On June 17 this year, the Geosynthetics Materials Association (GMA) announced the establishment of the biennial Robert M. Koerner Award and Lecture Series. This award was established by the GMA Executive Council to honor Bob Koerner’s monumental impact on the geosynthetics industry and, moving forward, to recognize the outstanding work of other professionals in the industry.
It is my privilege to announce that GMA has selected Dr. George Koerner as the first recipient of the award named for his father. George is the director of the Geosynthetics Institute and has 30-plus years of experience in the geosynthetics industry. According to the Geosynthetics Institute’s website, George has authored 18 journal papers, edited or co-edited 15 books, and been published at more than 40 symposiums and conferences. George’s impact on the geosynthetic industry in North America and around the globe has been significant, and it is GMA’s privilege to present him with the inaugural R.M. Koerner Award. GMA considers Dr. Robert M. Koerner one of the “fathers of the industry” and believes that George will do a great job carrying that mantel forward for years to come.
On Monday, August 15, in Chicago, I was in attendance to watch George along with 10 other geosynthetics professionals honor his father at the Geo-Chicago “Honoring Legends” plenary session. During that session, George spoke on the topic “Monitoring Long-Term In-Situ Conditions of Dry and Wet Landfills.” His presentation not only showed the importance of long-term monitoring of landfills, but also emphasized his long-term personal commitment and passion for our industry.
George will accept the award on Tuesday, March 14, during the Geotechnical Frontiers 2017 conference, which is co-organized by GMA, its umbrella company, the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), and ASCE’s Geo-Institute. After receiving the award, George will present a lecture as part of the morning plenary session from 8–9:30 a.m. Details about the lecture will be announced by the conference organizers and Geosynthetics magazine. In addition to speaking at Geotechnical Frontiers 2017, GMA will work with George to identify three additional conferences for him to speak at during a two-year time period.
Jon Curry is the division supervisor for the Geosynthetic Materials Association, one of 14 divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI)