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Remembering Dr. Manuel Blanco Fernández

Dr. Manuel Blanco received the Command of the Order of the Civil Merit award by His Majesty the King of Spain Felipe VI in recognition of his unique body of work – spanning 25 years – on the behavior of geomembranes installed in reservoirs.

Dear Colleagues,

With sadness, we announce that Dr. D. Manuel Blanco Fernández passed away in Madrid last Monday, 12th July 2021. Dr. Manuel Blanco was the Head of the Materials Department of the Central Laboratory of Structures and Materials of the CEDEX, Professor at Complutense University of Madrid and Vice President of the Spanish Chapter of IGS.

Dr. Blanco got his start in the field of geosynthetics in the 1970s, managing the first installations of geomembranes that took place in Spain. However, his main activities in this field started in the 1980s when, through works financed by private and public institutions, he began periodic assessment studies about geosynthetic materials placed in more than 200 hydraulic structures throughout the Spanish territory.

From an academic standpoint, his experience in this technological field has been the basis for the teaching of undergraduate courses and master’s courses at several Spanish universities, as well as the direction of several students’ Doctoral Theses.

In 2014, he was awarded the “Encomienda de la Orden del Mérito Civil” (Command of the Order of the Civil Merit) by His Majesty the King of Spain Felipe VI, in recognition of his work in the scientific field. In particular, this award acknowledges a body of work in the behavior of geomembranes installed in reservoirs for almost 30 years. His tireless efforts and desire to increase understanding and share knowledge in the geosynthetics community has resulted in very important advances in the knowledge of the performance of geomembranes over time and can be considered a unique work in the world in this branch of technology.

We deeply feel his passing.

Pedro Abad Santos


IGS Spanish Capter