The North American Chapter of the
International Geosynthetics Society


IGS North America

IGS-NA Newsletter Vol 2 Now Available!

The January/February 2018 IGS-NA Newsletter is now available!

Last year, IGS North America’s membership and leadership re-committed themselves to being a more active organization. This movement led to strong membership growth in 2017, a photo competition, and a high-level Educate the Educators (EtE) event in December in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Along the way, the chapter hosted successful webinars on hot topics such as electrical leak location technologies and how to properly interpret minimum average roll values for geosynthetic materials.

As 2018 opens, IGS-NA’s activity continues. We summarize here some of the chapter’s highlights and forthcoming opportunities, and we welcome your participation.

Kind regards,
Bruno Herlin, V.P. Communications, IGS-NA


IGS-NA Announces a New Webinar: Pond Liner System Design and Operation

wufooform-logo-igs-naIGS North America Presents
WEBINAR: Pond Liner System Design and Operation
Presented by Richard Thiel, P.E., President, Thiel Engineering
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 | 1:00 – 2:30 pm EST (includes Q&A time)

Registration Cost:
$20.00* – IGS-NA Members | $80.00 – Non-members
Earn 1 PDH
* IGS-NA Members receive one FREE webinar coupon on paying annual dues


IGS-NA-Pond-Liner-circlesThough pond lining applications are common, the proper design and operation of pond lining systems requires great care. A large number of facilities in need of liquid containment are sensitive sites at which pond leakage could result in geotechnical failure of the embankments and subgrade, environmental damage, loss of valuable operational solutions or water, and disruption of operations. In this webinar, Richard Thiel, P.E., will share decades of insight into the proper design and operation of geosynthetic pond lining systems.

The engineering information in the session provides guidance and key considerations for those who work with potable water reservoirs, stormwater detention ponds, mining spoil containment sites, irrigation water storage, wastewater lagoons, food and industrial processing facility wastewater treatment ponds, hydrofracking containment ponds, pumped storage reservoirs, and more.

Attendees will learn about:

  • Geotechnical issues for pond design
  • Liner Configuration and Leakage Management
  • Liner Uplift Considerations
  • Durability and Aging of Exposed Geomembrane
  • Slope Deformation Due to Wave Action
  • Pond Operations

Participants will earn 1 PDH at the conclusion of this webinar.

Who Should Attend: Owners and operators of liquid containment facilities; contractors involved in lined pond construction and maintenance; and civil engineers, hydraulic engineers, water engineers, stormwater engineers, wastewater engineers, agricultural engineers, gas and oil extraction engineers; and mining engineers that design containment facilities.

Richard-Thiel-headshot-circlePresenter Bio: Richard Thiel, P.E., has more than 30 years of experience and specialization in containment design applications for geotechnical projects, waste containment, secondary containment of fuel, and leach mining applications. His work has involved extensive interaction with feasibility evaluations, design, permitting, design peer review, economic evaluations, failure analyses, and construction of waste facilities and surface impoundments. He is an expert in the design of liner systems with soils and geosynthetics, leachate management systems including pipelines and pump stations, geotechnical site reconnaissance and resource investigation programs, construction quality assurance (CQA), and assistance in developing state solid waste regulations.


Please send all questions to or call +1 561 768 9489.

IGS-NA Announces a New Webinar: Understanding the Role of Minimum Average Roll Values (MARV) in Geosynthetic Specifications

wufooform-logo-igs-naIGS North America Presents
WEBINAR: Understanding the Role of Minimum Average Roll Values (MARV) in Geosynthetic Specifications
Presented by Beth Wilbanks
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 | 1:00 – 2:00pm EST

Registration Cost: $20.00
FREE for IGS-NA Members!
Earn 1 PDH


Understanding minimum average roll value (MARV) is essential in ensuring data support product requirements reported by the manufacturer. There appears to be confusion in the geosynthetic industry concerning the application and definition of product requirements particularly as they relate to MARV. MARV is a statistical value and not a ‘minimum’ number. The interpretation of these values has become an issue and actual data may not support a calculated MARV that meets or exceeds the published MARV.

Attendees will learn about:

  • The statistical approach used to determine MARV
  • Current methods of calculation for MARV as compared to the statistical approach based on process performance
  • Additional guidance including ASTM test methods will be discussed to provide an organized approach to sampling, testing and management of test data and certifications

Participants will earn 1 PDH at the conclusion of this webinar.

Presenter Bio: Beth Wilbanks has been with TenCate Geosynthetics for approximately 20 years. During most of that time she led the Quality department and was instrumental in achieving ISO 17025 laboratory and ISO 9001 quality management accreditation. Her current role at TenCate Geosynthetics is Director of Product Management. She is actively involved in ASTM Committee D35 on Geosynthetics and was recently recognized for her efforts in the development of D8102 Practice for Manufacturing Quality Control of Geotextiles. She continues to work in the quality area and has coauthored and presented a paper on the MARV topic and its impact on the geosynthetics industry.


Please send all questions to or call +1 561 768 9489.

IGS-NA ELL Webinar Series – Episode 1: Overview of Electrical Leak Location (ELL) Methods and Their Application

igs-na-webinar-ell-fieldimgsIGS North America Presents:
Electrical Leak Location Webinar Series

Episode 1: Overview of Electrical Leak Location (ELL) Methods and Their Application
Presented by Abigail Gilson, M.S., P.E.

