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New name, GeoAmericas, panel members sought

News | April 1, 2016 | By: ,

Name change proposed for NAGS

In an effort to solidify efforts at providing leadership in advancing geosynthetics education and research, the NAGS Board of Directors earlier this year proposed changes to its bylaws.

The society’s bylaws were last revised in February 2001. Immediate past-president Bob Mackey served as editor of the new bylaws that were drafted for board reviews and approval by a working group that included the editor, Mackey; current president, John Henderson; and president-elect, Richard Brachman. The board approved the new bylaws and requested approval by all members on Jan. 22, 2016.

The most significant adjustment in the bylaws is a name change for the organization—from NAGS to IGS–North America. The name change brings the organization into line with other country chapters of the International Geosynthetics Society.

Henderson said: “Mindful of our strong history as NAGS, rebranding our activities as IGS–North America is important to clarify and strengthen our position in the United States and Canada. This change also capitalizes on the more prominent International Geosynthetics Society brand and solidifies our strong relationship with IGS.”

GeoAmericas 2016

A mission of the North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS) is to provide leadership in advancing geosynthetics education and research. Correspondingly, NAGS was pleased to invite the world to GeoAmericas 2016, the 3rd Pan-American Regional Conference on Geosynthetics.

GeoAmericas had three stellar keynote lectures selected to inform and stimulate discussion. In addition, training and learning opportunities were offered across a wide spectrum of practical and relevant geosynthetic issues. These offerings included everything from introductory through advanced levels.

Call for panel members on ‘Education and promotion of new technologies’

During the past three decades (or more), there has been a rapid increase in the number of new technologies and engineered materials. The ability to take advantage of, and spread the knowledge of these new technologies through various engineering fields, is limited by the current engineering educational system and continuing education methodologies. One example of technology that has experienced this difficulty is “geosynthetics”—polymeric materials used in earthen construction.

One method for education of a new technology is within the coursework of a college engineering program. In fact, the fundamental knowledge for all engineering technologies starts within the math, science, and engineering coursework.

However, the ability to regularly revise engineering coursework to include the fundamentals of new technologies has its limitations.

This issue will be reviewed during a panel discussion session at the Geotechnical Frontiers 2017 Conference in Orlando, Fla., March 12–15, 2017. The panel will address issues that either limit or promote the inclusion of new technologies within engineering coursework.

It is hoped that through this discussion, conference attendees can begin to comprehend the scope of effort required to promote the education of new technologies. It is also the goal of this panel discussion to start developing other approaches and to build a force majeure to take on the tasks to improve engineering coursework to include new technologies.

The International Geosynthetic Society–North American chapter is seeking panel members who represent other engineering technologies that have been experiencing similar difficulties in the education and promotion of new technologies and/or materials. If you are interested in being on this panel, please contact:

Bob Mackey, P.E., BCEE
Conference Advisor,
Program Committee
Geotechnical Frontiers 2017
+1 407 475 9163

John Henderson, P.E., is the president of TenCate Geosynthetics Americas and is the current president of the North American Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS–NA).

Richard Brachman, Ph.D., PEng, is a professor of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, Canada, and is the current president-elect of the North American Geosynthetics Society.

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