Malek Bouazza, EH Davis Memorial Lecture
Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS)
The field of geosynthetics will be front and center when the Australian Geomechanics Society’s E.H. Davis Memorial Lecture tour kicks off in August. Dr. Malek Bouazza, a longtime active member of the International Geosynthetics Society, has been honored with the biennial lecture award. The topic of his lecture series is “Geosynthetics in Geoenvironment Systems: Pushing the application boundaries further What have we learned? And where to from here?”
Dr. Bouazza is a Professor in Civil Engineering and Adjunct Research Professor at Cardiff University (U.K.).
The lecture will focus on 3+ decades of geosynthetics advances, taking audiences through the growth of geosynthetics into every major sector of civil engineering both in state-of-the-art designs and standardized practice. Examples from geosynthetic barrier designs, such as municipal solid waste management, will be a strong focus, as will how advances in these sectors have transitioned to tackling harsher environmental challenges.
In the lecture abstract, Dr. Bouazza writes, “…their application under these specific [harsher] conditions generally pushes [the performance of geosynthetics] beyond recommended limits typical for other environmental and engineering applications. Thus, transferring technology from applications common to landfills to applications where severe extreme conditions (very high/low temperatures and stresses and extreme range in leachate chemistries) may be encountered is not a simple matter.”
The complexity of these shifts from state-of-the-art to state-of-practice and back new design and manufacturing advances is a welcomed addition to the memorial lecture series. It is especially relevant today with barrier geosynthetics, as these materials are rapidly evolving in strength and application with new types of geomembranes, geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs), composite barrier materials being introduced regularly.
The E.H. Davis Memorial Lecture will be delivered in multiple cities across Australia, connecting with Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) chapters and Engineers Australia chapters. It will also deliver geosynthetics information to the AGS’s affiliated professional society partners: the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM), the International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG), and the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE).
Current dates include:

  • August 10 – Treasury Casino and Hotel, Brisbane, QLD
  • August 11 – University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, NSW
  • August 12 – Engineers Australia, Sydney Office, Chatswood, NSW
  • August 18 – University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, TAS
  • August 19 – Engineers Australia, Adelaide, SA
  • August 20 – University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA
  • October 14 – Engineers Australia, North Melbourne, VIC

Dr. Malek Bouazza has been recognized internationally for his contributions to geotechnical and civil engineering and for his considerable interaction with the geosynthetics field. Among his many accolades, he delivered the 2014 Zeng Guoxi Lecture at Zhejiang University (China), was honored with a 2013 International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) award for significant contributions to the IGS and outstanding technical contributions to the geosynthetics discipline, and was awarded the 2010 Telford Premium Prize from the Institution of Civil Engineers (U.K.). Currently, Dr. Bouazza is the Chair of the International Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Technical Committee TC 215 on Environmental Geotechnics; Secretary of ISSMGE TC308 on Energy Geotechnics; President of the Australasian Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (ACIGS); and a member of the Standards Australia Committee C20 on Geosynthetics. He serves on the editorial board of 10 international journals.
He served as an IGS council member from 2004 to 2012 and was one the founding chair of the IGS TC on barrier systems established in 2010.
The biennial E.H. Davis Memorial Lecture commemorates the work in geomechanics by Prof. Edward Hughesdon Davis, a pioneer in the field. AGS writes, “He perceived that progress and understanding of the theoretical basis of geomechanics would only come if consistent, sound, but simple models of soil behaviour were used. The two topics that were the central focus of his research were application of the theory of elasticity to foundation deformation and the theory of plasticity to stability.” Prof. Davis was also influential in clay soil consolidation theory.
Learn more about the award and the AGS at