Microphone image, GAP 2019

GeoAmericas 2020 will be the first major geosynthetics conference to be held entirely online. The new format has been welcomed by the global community and a very noteworthy series of lectures has been announced.

The 4th Pan-American Regional Conference on Geosynthetics will take place online 26 – 31 October 2020, giving participants plenty of flexibility to balance their learning schedule with work.

We preview the lectures here.

Learn more and register


October 26, 2:00 pm UTC

Photo of Prof. Marcio Almeida at his desk at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, BrazilWelcome Lecture: MÁRCIO ALMEIDA
(Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Brazilian Contributions to Geosynthetic Engineering

IGS Brasil serves as the organizer of GeoAmericas 2020 ONLINE, so it is more than appropriate to open the conference with a look at how engineers, manufacturers, researchers, and engineering programs in Brazil have contributed to the field of geosynthetics. This is not a self-serving lecture, though. Brazil has been quite important, regionally and globally. Márcio Almeida is a wonderful selection to set the tone for GeoAmericas.

October 26, 6:00 pm UTC

Professor Richard Brachman portrait photo from International Geosynthetics SocietyZornberg Lecture: RICHARD BRACHMAN
(Queen’s University, Canada)
Lessons learned from physical modeling of geosynthetic systems

The inaugural Zornberg Lecture! Named for IGS Past President Jorge Zornberg—who was featured on this month’s episode of Siamak’s Geosynthetics Podcast, by the way—the lecture perfectly encapsulates the spirit of GeoAmericas. Dr. Zornberg organized the first of the quadrennial GeoAmericas conferences (Mexico, 2008) and oversaw a period of extraordinary growth in the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) during his tenure as society president. Richard Brachman, who served as president of IGS North America, is one of the leading educators and researchers in the field. He brings a unique technical depth to launch this new IGS lecture series and helps connect IGS chapters throughout the Americas.

October 27, 2:00 pm UTC

Mercer Lecture: KERRY ROWE
(Queen’s University, Canada)
Reinforced Embankments on Soft Soils

The Mercer Lecture is one of the most prestigious honors bestowed to geosynthetic practitioners. It’s no surprise that Dr. Kerry Rowe, one of the most well-known geotechnical influencers in the world, was tapped to deliver one of the Mercer Lectures. Rowe is one of those rare engineers with a mind that spans the gamut of geosynthetic applications, providing a specialist’s insight into nearly every application and material class in this field. His lectures are always world class and thought-provoking. Not to be missed.

Image of Professor Kerry Rowe on a Queen's University research site
Prof. Kerry Rowe, captured in the wild on a geosynthetics research site.

RELATED: GeoAmericas 2020 ONLINE Agenda

October 27, 6:00 pm UTC

Portrait photo of mining engineer Denys Parra from LinkedInKeynote Lecture: DENYS PARRA
(Anddes Consultores, Peru)
Geosynthetics in Mining

Few topics are more pressing in Brazil than mining. The sector has seen some dire failures in recent years, causing significant environmental and human harm. It’s no surprise that IGS Brasil (organizers of GeoAmericas 2020 ONLINE) have invited Denys Parra to address the attendees. Parra has distinguished himself as one of the most innovative mining consultants with his utilization of geosynthetic systems to improve mining yields and environmental performance.

October 28, 2:00 pm UTC

Keynote Lecture: DOV LESHCHINSKY
(Delaware University, USA)
Limit State Design Framework for Geosynthetic-Reinforced Walls and Slopes

Dov Leshchinsky has been at the forefront of geosynthetic-reinforced structure designs and research over his long career. He’s been instrumental in pushing the field forward with the use of software in design and analysis of geosynthetic-reinforced structures too. For GeoAmericas, he’s taking on one of the most debated topics of the past few years: design frameworks for these structures.

Photo of Dov, Ora, and Ben Leshchinsky. Taken by Chris Kelsey in Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2020.
One of the first families of geosynthetics: Dov, Ora, and Ben Leshchinsky. Photo by Chris Kelsey from GeoCongress 2020 in Minneapolis.

October 30, 2:00 pm UTC

Recent Developments in Geosynthetic-Stabilized Roads - WEBINARKeynote Lecture: JIE HAN
(University of Kansas, USA)
Recent Advances in Design of Geosynthetic-Stabilized Unpaved and Paved Roads

Jie Han is having quite a year. In August, the Glenn L. Parker Professor of Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Kansas was named to the ASCE Geo-Institute Board of Governors. He also was awarded the 2021 – 2023 Koerner Lecture Series honor from the Geosynthetic Materials Association. And, absolutely everyone doing roadway stabilization designs knows of Dr. Han. He even shares billing with the godfather of geosynthetic design, JP Giroud, with the influential Giroud-Han Equation. There’s just no room to argue with GeoAmericas on welcoming a keynote from Dr. Han. Great opportunity to learn!

October 31, 2:00 pm UTC

Portrait photograph of geosynthetic consulting engineer Barry Christopher from GeoAmericas 2020Robert Koerner Lecture: BARRY CHRISTOPHER
(Independent Consultant, USA)
Lessons Learned: An Adventure in 4 Decades of Geosynthetics Engineering

What a magnificent way to close out the GeoAmericas 2020 lectures! The idea of 20/20 vision is one of perfection or evenness. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. Here, we find one of the most influential consultants in our field delivering just that: perspective. The field of geosynthetics has been quite dynamic over the past 40 years. Barry Christopher has been involved in many of the biggest conversations involving ground improvement and transportation applications with geosynthetics.

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