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2016 in review, onward with 2017

News | February 1, 2017 | By:

As 2017 comes to a swift start we would like to update you on the events of 2016 and get you ready to participate in the activities of 2017. IGS-NA is invigorated and actively looking for meaningful initiatives and the right people to help make those initiatives happen.

The IGS-NA Biennial General Assembly will be held during Geotechnical Frontiers in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at 6 p.m. Please join us for this first-ever meeting to include a member round-table. We intend to spend a small amount of time reporting back on the year and inducting the new president, but the majority of the time will be spent working to identify new initiatives for our chapter. In addition we will discuss things already in development including the Educate the Educators 2017 program.

2016 society motions

In 2016, the year started with a Board of Directors (BoD) in the second year of its term. We put two significant initiatives out to the membership for electronic vote. In both cases the vote was positive. The organization’s name changed to IGS North America, as a result we have a revised logo and website address. Also, the bylaws were updated. Some updates were editorial in nature, while others were more impactful, including the addition of Liaison Board Members to the IGS–NA BoD.

IGS–NA events in 2016

In April, IGS North America hosted GeoAmericas 2016. The event featured more than 1,100 attendees and 13 short courses, 211 technical papers, and 90+ exhibitors. It was the largest of the quadrennial IGS Pan-American Conferences to date. If you weren’t able to attend, you can still purchase the 3-volume GeoAmericas 2016 Proceedings for $75 at

A successful two-day Landfill Engineering short course was held in Syracuse, N.Y. The course, held in partnership with the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) and New York state Department of Environmental Conservation, was taught primarily by Dr. Richard Brachman. Approximately 120 engineers and regional regulators took part.

Awards, recognitions, on-the-move

Via nomination by the IGS–NA BoD, the IGS presented Boyd Ramsey with the IGS Chapter Achievement Award. The award was given to Boyd for his overall service to the chapter and specifically for his hard work in executing the IGS–NA’s hosting of the 2015 Educate the Educators (EtE) program. Thank you, Boyd!

After decades of service to IGS North America (formerly NAGS), David Suits stepped down from his leadership position with the chapter. Dave remains an active cornerstone member of the North American geosynthetics community. Everyone on the IGS–NA BoD would like to thank Dave for his hard work and dedication to the society. In recognition of this service, the chapter has awarded him Honorary Member status. Dave is only the second Honorary Member of IGS–NA. He can be reached by email at

Communications with IGS–NA should now be directed to Becky Slaybaugh at

The chapter also bid a fond “bon voyage!” to Dr. J.P. Giroud and his wife Geneviève. After 30+ years in the United States, J.P. relocated to France to continue his career from Europe. At GeoAmericas 2016, IGS–NA president John Henderson was joined by a lengthy parade of J.P.’s friends and colleagues who told entertaining stories of their adventures with JPG.

Finally, long-time secretariat manager, Diana Davis, of the overall International Geosynthetics Society, retired from her position in November. Terry-Ann Paulo is the new IGS Secretariat Manager. She can be reached via email at

What’s coming up in 2017?

IGS–NA BoD election—all IGS–NA members in good standing at the end of 2016 received an electronic ballot on membership and elected three new board members, one president-elect and one treasurer. The field of nominees was competitive. Successful candidates will take office during the IGS–NA General Assembly at Geotechnical Frontiers in Orlando, March 12–15, 2017.

Get your camera ready! The IGS-NA photo contest opened on Jan. 15. Submit your photos to our first-ever photo contest. Photos will be evaluated based on their ability to demonstrate “geosynthetics in action,” their photo quality, and the aesthetic excellence of the photo. Winning photos will be debuted at Geotechnical Frontiers in Orlando and highlighted on the chapter website. Visit to learn more or to submit your photos.

Geotechnical Frontiers 2017 is March 12–15 in Orlando. Supported by IGS–NA, this is the conference for 2017. Attend this conference and connect with more than 2,000 geotechnical professionals representing all facets of the geotechnical and geosynthetics fields. The full schedule of short courses, workshops, training lectures, plenary sessions, technical papers, and panel discussions will be presented by experts from the geotechnical, geoenvironmental, and geosynthetics disciplines.

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