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GSI’s annual Landreth “Steward of the Environment” award

GSI News | October 1, 2022 | By:

The Robert and Mitchell Landreth “Steward of the Environment” award was established in 2021. It is in honor of Robert Landreth (1939–2021) and his wife, Mitchell. The annual award is bestowed by the Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) in recognition of “distinguished engineering achievement related to the environment” by a college faculty member, graduate student or post doctorate working with geosynthetics. 

Robert E. Landreth rose to the rank of captain in the U.S. Department of Public Health. As the research director at the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he advocated for research funding that made it possible to spearhead efforts in geosynthetics during the 1980s and 1990s. The pioneering research that transpired changed regulations and the way that waste is managed throughout the world. Landreth’s guidance, determination and hard work are a testament to the very best of our nation’s public servants. His critical leadership role at the EPA improved the environment by incorporating geosynthetics into waste containment systems. 

To be eligible for this $10K award, applicants must be: 

  • A matriculated graduate student, post doctorate or young assistant professor in good standing and registered as a full-time student during the award period at an accredited U.S. university 
  • U.S. citizens majoring in engineering or science degrees
  • Working on original environmental research projects; those related to geosynthetics are preferred 

The first award recipient (2021) was Dr. Joseph Scalia IV. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering at Colorado State University (CSU). Scalia specializes in geoenvironmental and geotechnical engineering. His research and teaching centers on the convergences of soil mechanics with contaminant hydrology, geology, environmental engineering, hydrology, mechanical engineering and hydraulics. Prior to joining CSU, Scalia was a senior associate at Exponent (formerly Failure Analysis Associates) in the Environmental and Earth Sciences Practice in Bellevue, Wash., and Natick, Mass. Scalia received his BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Bucknell University and his MS and Ph.D. in Geological Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 

We are pleased to announce that Theresa Andrejack Loux, Ph.D., P.E., has been selected as the 2022 Landreth award winner. She is chief technical officer of Aero Aggregates of North America LLC in Eddystone, Pa., and an adjunct professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. Loux has been involved in and managed a variety of civil, geotechnical and geoenvironmental projects. She is also very active in our “GEO” community outreach, which includes the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Delaware Valley Geo-Institute (DVGI), Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) and Engineers without Borders. Loux is an engaging instructor with a central goal of communicating course material in a clear, engaging and challenging manner, particularly to young STEM students. She is an ASCE 2010 ExCEEd Teaching Fellow and received her Ph.D. from Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa., with a thesis topic “Multi-axial Tension Testing of Geosynthetics.” Loux’s latest paper, with co-authors McInnes, S., Crawford, R., and Filshill, A. (2022), is “Design and construction of a geosynthetic reinforced MSE structure with foamed glass aggregate lightweight backfill” from the conference proceedings, 7th European Geosynthetics Conference, Warsaw, Poland. In press. 

If you know a deserving candidate for the 2023 Landreth award, please submit the person’s name and resume to the Geosynthetic Institute by March 1, 2023. GSI plans to sponsor this award indefinitely to recognize young professionals making a difference in our geosynthetic community.

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