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New Technical Committee of IGS – TC-Stabilization

During its last meeting in Marrakech, the IGS Council approved the creation of a new Technical Committee, TC-Stabilization. Stabilization (or stiffening) involves the use of geosynthetics to control the deformations within a soil-geosynthetic composite in structures such as roadways. ISO TC221 has identified “stabilization” as an additional geosynthetic function. Others have contended that the actual geosynthetic function is “stiffening,” reserving the term stabilization for applications involving the improvement of the base or subgrade components of roadways. Independent of whether the term stabilization should be used as a function or as an application, it is clear that he term “stabilization” now represents a significant sub-discipline within the broader geosynthetics discipline, with its own theoretical developments, relevant properties, and research. There is a growing number of researchers and practitioners specialized in stabilization that are ready to channel their thoughts through organized forums or committees.

The number of researchers and engineers who are actively involved in various aspects involving the use of geosynthetics for stabilization is already significant, and is expected to keep growing. A good example was the recent Transportation Geotechnics and Geoecology Conference held in St. Petersburg in May 2017 where two full sessions, co-organized by the IGS, were focused specifically on stabilization. It became clear that there are significant opportunities for continued geosynthetics growth, consensus building, and research in this area.

The main objective of the new TC is to provide a forum to foster the growth, facilitate consensus, and disseminate research results on geosynthetic stabilization.

The committee leadership approved by the IGS Council is as follows:

  • Chair: Dr. Jacek Kawalec, Poland
  • Co-chair: Prof. Jorge G. Zornberg, USA
  • Co-chair: Mr. Flavio Montez, Brazil
  • Secretary: Dr. Leos Hornicek, Czech Republic

Leadership team has proposed a rather specific 2-year plan and a more general 4-year plan subject to additional refinement to be conducted during the initial 4 years of the TC (including the 2 initial years).

The 2-year plan includes the following proposed activities:

  • Initiate the program of quarterly “email meetings,” restricted only to TC-S members only. The meetings will involve addressing technical topics of relevance to the advancement of geosynthetic stabilization. During the period of one week per quarter, the technical issues will be discussed via email, with members on alert for prompt response. The communications will be consolidated after the “email meeting.” Members that do not contribute to the email meeting will be asked to leave the committee.
  • Conduct general meetings at the Geosynthetics Conferences, including the ICG (Seoul 2018). Some of general meetings will involve not only committee members, but IGS members at large. The meetings will include both organizational and technical content.
  • Organize a specialty session on Stabilization at the 11ICG in Seoul, Korea. The proposal for the specialty session has already been submitted and accepted by the conference organizers.
  • Coordinate the compilation of a special issue on “Stabilization” in one of the two official journals of the IGS.
  • Conduct a Stabilization workshop (tentatively in 2019). The papers published in the special issue on Stabilization will be invited to provide oral presentations. The specific technical agenda of the workshop will be augmented with other invited and solicited papers. This will be the first of a quadrennial series of specialty workshops on stabilization.
  • The TC chair will be in charge of the overall management of all activities, the TC Co-chairs will be in charge of at least one of the specific major activities; the TC secretary will be in charge of regular communications with TC members and the IGS Secretary.

On the other hand, the generic activities proposed for the four-year plan are as follows:

  • Conduct general meetings at the Geosynthetics Conferences, including the Regional IGS Conferences (Geo-Americas 2020, EuroGeo 2020, Geosynthetics Asia 2021).
  • Continued program of quarterly “email meetings,” restricted only to TC-S members only.
  • Organize specialty sessions on Stabilization at the Geosynthetics Conferences, including the Regional IGS Conferences (GeoAmericas 2020 in Rio de Janeiro, EuroGeo 2020 in Warsaw, Geosynthetics Asia 2021 in Taipei).
  • Conduct a Stabilization workshop in coordination with a TC of one of the IGS Sister Societies (tentatively with the

Transportation Geotechnics TC of ISSMGE).

  • Continued use of e-mail for every day communication under TC.
  • Focused development of TC website for outreach and internal TC communication.
  • Propose organization of technical sessions and short courses in events of International Sister Societies (particularly ISSMGE).
  • Compilation of existing technical literature on stabilization. Critical review and categorization of the papers. Synthesis of research trends in the area of stabilization.
  • Facilitate coordination of research among different research units across the globe. The TC could facilitate, for example, the compilation of information from multiple field monitoring sites in order to consolidate the information.
  • Collect and compare design approaches and existing practice.
  • Organize discussion forum for young professionals, incorporate young members as much as possible into TC activities.

Call for Members for the IGS Technical Committee on Stabilization

The IGS Technical Committee on Stabilization welcomes applications to join the committee. The time commitment to serve as a member of the Technical Committee is not expected to be significant. However, active participation in committee tasks will be expected from all members of the committee. If you are interested in joining the Technical Committee on Stabilization, please submit your Application form to the TC Secretary, Dr. Leos Hornicek at

Additional information about the benefits and responsibilities of the TC-S members, as well as the membership ap-plication form can be downloaded from the following link:

Reported by

Dr. Jacek Kawalec, TC-Stabilization Chair