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GMA announces biennial Koerner Award and Lecture Series

News | June 17, 2016 | By:

The Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) has announced a biennial award and lecture series named for Dr. Robert M. Koerner, founding director and now director emeritus of the Geosynthetic Institute.

The inaugural award recipient will be announced this summer and will deliver the first Koerner Lecture at Geotechnical Frontiers 2017, to be held in Orlando, Florida from March 12-15. Subsequent awards will be presented at the biennial Geosynthetics Conference, organized by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI).

“We are excited about the Dr. Robert Koerner Award and Lecture Series,” said GMA Executive Council Chairman Keith Gardner. “It is very special to have one of the fathers of our industry lend his name to GMA and IFAI to help propel our work to the next level.”

“To be honored by the GMA and IFAI in the form of a named award and lecture series is indeed the capstone of my career,” Koerner said. “I am honored and grateful in this regard. This is particularly the case since the field of geosynthetics is so alive with innovation, development, value, sustainability and growth. I thank all involved for this honor and express my sincere appreciation.”

The GMA Executive Council will select the first recipient, who will meet the following criteria:

  • Has had a measurable impact on the geosynthetics industry
  • Background in education or testing of geotextiles, geomembranes, geogrids and erosion control materials
  • Working with or for geosynthetic manufacturers in North America

The recipient will also give three additional one-hour lectures during the two-year award period as part of the new Koerner Lecture Series, with expenses to be paid by GMA.

Dr. Koerner holds his Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from Duke University. He is a registered professional engineer (P.E.) in Pennsylvania, a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a Diplomate with ASCE’s Academy of Geo-Professionals, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has authored or co-authored approximately 700 papers on geosynthetics and geotechnical topics in journals and at national and international conferences.

For more information on Geotechnical Frontiers 2017, visit

For additional information, contact Jonathan Curry of the Geosynthetic Materials Association at (651) 225-6956 or at; or IFAI Marketing Communications Manager Jeff Papas at (651) 225-6933 or at

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