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Speaker Line-Up Announced for UK Chapter Symposium

An impressive array of industry experts and international speakers will inspire and inform delegates at the IGS UK Chapter’s 6th symposium on May 12 and 13 this year.

Organizers have secured the IGS’s Richard Brachman and George Koerner as keynote speakers on the first day, while industry experts Steve Wilson, Peter Atchison and Steven Odunmbaku will deliver keynotes on day two. There will also be a special introduction from Pete Bradshaw, Head of Sustainability at Manchester City Football Club.

Geosynthetics design, implementation and best practice in the areas of Containment Engineering and Brownfield Remediation will also be explored through real world case study analysis and debate, in the surroundings of the iconic Etihad Stadium, home to Manchester City Football Club.

The stadium’s unique Tunnel Club will host the two-day symposium. Day 1 will focus on Containment Engineering, with talks themed on ‘Design Practice’ in the morning, then ‘Learning from Experience’ in the afternoon. The morning schedule is set to include:

  • Keynote Speaker Richard Brachman, Professor at Queen’s University, Ontario, on containment system design covering design fundamentals, and multi-layer system design in applications that could include mining or extreme environments. This will include time for a Q&A.
  • Gemmina Di Emidio, of Ghent University Belgium, sharing findings from her recent research on wet/dry cycling of GCLs and the applicability of polymerised clays for GCLs in aggressive environments, and how these might impact design decisions.
  • Richard Terry, Veolia’s Landfill Engineering Manager, exploring the constraints an operator has to consider that could limit the use of geosynthetic solutions.
  • Russell Jones, Principal of Golder Associates, will review case histories and lessons learnt in the context of landfill steepwall design.
  • A workshop session moderated by George Koerner.

After lunch, the day continues with:

  • Keynote speaker George Koerner, Director of the Geosynthetics Institute, exploring innovation and learning from experience. He is expected to draw on forensic engineering and case histories, as well as share new innovations in the pipeline. George will discuss liner, waste body and cover system instability, landfill post closure and polymer-modified GCLs. This will include time for a Q&A.
  • Eugene Gallagher, Associate with Coffey Geotechnics and Andy Belton, Associate Director with Wardell Armstrong and current IGS UK Chapter Chair, will look at a specific case history of a soil-geomembrane capping system exhumed some 30 years after construction.
  • Gary Fowmes, Associate Professor at Warwick University, reviews the EA Landfill Stability Guidance report 20 years on. He will be assessing how it has impacted engineering design practice, the challenges and legacy.
  • Darren Legge, Technical Specialist with the Environment Agency (EA), gives the EA’s perspective on containment engineering.
  • A workshop discussion moderated by Richard Brachman.  

Brownfield Remediation will be in the spotlight on Day 2 when delegates will discover how geosynthetics can help unlock the potential of contaminated sites. Organizers invite you to take a journey through time looking at current and emerging guidance documents and best practice; understanding issues that arise with brownfield development and the part geosynthetics can play.

It will begin by exploring the very site of the conference – the Etihad Stadium, before looking at current guidance, best practice and emerging advice.

Keynote speakers will include Manchester City’s Head of Sustainability, Pete Bradshaw, who will share the challenges faced by the Etihad Development, and how geosynthetics were used to solve them.

Other speakers include:

  • Steven Odunmbaku, Engineering Policy Manager from the National House Building Council, giving a regulator’s take on geosynthetics’ use in residential development sites across the UK.
  • Peter Atchison, Chairman of the Environmental Industries Commission Contaminated Land Working Group, will offer a Government perspective on brownfield objectives.
  • Steve Wilson, Technical Director of the Environmental Protection Group, talking about ‘Solving the Problem with Geosynthetics’, with specific reference to a galaxy far, far away!
  • Richard Knott, of AECOM, speaks on remediation of contaminated land.
  • Chris Swainston, of Soils Limited, reviews the AGS Cover System Document new guidance.

An open forum workshop discussion moderated by the speakers will close the day, focusing on the role geosynthetics play in achieving long-term sustainable objectives in the built environment.  

The event has a broad appeal, aiming to increase the awareness and understanding of sustainable and appropriate use of geosynthetics for all stakeholders, including developers, local authorities, insurance providers, engineers, architects and suppliers/manufacturers.

The symposium will be a fascinating place to explore the development, potential and ambitions of geosynthetics practice. We look forward to welcoming you!

To find out more about the event, click here