The mission of the North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS) is to provide leadership in advancing geosynthetics education and research. We are pleased to invite the world to GeoAmericas 2016, the 3rd Pan-American Regional Conference on Geosynthetics. The event takes place April 10–13 at the Loews Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla.
GeoAmericas will have three keynote lectures selected to inform and stimulate discussion.
“Lifetime predictions of exposed geotextiles and geomembranes”
Dr. Robert M. Koerner, professor emeritus, civil engineering, Drexel University; and director emeritus, Geosynthetic Institute (GSI)
This technical keynote lecture will examine the question: How long will exposed geotextiles and geomembranes last? The latest experimental and field results will be presented and applied by one of the leading geosynthetic pioneers.
“Call to action—The urgency to protect our coastal communities”
Nathalie Olijslager, consul general of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Miami; and Dale Morris, senior economic advisor at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Out of necessity, the Dutch are leaders in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change through innovative and proactive solutions. This thought-provoking lecture will focus on the Netherlands’ integrated approach to water management, global trends on coastal resiliency, and infrastructure in the face of sea level rise, projected coastline changes in the Americas during the next 20 years, and the Dutch experience with sea level rise and climate change in South Florida.
2015/2016 Mercer Lecture: “Stabilization of paved roads using geosynthetics”
Prof. Jorge Zornberg, University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Zornberg’s technical lecture will provide an overview and discussion of current methods used in the design of geosynthetic-stabilized pavement systems. It will show how geosynthetic stabilization can lead to an increased design life of pavements for a given base thickness and to a decreased base course thickness for a given pavement design life.
Training and learning opportunities will be offered across a spectrum of practical and relevant geosynthetic issues. These offerings include everything from introductory through advanced levels. The 13 short courses include diverse topics, such as “Geomembranes for oil and gas applications,” “Advances in geosynthetic applications in heap leaching,” and “Geosynthetic-reinforced soil–Integrated bridge system for accelerated bridge construction.” Some of these courses are offered in Spanish or feature instructors who can provide support in Spanish or Portuguese.
GeoAmericas 2016 also includes 49 technical sessions. The program features seven sets of parallel technical sessions, ensuring that everyone will have access to interesting and appropriate content each day. Technical session programming includes paper-driven sessions, panel discussions, and training lectures.
Beyond the traditional conference content, GeoAmericas is offering experiences developed by the Young Members Committee, including activities aimed at informing and engaging young engineers. Included in this program is a mentoring panel discussion led by Jacques Cote, Mark Smith, and Richard Bathurst.
Exhibitors and attendees will be welcomed to join a complimentary three-hour Professional Selling Skills Workshop at the conclusion of the exhibit on April 13. Networking opportunities will be found throughout the conference on technical and social levels. Technical meeting highlights include:
- Four Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) Technical Focus Group meetings
- Four International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) Technical Committee meetings
- International Association of Geosynthetic Installers (IAGI) proctor training
Board meetings at GeoAmericas include: GMA, GSI, FedIGS, IAGI, FGI, IGS, and the TRB Mid-Year Geosynthetics Committee Meeting.
The exhibit hall will be home to a cocktail reception, meals, and coffee breaks. The Young Members Committee will host a beach volleyball event on Monday early evening. And, to conclude the last full day of the conference (Tuesday), a Havana Nights social will take place. This casual mingling event is on the Americana Lawn at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, with cocktails, food, cigar rollers, and Caribbean music.
Meeting in Miami
It is no coincidence that NAGS selected a conference location on Miami’s South Beach. Conference participants will be drawn from all Latin American and North American countries. Serviced by two international airports, there are more scheduled nonstop flights to the Miami area from Latin America than to Orlando, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Tampa, and New York’s Kennedy airports combined.
The conference venue, the Loews Miami Beach, provides a luxurious environment, and the conference and accommodations are all in one place for easy access to sessions and great networking.
Companions will be easily entertained, too, in the beautiful spring climate with extraordinary dining, the Art Deco District, cosmopolitan shopping, and a rich nightlife all within walking distance.
See you in Miami Beach!
John M. Henderson, PE, is President—North American Geosynthetics Society. Richard Brachman, Ph.D., PEng, is President-elect—North American Geosynthetics Society.