ASTM D35 Committee on Geosynthetics establishes new award

First recipient, Dave Suits, is namesake for the honor

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At its January 2014 biannual meetings, ASTM International’s Committee D35 on Geosynthetics announced that it had established a committee award that would recognize outstanding long-term service and commitment to Committee D35. And the first recipient of the new L.David Suits Award was Mr. Suits himself.

During a D35 committee banquet in Houston Jan. 30, Suits was presented with the award by current D35 chairman, Bob Mackey.

In his presentation, Mackey noted that Suits joined ASTM in 1978, has been active in the development of geosynthetic standards for more than 35 years, was a founding member of the D35 Committee on Geosynthetics in 1984, and is currently executive director of the North American Geosynthetic Society (NAGS).

Mackey continued, citing the spadework Suits did on various geosynthetics committees and task groups within D13 on Textiles and D18 on Soil and Rock. Since D35’s founding in January 1984, Suits served two six-year terms as D35 chairman and has maintained an active leadership role as task group leader authoring eight ASTM standards. His other activities within ASTM have included co-editor of ASTM International Geotechnical Testing Journal, past member of the Committee on Publications and on the Technical Committee Operations, including past chairman of that committee. In 1996, Suits was the first recipient from D35 to receive the ASTM Award of Merit for his work in geotextile test standardization.

Also noted were Suits’ professionalism and leadership abilities, earning him the highest respect from his professional associates and has resulted in him being asked to take on numerous leadership positions. These leadership positions have occurred within ASTM, the Transportation Research Board (TRB), then American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Geosynthetic Institute, NAGS. He was the founding chairman of the ISO TC221 Committee on Geosynthetics and has contributed of numerous geosynthetics conferences.

Dave Suits was awarded the 1991 Excellence in Engineering Award and 1995 Award of Excellence” by the New York Department of Transportation, where he worked for 37 years. His passion for these years of service has been the development and dissemination of pertinent and high-quality standards for use by government, industry, users, and design engineers.

Mackey concluded his presentation: “David has shown that an individual has the ability to impact the scope and quality of D35 standards on geosynthetics through work within and outside the confines of the D35 Committee. Since its founding, [he] has represented the highest principles of leadership, dedication, and mentoring of Committee D35 and the geosynthetic field. For these reasons, D35 wishes to name the committee’s first ASTM International Recognized Award to Mr. L. David Suits.”

Ron Bygness is the editor of Geosynthetics magazine.

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