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The Regional Conferences of the IGS

JZ_HeadshotDear IGS member,

The conferences of the IGS have played a remarkable role in the development of geosynthetic products and its applications. Much of the information on material properties, testing methods, applications and design approaches that we use in geosynthetics engineering has been vetted through these conferences. Of particular importance are the international conferences of the IGS, which are held every four years. This series of conferences has been a premier outlet of, and in many cases has indeed triggered, many of the ad- vances in geosynthetics. The first International Conference on Geosynthetics was held in Paris (France), in 1977, and was followed by the 1982 ICG in Las Vegas (USA), the 1986 ICG in Vienna (Austria), the 1990 ICG in The Hague (Netherlands), the 1994 ICG in Singapore, the 1998 ICG in Atlanta (USA), the 2002 ICG in Nice (France), the 2006 ICG in Yokohama (Japan), and the most recent 9th ICG held in Guarujá (Brazil) in 2010. The next conference, the 10th ICG, will be held in Berlin on September 21-25, 2014. We are looking forward to what will certainly become another landmark in the history of geosynthetic developments.

In addition to the series of ICG events, which are regularly held every four years, the chapters of the IGS regularly organize national conferences on Geosynthetics. They attract significant local participation and provide a remarkable forum for transference of knowledge on geosynthetics. Inspection of the IGS calendar of events indicates, for example, that in the next couple of months the Indian Chapter of the IGS will be holding Geosynthetics India ‘11 (Chennai, India, September 22-24), IGS-Brasil will be holding Geossintéticos 2011 (Belo Horizonte, Brazil, November 21-24), and Portugal will be holding the 4SPGEO (Aveiro, Portugal, November 22-23). These upcoming conferences are just a few examples of the excellent national events organized by the IGS Chapters.

In addition to the series of International Conferences, and the multiple series of National Conferences organized under the umbrella of the IGS, regional conferences of the IGS have been organized in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa. With three of these IGS regional conferences being held in 2012, they are the main focus of this article. As the international conferences, the series of IGS regional conferences are organized every four years, generally 2 years after the international conferences. Figure 1 shows the location of the international and regional conferences of the IGS. The European regional conferences on geosynthetics (“EuroGeo” Conferences) include the 1996 EuroGeo1 in Maastricht (Netherlands), the 2000 EuroGeo2 in Bologna (Italy), the 2004 EuroGeo3 in Munich (Germany) and the 2008 EuroGeo4 in Edinburgh (UK). The Asian regional conferences on Geosynthetics (“Geosynthetics Asia” Conferences) include the 1997 Conference in Bangalore (India), the 2000 Conference in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), the 2004 Conference in Seoul (South Korea), and the 2008 Conference in Shanghai (China). The Pan-American series of regional conference started in 2008 with the GeoAmericas 2008 conference in Cancún (Mexico). Finally, the African series of regional conferences started in 2009 with the GeoAfrica 2009 conference in Cape Town (Africa). The organizers of three of these regional conferences are actively working at this time, as new episodes of the GeoAmericas, EuroGeo and Geosynthetics Asia series will take place in Lima (Peru), Valencia (Spain), and Bangkok (Thailand) in 2012. Brief information on each conference is provided next. Additional information can be obtained in the information for each specific conference provided in this issue of IGSNews.

The Second Pan-American Geosynthetics Conference, GeoAmericas 2012, will be held on May 2-5, 2012 in Lima, Peru ( This event follows the highly successful First Pan-American Conference (Cancun, 2008), which involved almost 1,000 attendees, 8 concurrent technical activities throughout the entire conference, and a unique educational program. Lima, also called also the City of the Kings because of its major role during the Incan empire, is the portal to reach the world-famous citadel of Machu Picchu among other archeological wonders. The significant economic growth of Peru has created a significant demand on geosynthetics, particularly in areas such as mining and transportation infrastructure. The organizing committee is planning a well-integrated technical program that will include innovative technical sessions, discussion panels, and educational components.

The Fifth European Geosynthetics Conference, EuroGeo5, will be held on September 16- 19, 2012 in Valencia, Spain ( This event builds on the significant achievements of the previous EuroGeo Conferences. The Congress will be held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Valencia, a building with an emblematic and unique architectural design. Valencia, located on the Mediterranean coast, is Spain’s third largest city and it provides a remarkable combination of traditional and modern architectural designs. EuroGeo5 will provide a forum to discuss the multiple uses of geosynthetics, with particular emphasis on experience gained from case histories and recent developments in geosynthetic products. The conference will also benefit from the synergism with the IV International Symposium on Water Reservoirs, which will be held concurrently with EuroGeo5. In parallel with technical presentations, educational training lectures will be offered by experts in the geosynthetics industry.

With a theme on “Geosynthetics for Sustainable Adaptation to Climate Change,” The Fifth Asian Regional Conference on Geosynthetics, Geosynthetics Asia 2012, will be held on December 10-14, 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand ( Bangkok is one of the most important economic centers in Southeast Asia, with the added benefit of being centrally located and easily accessible from all over Asia. This event aims at bring- ing together geosynthetics researchers, consultants, owners, manufactures, distributors, project regulators, contractors, and academics in order to discuss recent developments on geosynthetics. The technical program will include a blend of keynote lectures; theme lectures on key geosynthetic issues, special sessions, country reports focused on issues specific to developing countries, case histories and student presentations.

Continuing with the excellence in technical contributions that has characterized the previous IGS Regional Conferences, the 2012 upcoming regional conferences on geosynthetics will provide technical offerings that are critical to the geosynthetics industry. This includes the use of geosynthetics in mining applications to be emphasized in Lima’s GeoAmericas 2012 Conference, innovations on the use of geosynthetics in water reservoirs to play central stage in Valencia’s EuroGeo5, and the role on geosynthetics on rapidly evolving sustainability issues to be emphasized in Bangkok’s Geosynthetics Asia 2012 Conference. All three regional conferences will provide unique oppor- tunities to share experiences, knowledge, advances, and opportunities related to geosynthetics and affiliated technologies.

We look forward to your participation in the healthy technical programs offered by the IGS through its 2012 Regional Conferences on Geosynthetics.

All best regards,

Jorge G. Zornberg, Ph.D., P.E.
IGS President
tel: +1(512) 232 3595
Skype ID: jorgezor
Web site: