The North American Chapter of the
International Geosynthetics Society



Recipients of the 2013–2014 Academic Year GSI Fellowship Awards

gsi_logoThe GSI Board of Directors has made their selections for this year’s GSI Fellowship awards from a number of proposals from universities around the world. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students studying geosynthetics. Requests for proposals (RFP’s) for the upcoming seventh year of the program will be announced this winter. In order to be eligible, students must focus on a geosynthetic topic, have passed their candidacy examination, and be recommended by their advisor. The recipients for the 2013–2014 GSI Fellowship Awards are as follows:

  • Class 6(a) — 1st Year Funding at $10,000 per Student

    No.: 1-13

    Name: Jongwan Eun

    University: University of Wisconsin

    Advisor: Craig Benson

    Topic: Transport Parameters in Coextruded Geomembrane Containing Ethylene Vinyl-Alcohol


    No.: 2-13

    Name: Yu Qian

    University: University of Illinois

    Advisor: Erol Tutumluer

    Topic: Geogrid-Ballast Interaction and Geogrid Application in Railroad Reinforcement using Image-aided Discrete Element Method

  • Class 5(b) — 2nd Year Funding at $5,000 per Student

    No.: 2-12

    Name: Xunchang Fei

    University: University of Michigan

    Advisor: Dimitrios Zekkos

    Topic: Impact of Municipal Solid Waste Biodegradation on Separator Geotextile

  • Class 4(c) — 3rd Year Funding at $5000 per Student

    No.: 3-11

    Name: Felix Jacobs

    University: RWTH Aachen University

    Advisor: Martin Ziegler

    Topic: Large Scale Biaxial Compression Testing of Geogrid Reinforced Soil


Please contact Jamie Koerner at for additional information on the students and their respective projects or go to for a complete history of the fellowship program.

GeoMontreal 2013 Update

GeoMontreal 2013 E-News – July 21, 2013

We are pleased to provide this update on GeoMontreal 2013 at the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Hotel from Sunday, September 29 to Thursday, October 3, 2013.

GeoMontreal 2013 Delegate Early Registration Deadline is July 31, 2013
Be sure to act now to take advantage of the “early-bird” conference registration fees for GeoMontreal 2013. The full conference registration price for CGS, IAH or NAGS members is only $795 for registrations made on or before July 31, 2013 – the non-member fee is $985 and includes membership in CGS, IAH or NAGS for 2014. These conference registration fees will increase by $100 on August 1, 2013.

GeoMontreal 2013 offers secure online registration and credit card payment accepting Visa and MasterCard – please click here to go directly to the online registration page. Registration confirmation and your payment receipt are e-mailed immediately for your records.

The online registration system can also be used to register for the short courses, technical tours and the conference’s partner program events.

Make Your Hotel Reservation Soon

The Hilton Bonaventure Montreal is the official venue for GeoMontreal 2013 and will host the majority of conference events. The organizers have secured a group conference rate of $199 per night for delegates, single or double occupancy. This rate includes complimentary in-room high-speed internet.

Just click here to make your reservation online on the Hilton Bonaventure’s secure web site dedicated to GeoMontreal 2013 conference hotel room reservations.

If you prefer, you may call the hotel directly at 1-514-878-2332. Don’t forget to mention that you are a delegate of GeoMontreal 2013 (rate code GEOTI) to obtain the best rate.

Be sure to make your room reservation by August 28, 2013, and preferably sooner as the hotel cannot guarantee space availability or the special conference rates after that date.

Paper Review Update

The technical committee has finalized their review of a majority of the submitted papers and these corresponding authors have received their acceptance e-mails, with any remaining acceptances to be sent in the next few days. We have now received over 375 papers and are looking forward to presenting an extensive and comprehensive program. Technical program details should be available online by mid-August.

Short Course Registrations

GeoMontreal 2013 is pleased to offer one, two-day short course starting on Saturday, September 28 and four, full-day short courses on Sunday, September 29 at the Hilton Bonaventure Montreal. Topics to be covered include:

  • Introducing the French Translation of the Canadian Foundation Engineering Manual 4th Edition (Dr. Jean LaFleur, Dr. Paul Chiasson and Dr. Muhsin Elie Rahhal)
  • Effective Solute Transport Simulation (Christopher Neville and Vivek Bedekar)
  • Introduction to Geothermal System Design (Dr. Jasmin Raymond)
  • Modern Implementations of Risk and Crisis Management in Geotechnical Engineering (Dr. Franco Oboni)
  • Geosynthetics in Landfill and other Barrier Systems (Dr. Kerry Rowe, Eric Blond and Troy Shaw)

Spaces are limited so please register sooner than later to secure your spot. Please click here to see the detailed course descriptions.

Technical Tour Details Now Available

GeoMontreal 2013 is also pleased to offer three technical tours as part of its comprehensive technical program.

Our first trip is an all-day tour on Sunday, September 29, 2013 – Turcot Reconstruction, Mont Royal Tunnel and the Complexe Environnemental de Saint-Michel – where participants will tour the reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange, then ride the rails on CN’s rail-buses to tour one of the oldest man-made tunnels in Canada, and finally visit an ex-aggregate rock quarry that has been turned into a city park with a biogas cogeneration station.

Our first option on Thursday, October 3, 2013 – La Romaine Hydroelectric Complex – is an all-day tour visiting Hydro-Quebec’s newest hydroelectric station under construction in the beautiful region of Havre St-Pierre, area located on the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River.

Our other choice on Thursday, October 3, 2013 – Montérégie Aquifer System – is an all-day tour visiting the Montérégie Est region, located south-east of Montreal, to get an overview of the varied geological and hydrogeological contexts of the area where fractured rock makes up a regional aquifer system.

Please click here to visit the GeoMontreal 2013 website Technical Tours page to view the details of these trips and to book your spot.

All short courses and technical tours require a minimum number of participants to proceed so be sure to register for your spot before the conference begins to guarantee your space. Courses or tours with insufficient registrants by September 3 may, regrettably, be cancelled.

Sponsorship Opportunities

There are still lots of sponsor opportunities available for GeoMontreal 2013. Luncheons are just $1,000 each and coffee breaks $750. Click here for sponsorship details or contact the Conference Administrator directly at to take advantage of this marketing opportunity.

Please click here to see the complete list of conference sponsors on the GeoMontreal 2013 web site. Our thanks go out to all of them for their generous support.

NAGS Board of Directors: 2013-2015

NAGS is pleased to announce their new Board of Directors.

NAGS Board of Directors: 2013-2015

  • President
    Robert Mackey
    , S2L Incorporated


  • President-elect
    John Henderson
    ,  TenCate


  • Treasurer
    Corey Bobba
    , FHWA


  • Vice President
    Jay McKelvey
    , Earth Engineering
  • Vice President
    Richard Brachman
    , Queen’s University


  • Vice President
    Michael Bernardi
    , TenCate


  • Vice President
    Dhani Naejo


  • Past President
    Dean Sandri
    , Anchor Wall


Read More


NAGS Members receive ASTM Awards

At the recent ASTM Meeting in Indianapolis several NAGS Members received awards.

  • ASTM International President’s Award (Awarded to a person who has less than 7 years activity in ASTM and has made major contributions to the committee(s) they are members of.) Selected by the President of the Society.
    Awarded to:
    Dr. John McCartney for 2012. for work Committee D18 on Soil and Rock Committee
    D18 Committee on Soil and Rock Awards


  • Hogentogler Award (Best paper award)
    Fawzy M. Ezzein and Richard J. Bathurst – For “A Transparent Sand for Geotechnical Laboratory Modeling,” ASTM Geotechnical Testing Journal, vol.34, No. 6 (Nov 2011), pp 590-601.


  • A. Ivan Johnson Outstanding Achievement Award
    L. David.Suits– For Service as Editor of the Geotechnical Testing Journal



2013 NAGS Biennial Meeting Report – by David Suits

NAGS hosted its 2013 Biennial General Meeting during the Geosynthetics 2013 Conference in Long Beach, CA.  The meeting report can be downloaded using the link below.  Meeting highlights included the transition to the newly elected Board Members and an excellent presentation by Robert (Bob) Mackey as the new President of the chapter.  Bob, with the help of other NAGS Officers, outlined goals and helped to define the path forward for his term.  There were a number of great comments from the audience which consisted of a number of NAGS Members.

