By Timothy D. Stark and Jennifer Miller
The Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) held its Biennial Membership Meeting on Feb. 24, during the 2021 Virtual Geosynthetics Conference. The meeting was attended by 26 people. During the membership meeting, the newly elected FGI officers and board of directors were introduced to begin their two-year terms.
Before introducing the new officers and directors, Timothy D. Stark, FGI technical director and professor of civil engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, acknowledged the service of the outgoing officers and board members: Greg Scales (Titan Environmental), Bill Shehane (Seaman Corp.) and Ed Silva (E Squared). Stark also acknowledged the recent retirement of John Heap from Colorado Lining International. Heap served as president of the PVC Geomembrane Institute (PGI) for four years and was instrumental in expanding the PGI into the Fabricated Geomembrane Institute. The newly elected FGI officers, who will serve two-year terms (2021–23), are:
- President: Patrick Elliott (Raven/Colorado Lining International)
- Treasurer: Brian Fraser (Layfield Group)
- Secretary: Duff Simbeck (Simbeck and Associates)
The following newly elected FGI board of directors also will serve two-year terms (2021–23) and are listed below in alphabetical order:
- Doug Hilts (Hilts Consulting Group)
- Ray Peebles (Cooley Group)
- Steve Thaxton (Owens Corning)
- Jordan Wiechmann (Intertape Polymer Group)
Other topics on the FGI meeting agenda included: current and future research activities, accomplishments since the last membership meeting at Geosynthetics Conference 2019, and the future direction and goals of FGI.
The following research topics are being pursued by FGI at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:
- fPP case history
- fPP air channel seam testing
- PVC specification for desert applications
- Reinforced geomembrane thermal/wrinkle testing
Other accomplishments of FGI over the last two years include:
- Publication of several technical articles and papers
- Hosted short courses in Bogota, Colombia, and Charlotte, North Carolina
- Publication of three new geomembrane calculators for cost comparisons, leakage rates and panel weight shipping
- Publication of installation details and drawings
- Created geo-engineering audio and video podcast series
- Created geo-engineering pop quiz series
- Hosted 23 live webinars, averaging 250 attendees and 450 registrants per webinar
- Created online PDH Certificate Program with about 500 people receiving a PDH certificate for downloading and listening to a webinar
- Created Women in Geosynthetics Program: hosted two successful Roundtable Discussions and quarterly virtual meetings
The final portion of the FGI Biennial Membership Meeting was dedicated to a lively discussion on the future direction and goals of FGI by its members. FGI has five membership classifications: manufacturers, fabricators and installers, installer only, associate and government/regulatory agency. FGI’s membership spans four continents: North America, South America, Australia and Europe.
FGI is dedicated to advancing the use of fabricated geomembranes through education, research and technology transfer. FGI is a consortium of manufacturers, fabricators/installers, designers, regulators and material suppliers of fabricated geomembranes. For more information on FGI, visit www.fabricatedgeomembrane.com.