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$1 million to boost geosynthetics education?

IGS-NA | October 16, 2019 | By:

Global geosynthetics research, education and training could receive an incredible uplift thanks to a new fundraising body.

The International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) has officially formed the IGS Foundation with the purpose of raising funds to further educate the world about geosynthetics. As a nonprofit organization, the foundation will allow individuals and businesses to make one-off or regular financial contributions to help eradicate learning gaps within our exciting industry.

The foundation’s initial goal is to raise $1 million annually to invest in educational programs. This investment will help train entrants to the industry and those who teach them, and will ultimately boost the effective use of geosynthetic solutions worldwide.

“Why should you contribute to the IGS Foundation?” foundation chair Jacques Côté asked. “For me, giving back is the way to say thank you for what I have received. From a professional and a human point of view, the geosynthetics industry has given me a lot. Today the time has come for me to give back to this beautiful industry. I’m sure others feel the same way. Our goal is to protect our world today for the benefit of future generations.” 

As a separate body from the IGS, the foundation will provide flexibility over the amount and frequency of donations. Donors will enjoy a range of recognition options that align to their level of support.

Foundation secretary/treasurer Boyd Ramsey said, “While our membership income and the generous support of our benefactors has proved valuable, the foundation will greatly accelerate our ability to invest in geosynthetics education. This is about the long-term growth of the industry. After years of planning it’s incredibly exciting to ‘go-live’ with the foundation. We’re confident we’ll receive plenty of support—financial and otherwise—from our community as we move forward with our plans.”

The next steps for the foundation include mapping out a communication plan to encourage contributions and initial contact with target businesses and individuals.

IGS president Chungsik Yoo said it was imperative to invest in education at a time when geosynthetic solutions were evolving at such a rapid rate. Specifically, he said, “Properly used, geosynthetics are key to the design and implementation of resilient, sustainable infrastructure for the preservation of natural resources. By educating engineers, we can ensure longevity in infrastructure projects and a higher quality of life.”

Jacques added, “The IGS Foundation will also support innovation initiatives from our many members; something that is vital for the future of our industry.”

Supporting Jacques and Boyd will be fellow trustees Ian Fraser, Fumio Tatsuoka and Jorge Zornberg. More information about the IGS Foundation will appear on the IGS website over the coming months. To make a donation today, please contact either Ian Fraser, Boyd Ramsey or Jacques Côté.

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