By George R. Koerner and Robert M. Koerner
The GSI Fellowship program funds graduate students performing research on geosynthetic topics for up to three years of continuous activity. The first year awards are for $10,000 and the second and third are for $5,000 each. The criteria are:
- Students must have passed their candidacy examinations leading toward a doctoral degree. (The reason being that these students are likely to enter academia in a role of teaching and/or research).
- Students must be doing research on a geosynthetics topic or area that, in some way, promotes proper use of the materials or system. (The reason is that students who do eventually enter academia are likely to continue researching geosynthetics and will ideally teach courses in, or involving, geosynthetics at their future university.)
- The candidate student must be recommended by his/her advisor or department head. (The reason is that the project will automatically co-opt the advisor and give visibility to geosynthetics within the department.)
- The solicitation for proposals is worldwide in scope, thereby attracting the greatest possible number of applications. (The reason is that the current membership of GSI is approximately 40% international, i.e., non-U.S.).
Last spring, the announcement for request-for-proposals (RFPs) was sent to about 20 magazines, periodicals, newsletters, and internet sites. The deadline was July 15, 2009, and 15 were received, about half from the U.S. and the other half international. Ultimately, the following four renewals and four new proposals were accepted. (For additional information on the projects go to the “GSI Fellows” page on the GSI website).
There will be a solicitation for new RFPs due on July 15, 2010, and an additional four or five students will be selected. This will continue on an annual basis. Thus, from the third year of the program onward, GSI will be supporting 10-15 students per year. They will be known as “GSI Fellows” and research that is generated by them will be identified as ”being supported in whole or part by the GSI Fellowship program.“ We hope that you will be hearing many great achievements by these students and their respective research activities as we go forward.
Obviously, we at GSI, its board of directors, its members, and associate members are delighted to provide this opportunity and are proud to do so. In this regard, do contact any of the current board of directors or the undersigned for comments, suggestions, or opinions regarding the fellowship program or its particulars.
- Tony Eith (Chairman) of Waste Management Inc.
- Boyd Ramsey of GSE Lining Technology Inc.
- Sam Allen of TRI Environmental Inc.
- David Jaros of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Paul Oliveira of Firestone Specialty Products Inc.
- Kent von Maubeuge of NAUE GmbH & Co.
- Dick Stulgis of Geocomp Inc.
- Gary Kolbasuk of Raven Industries Inc.
- Wayne Hsieh of NPUST and GSI-Taiwan