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Update on GSI activities

News | April 1, 2011 | By:

There are several activities of GSI that we believe have widespread interest to the geosynthetics community beyond our regular direct contact with its members and affiliated members. They are briefly as follows:

Laboratory Test Method Accreditation

The Geosynthetic Accreditation Institute’s-Laboratory Accreditation Program (GAI-LAP) is celebrating its 16th year. The program was started in 1995 and accredits only geosynthetic laboratory test methods. Modeled after ISO 17025, on-site audits are conducted in Years, 1, 5, 10 etc… and proficiency tests are conducted every year. The goal of the program is to make sure all participating labs are obtaining reproducible and repeatable results. The program’s openly stated goal is to obtain a coefficient of variation of all tests lower than five.

The demographics of the current GAI-LAP organizations are summarized as follow; 19 independent labs, and 26 manufacturer QC labs, and 4 centers (research or government), for a total of 49 participating laboratories. Of this total, 32 are GSI members and 17 are international. There are 209 possible tests for accreditation (164 ASTM, 1 FTM, 8 GRI, 36 ISO). The number of accredited tests per lab are 5 minimum, 30 average, and 122 maximum. The graph below shows the trends for both the number of possible accredited tests and the number of laboratories participating in the program. The graph clearly shows that there has been a steady rise of new test methods, with a near tripling of methods covered in a ten year period. The number of labs enrolled shows a steady increase in both overall labs and labs currently participating in the program. In this regard GSI appreciates all of its participating laboratories.

Geosynthetic Inspector Certification Program

Beginning Jan. 1, 2006 we initiated an inspector certification program under the heading Geosynthetic Certification Institute-Inspector Certification Program (GCI-ICP). It addresses geosynthetic materials and compacted clay liners, the latter being a default decision via several CCL experts. The candidate individual must have six months experience, be recommended by his/her employer, and pass a written examination. Upon satisfying these requirements their certification is for five years. The results are as follows:Inspector certification test results 2006-2010

With the onset of 2011, we will be in our fifth year of operation and the existing certifications are for five-years. Thus, the following decisions have been made in concert with the program’s steering committee:

  • There is no follow-up testing required for currently certified people.
  • There will be a past performance report required at the end of the certificant’s five-years.
  • We would be remiss if we didn’t thank TRI Environmental Laboratories for their cooperation in hosting and proctoring many participants in this program.

We would be remiss if we didn’t thank TRI Environmental Laboratories for their cooperation in hosting and proctoring many participants in this program.

GSI Fellowships

We are pleased to announce the third class of GSI Fellows for the academic year 2010-2011. The basic criteria are as follows:

  • Student must have completed his/her doctoral candidacy examinations.
  • Student must be researching an innovative topic involving geosynthetics.
  • Student must express an interest and desire to teach and/or research in the geosynthetic materials field.

Four of the new proposals contained excellent projects which have been awarded. As with the others, funding is $10k for the first year and (upon acceptable progress) $5k for each of the second and third years. The four new awards plus two first year students and one second year student (continuing their research projects) have been sent stipend checks accordingly. The status this year, i.e., the third year, is as follows:GSI Fellows – Academic Year 2010-‘11

GSI Board-of-Directors

In the manner of acknowledgements, we would like to present the current BoD. Each serves for a three-year period which is staggered in the usual manner:GSI Fellows – Academic Year 2010-‘11

Please visit us on our website at for details and additional information. Thank you.

Very truly yours,
Bob & George Koerner

Bob Koerner, Ph.D., P.E., NAE, is the director of Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) and is a member of Geosynthetics magazine’s Editorial Advisory Committee. GSI: +1 610 522 8440.

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