The Mercer Lecture selection committee, chaired by Prof. Fumio Tatsuoka, announced online July 27 that Dr.-Ing. Michael Heibaum has been appointed as the lecturer for the 2012–2013 Mercer Lecture Series.
The announcement said that he will deliver his presentation, “Geosynthetics for waterways and flood protection structures—controlling the interaction of water and soil” at selected conferences during the two-year span.
The Mercer Lecture Series was launched in 1992 as a biennial lecture, with the aim of promoting the cooperation of information exchange between the geotechnical engineering profession and the geosynthetics industry by giving an eminent practitioner the opportunity to undertake a lecture tour on the subject of geosynthetics in geotechnical engineering. The lectures are held in honor of the late Dr. Brian Mercer, the inventor of geogrids and a strong advocate for innovation, research, and development.
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.
The current Mercer Lecture Series came to a close with the last lecture of a three-part series at the 15th African Regional Conference in Maputo, Mozambique. It was delivered by Prof. Junichi Koseki from the University of Tokyo, titled “Use of geosynthetics to improve seismic performance of earth structures.”
In March 2011, Koseki was in Dallas, Texas, to deliver the Mercer Lecture at the Geo-Frontiers Conference. He had travelled the day after the tragic Japanese earthquake on March 11 and he 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.
The Mercer Lecture Series is sponsored by Tensar International Ltd. and is endorsed by the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) and the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS).