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My ‘Geosynthetics Superhighway’ journey

Editorial | August 1, 2022 | By: Kevin Kerfoot

As you may have read in former senior editor Todd Berger’s final column in the June/July 2022 issue of Geosynthetics magazine, his journey along the “Geosynthetics Superhighway” has come to an end while mine has just begun.

As a quick introduction, I am Kevin Kerfoot from Lexington, Ky., and a journalism graduate from the University of Kentucky. Over the last 35 years I have served as a newspaper editor, company newsletter editor, music magazine publisher/editor, and most importantly concerning my knowledge of geosynthetics and related topics, 15 years as editor of five manufacturing magazines. The world of manufacturing is familiar for me and I am enjoying my return to this different but still similar industry.

Just as Todd learned many things from his predecessor, Ron Bygness, in much the same way I am learning from the generous and thorough notes he and many members of the Advanced Textiles Association team graciously passed on to me. 

And just like Todd’s first induction into the world of trade shows, my ride began literally with a drive up to a geo-related conference at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky. I visited the World Of Coal Ash 2022 conference where I sat in on numerous technical sessions, plenary lectures and product demonstrations.

Shifting gears to this issue, Asenet Lozano discusses green rooftops. She goes in-depth about the three types of green roof covers, types of maintenance to know about, the environmental benefits that green roofs provide, design standards to consider and the multiple benefits that geosynthetics – including geocells, geogrids, geomembranes, geocomposites and geotextiles – provide.   

In the first of a two-part series, several authors discuss the construction considerations for wick drain ground improvements. The authors examine how wick drains improved the construction of a large mine waste stockpile at the Rainy River Mine in Ontario, Canada.

Over the last few years there has been an increase in the use of geosynthetics in Honduras. Guillermo Paz looks at a project involving a mechanically stabilized earth wall (MSE) with geogrids built on a hillside for the widening of one of the country’s most important roads. This case study shows the global stability analysis performed for the reinforced earth wall with geogrids, showing the variations of the safety factor when implementing this type of wall instead of a concrete wall, and the safety factor variations when building the retaining structure with the used filling material (volcanic tuff) in comparison to other materials found in the study area.

I look forward to learning all I can about geosynthetics and the many areas and industries of the field that overlap and work together. I also look forward to passing this information on to you as I begin my journey on the “Geosynthetics Superhighway.” 

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