Download: 2013 NAGS Biennial Meeting Report by DSuits – EP 20130426

NAGS Member Dr. John S. McCartney Receives 2013 President’s Leadership Award from ASTM

Prof. John S. McCartney – 2013 ASTM Award Winner


John S. McCartney, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo., has been announced as the recipient of the 2013 President’s Leadership Award from ASTM International. The President’s Leadership Award recognizes individuals early in their ASTM career who have significantly advanced the Society’s mission through extraordinary accomplishment, example and vision, and is presented to two ASTM members annually. This year’s other recipient is William C. Griese, standards development and green initiative manager at the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) in Anderson, S.C. McCartney has served on Committees D18 on Soil and Rock and D35 on Geosynthetics.

As well we are proud to have John as a long standing Member of NAGS and as the Co-Chair of the Student Activities for GeoAmericas 2016 – the 3rd Pan-American Regional Conference on Geosynthetics.  Congratulations and thanks to John from NAGS!

IGS Documents & Resources

International Geosynthetics SocietyA wide variety of information is available on the IGS web site many documents are publicly available others are available only to members.

In 2012 the IGS Technical Committee on Soil Reinforcement in conjunction with the IGS Website Task Force began an effort to digitize all of the IGS Proceedings (where copyright was attainable). This proceedings library is quickly being populated with the vast and expansive technical history of the IGS Conferences.   This Proceedings Library is available in the Members Only section of the IGS Website.  All NAGS members have unlimited access to this valuable resource!

In addition the resources segment of the IGS website has a good offering of technical leaflets, videos, power point presentations and other educational items.  To access a full list of these documents and presentations please visit the IGS Website Resources Section.

Some of the documents you will find there include:

Recommended Mathematical and Graphical Symbols
Geosynthetics in Seismic Applications
Geosynthetics Classification
Geosynthetics Functions
Specification Guide
Geosynthetics in Unpaved Roads
Geosynthetics in Road Engineering
Geosynthetics in Railroads
Geosynthetics in Walls
Geosynthetics in Slopes over Stable Foundations
Geosynthetics in Embankments on Soft Soils
Geosynthetics in Landfills
Geosynthetics in Wastewater Treatment
Geosynthetics in Hydraulics Projects
Geosynthetics in Drainage and Filtration
Geosynthetics in Erosion Control
Geosynthetics in Agricultural Applications

And much more!

To access a full list of these documents and presentations please visit the IGS Website Resources Section.

North American Geosynthetics Society 2012 Year-end Report

The year 2012 has been an active year for NAGS. We have co-hosted, with GMA, a series of regional short courses. We anticipate at least four of these sessions to be held during 2013.  

We have participated both with financial support, and attendance at, the Lobby Days organized through GMA and its lobbyists. There have been very positive results from that activity with a congressional mandated report by the Government Accounting Office was released in November on the benefits of using geosynthetics, as well as language in the transportation bill encouraging the use of innovative materials such as geosynthetics in the design and construction of transportation facilities. A copy of the report is available HERE

We worked with IFAI and GMA in conjunction with the Geosynthetics 2013 Conference to be held in Long Beach, CA. April 1-4, 2013. The conference is co-located with the FHWA Southwest Geotechnical Engineers, and the GRI 25 Conferences. We have agreed on the arrangements to participate in the Canadian Geotechnical Society Annual Conference to be held in Montreal in late September 2013.

In conjunction with the Geosynthetics 2013 NAGS will hold its biennial meeting where the new Board of Directors, including the new President, President-elect, and Board members will be introduced.

One of the Board of Directors’ initiatives for 2013 is recruitment of new members

While we have over 200 members now, growth in membership will allow us to pursue other activities that promote the use geosynthetics. In that regard we would like to ask your help. We encourage each member to recruit at least one new member. As an incentive to do this we are offering, compliments of IFAI/GMA, a one year subscription to “Geosynthetics” for any US or Canadian  member renewing for 2013 who recruits at least one new member.

A new website that incorporates many new features, including the ability to share news of members and the industry, a calendar of upcoming events, links to various other sites including the IGS site and a LinkedIn Group, pictures, and more, will be available during the first quarter of 2013. Watch for the announcement.  

Should there be any questions regarding anything about NAGS, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We are looking forward to another successful year in 2013, and it will be with your support that this will be possible.

L. David Suits, Executive Director

Transportation Research Board’s Book Pre-Order

Rockfall Characterization and Control

TRB has will be releasing it’s newest book, Rockfall Characterization and Control, on October 1, 2012. For more information about this book, please read this brochure. You can pre-order your copy today from the Transportation Research Board’s website with no shipping or handling fees charged for orders placed before October 1, 2012.

Order at: