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Waterways & Flood Control Expert, Dr. –Ing Michael Heibaum appointed as 2012 – 2013 Mercer Lecturer

mercerseriesThe Mercer Lecture selection committee, chaired by Professor Fumio Tatsuoka and the other members which include Dr Jean-Pierre Giroud, Professor Georg Heerten, Professor Ennio Marques Palmeira and Mr. Tim Oliver, has announced that Dr.-Ing. Michael Heibaum has been appointed as the next lecturer for the 2012 – 2013 Mercer Lecture Series. He will be delivering his presentation on the subject of “Geosynthetics for Waterways and Flood Protection Structures – Controlling the Interaction of Water and Soil”.

The prestigious Mercer Lecture Series was launched in 1992 as a biennial lecture, with the aim of promoting the co-operation of information exchange between the geotechnical & geosynthetics engineering professions by giving an eminent practioner the opportunity to undertake a lecture tour on the subject of Geosynthetics in Geotechnical Engineering. They are held in honour of the late Dr Brian Mercer, the inventor of geogrids and a strong advocate for innovation, research and development.

Dr Heibaum has many years of experience with the evaluation and application of geosynthetics in hydraulic engineering and currently heads up the Geotechnical Engineering Department of the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute in Germany. With increasing interest in flood control and waterway engineering associated with climate change, the Mercer Lecture committee selected “Waterways and Flood Control” as the theme for the 2012- 2013 series and Dr Heibaum will be presenting at the following venues:

  • 12th Baltic Sea Conference, Rostock
  • (31st May – 2nd June 2012)

  • ANZ 2012 – Ground Engineering in a Changing World, Melbourne
  • (15th – 18th July 2012)

  • 66th Annual Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Quebec
  • (scheduled for 2013 – dates to be confirmed)

The preceding Mercer Lecture series came to a close this year at the 15th African Regional Conference in Maputo, Mozambique. It was delivered by Professor Junichi Koseki from the University of Tokyo on the subject of “Use of geosynthetics to improve seismic performance of earth structures”. Professor Koseki had earlier in the year visited Texas to deliver the Mercer Lecture to the Geofrontiers Conference. He travelled the day after the tragic Japanese earthquake on 11th March and delivered his lecture to a standing ovation.

The legacy of the past and current Mercer Lecture lecturers is available on a dedicated website as a resource for the industry as a whole. Here, visitors to the site can learn more about the conferences that Dr Heibuam will be presenting at and download the papers of past lecturers. To access this information, visit >

The Mercer Lecture Series is sponsored by Tensar International Ltd, and endorsed by the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) and International Geosynthetics Society (IGS).

If you would like any additional information on the Mercer Lecture Series, contact:

Michelle Lee
Marketing Executive
Tensar International Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1254 266 842