Date: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 1:00 – 2:00pm EST
Registration Cost: FREE
Presenter: Abigail Gilson, Director of TRI Environmental’s Liner Integrity Services | | +1 512 623 0511


Overview of Electrical Leak Location (ELL) Methods and Their Application

All geomembrane-lined containment facilities should be tested for leaks before going into service. Early detection of leaks allows for swift and effective repair pre-service, protecting the engineer, contractor, owner and in many cases the environment. There are a variety of different methods available for electrical leak location. Choosing and specifying the most appropriate method requires an understanding of the technologies available: their benefits and limitations. In many applications an ELL method must be specified in the design phase, before construction starts, to ensure a successful test.

This presentation identifies the various common ELL technologies and identifies criteria which should be considered when specifying electrical leak location (ELL) methodology. Earn 1 PDH at the conclusion of the first webinar.


Attendees will learn about:

  • The ELL methods for exposed geomembranes and the applicable ASTM standard practices
  • The ELL methods for soil and/or water-covered geomembranes and the applicable ASTM standard practices
  • The advantages and limitations of each method
  • How to choose a method based on site conditions and engineering objectives


igs-na-webinar-ell-abigail-gilsonPresenter Bio: Abigail Gilson, M.S., P.E., is the Director of TRI Environmental’s Liner Integrity Services. She has a wealth of experience in geomembrane-lined containment facility design and construction and has performed electrical leak location surveys since 2004. As a graduate of TRI’s inaugural liner integrity class in 2003, her electrical leak location field experience has exceeded 100 projects and 110 million square feet. She has written and presented papers to industry conferences and taught short courses worldwide regarding the technical aspects of liner integrity and leak location surveys.

Ms. Gilson’s expertise is available for providing equipment, field training, classroom education, instructional presentations, engineering consulting, and liner integrity survey execution. She has trained staff in all of TRI’s office locations to provide local assistance on survey projects.

IGS-NA Opens First Ever Photo Contest!

igs-na-photocontest-samplepicIGS-NA is proud to announce the opening of its first ever Photo Contest to all members of IGS North America. The contest will be open from January 24 until Feb 20, 2017.

Take advantage of this great opportunity to demonstrate geosynthetics in action! All entries should include a photo title, description, and photo credit. First, second, and third place winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 14th during the General Assembly held at Geotechnical Frontiers 2017.

Photos should clearly display a geosynthetic type/function in use. Photos should provide a clear understanding of what geosynthetic type/function or event is being demonstrated. Contestants must be an IGS-NA member in good standing.

These photos will be used to promote the exemplary work of the geosynthetics community, raise awareness of the importance of your expertise, and add to the beneficial dialogue between professionals and the larger engineering community. Credit to the winning submissions will be given. Promote your work. Promote your field.


Thank you for your participation!

For questions about the IGS-NA Photo Contest please contact Becky Slaybaugh at

IGS-NA 2017 Election Nominee Biographies

igs-na-voteballotboxThe IGS-NA 2017 Election will be held from 3 – 27 January 2017. Ballots will be cast electronically, each member in good standing will receive an electronic ballot to the email address on file with the IGS-NA. Each voting member may cast one vote each forPresident Elect and Treasurer. There are 3 open Vice Presidential seats on the board. Each IGS-NA Member in good standing may cast up to 3 votes for theVice-Presidential seats, the order of selection of up to 3 candidates does not affect the weight of the vote – each vote shall count as one point for the candidate. The 3 candidates with the highest number of votes will be the successful candidates.


If you have any questions about the voting process or any technical issues with the voting system you may contact:
BeckySlaybaugh | 561.768.9487 |

If you have any questions about the nominations please contact Immediate Past President, Robert (Bob) Mackey |

Call for Nominations – IGS North America Board of Directors

igs-na-voteballotboxAs 2016 draws to a close it’s time to start thinking about 2017 and the election of Members to serve on the next IGS North America Board. The Mission of IGS-NA is to provide leadership in advancing geosynthetics education and research to attain their appropriate and widespread use as engineering materials as the Chapter of the International Geosynthetic Society (IGS) for the United States of America and Canada.

2017 will be an exciting year with IGS-NA. If you are interested in helping to develop the programming, services and leadership offered by IGS-NA, I encourage you to consider standing for office.

Seats open for the upcoming election are:

  • 1 Seat – President Elect, Each new President-Elect shall serve one 2-year-term of office in that capacity following which he/she shall serve one 2-year-term as President, followed by one 2-year-term as Past-President. As President-Elect, the successful candidate will be responsible for assisting the President and performing assignments directed by the President and/or Board.
  • 1 Seat – Treasurer, The Treasurer will serve a 2-year-term. The Treasurer is responsible for managing the finances of IGS-NA.
  • 3 Seats – Vice-President, Vice-Presidents will serve a 4 year term. Vice-Presidents are responsible for representing Members of IGS-NA and performing assignments directed by the President and/or Board.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • 04–18 November 2016 – Call for Nominations
  • 01 December 2016 – Nominations Committee sends a slate of nominees to the Board for approval.
  • By the end of December 2016 – The Ballot is developed and made ready for distribution to the membership.
  • 01–27 January 2017 – Voting period on Candidates to be Board Officers and Board members.
  • 01 February 2017 – Successful Candidates notified and announcement made.
  • 12–15 March 2017 – Newly elected Board Members will take office at the next General Assembly of the IGS-NA to be held in Orlando Florida during Geotechnical Frontiers 2017.

To nominate someone or yourself please email the requested information to Please include your: name, title, company/institution/organization name, address, email address & phone number as well as a 150 word description about your involvement in the geosynthetics industry and your reason(s) for running for the seat.

If you have any questions or need more information please contact the Chairman of the IGS-NA Nomination Committee and Past-President Bob Mackey (

John HendersonKind regards,
John Henderson
President – IGS North America