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The Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) invests tens of thousands of dollars in engineering research, both in-house and with its GSI Fellowships program. The latter endeavor has supported Master’s and Doctoral students around the world in significant ways. These recipients, in turn, have entered the engineering field or progressed further in engineering with a background that features a strong understanding of geosynthetics.

The 2020 – 2021 academic year GSI Fellowships are the 13th class of recipients. The awarded work exemplifies the international breadth and impact of the program and the amazing support provided by GSI members, the Koerner Family Foundation, and the general engineering community.

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The GSI Fellowships review team consisted of Dr. George Koener, Dr. Grace Hsuan, and the GSI Board of Advisors (BOA). They have awarded USD $5,000 each to 10 recipients in support for their work.


Those interested in future engineering research funding opportunities should visit the information page on GSI’s website and contact Jamie Koerner.

The topics included in the most recent GSI Fellowships offer a sneak peek at what the next generation of engineers will enter the field with—what they offer, what they question. It forecasts a good story for geosynthetics and engineering.

Improved Understanding of Load and Displacement Transfer Mechanisms between Geocell and Fill in Flexible Pavements
Recipient: Eirini Christoforidou (Purdue University)
Advisor: Antonio Bobet

Numerical Modeling of Flexible Pavement with Geogrid Reinforcement
Recipient: Kazi Moinul Islam (University of South Carolina)
Advisor: Sarah Gassman

Quantification of the Effect and Range of Geogrid Stabilization using Bender Element Field Sensors
Recipient: Mingu Kang (University of Illinois)
Advisor: Erol Tutumluer

Investigating Seismic Response of Geocell Reinforced Retaining Walls with Low Plasticity Backfills Using Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis
Recipient: Pourya Kargar (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville)
Advisor: Abdolreza Osouli

Bifunctional Intelligent Geogrids for Soil Stabilization and Performance Modeling
Recipient: Sina Nassiri (University of Akron)
Advisor: Nariman Mahabadi

Effect of Geosynthetic Reinforcement on Compaction Behavior of Open-Graded Aggregate Courses
Recipient: Md. Fazle Rabbi (Oklahoma State University)
Advisor: Debakanta Mishra

Development of a Simple and Implementable Method for Analyzing Geosynthetic Reinforced Pavement on Expansive Soils
Recipient: Debojit Sarker (Louisiana Tech University)
Advisor: Jay X. Wang

Mechanisms of Geogrid Stabilization of Road Bases Under Reduced Scale Accelerated Pavement Testing
Recipient: Subramanian Sankaranarayanan (University of Texas – Austin)
Advisor: Jorge Zornberg

Viable Geomembrane Sealants and Adhesives Enhanced by Super Hydrophobic Additives
Recipient: Dongfang Wang (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Advisor: Guoping Zhang

Geosynthetic Based Foundation and Mounting Structure for PV System; and Radiative Cooling Thick Film for Enhanced Geosynthetic Performance
Recipient: David Allen Young (University of South Florida)
Advisor: Yogi Goswami

Learn more about GSI Fellowships and the work of the Geosynthetic Institute at www.geosynthetic-institute.org.

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