By Ron Bygness
A busy exhibit hall, well-attended education sessions, superb lectures, and scores of students—all were but a part of the successful Geo-Frontiers 2011 March 13-16 in Dallas.
More than 1,900 participants attended the event, a conference designed to feature advances in geotechnical engineering, among other highlights. Geo-Frontiers was co-organized by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), the Geosynthetics Materials Association (GMA), the Geo-Institute (G-I) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS), and held under the auspices of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS).
Busy show floor and lots of activity
The exhibit hall was the scene of a celebratory opening night reception that filled the aisles of the hall Monday evening. Exhibitors were delighted with record-setting attendance and they stayed busy through selected open hours on Tuesday and Wednesday too.
Geo-Frontiers 2011 also featured six full-day short courses, four plenary session lectures, more than 450 papers presented during 89 technical sessions (many with standing-room only), student activities and competitions, ample time for networking, in addition to the busy exhibit hall.
The short courses kicked off the conference on Sunday, offering specialized content for beginners to advanced attendees:
Advanced Principles of Slope Stability Analysis; Augured Cast-In-Place (ACIP) Piles: Design, Construction, Load Test, and Case Studies; Design and Construction of Bottom Liner and Cover Systems; Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil; Geosynthetic Test Procedures and Material Specifications; Recent Trends in Ground Improvement.
Each course offered attendees seven professional development hours.
The four plenary sessions included:
- H. Bolton Seed Lecture, “Risk and Reward—Geotechnical Engineering and the Alberta Oil Sands” by Norbert Morgenstern
- Peck Lecture, “Seismic Design of Underground Structures: Lessons from the Failure of the Daikai Station” by Antonio Bobet
- Terzaghi Lecture, “Seismic Measurements and Geotechnical Engineering” by Kenneth Stokoe
- Mercer Lecture, “Use of Geosynthetics to Improve Seismic Performance of Earth Structures” by Junichi Koseki
The Geosynthetic Research Institute’s annual conference (GRI-24) took place all day March 16, featuring 20 papers on the meetingâ€™s theme, “Optimizing Sustainability Using Geosynthetics.”
The Geo-Frontiers 2011 Geo-Challenge Student Competition garnered plenty of attention and interaction. The exhibit hall was also the location for the popular Geo-Challenge on Monday night.
Students also took advantage of education sessions during Geo-Frontiers and students from the University of Texas at Arlington, under the leadership of Prof. Anand Puppala, volunteered throughout the entire conference.