The next GeoAsia conference takes place in Taipei, Taiwan, in October, this year, followed by GeoAfrica in Cairo, Egypt, in February 2023, and the 12th ICG in Rome, Italy, in September 2023.