Last month, one of Brazil’s geosynthetics pioneers passed away. Professor Benedito de Souza Bueno, who led the International Geosynthetics Society’s Brazilian Chapter (IGS Brasil) from 2003 to 2007, passed away on 1 August 2015 in São Paulo. Prof. Bueno contributed many papers to the international geotechnical engineering field, beginning in 1979, and was long a promoter of geosynthetic technologies. He even established the renowned EESC geosynthetics laboratory at the University of São Paulo.
Prof. Bueno fostered interest in geosynthetics across Brazil, and his work helped bring the 9th International Conference on Geosynthetics (9 ICG) to the country in 2010.
“Kind, sympathetic and extremely pleasant,” said Prof. Ennio Palmeira. “He was a special human being who will be greatly missed.”
Palmeira and Bueno were close colleagues, exchanging technical knowledge, promoting geosynthetics, and jointly contributing to associations such as IGS Brasil and ABMS. Regarding the latter, Prof. Bueno was active in multiple roles for close to a quarter century.
He retired from his professional life in 2013 after battling illness for many years.
“He was a great person and a very good friend,” said Dr. Ing. Daniele Cazzuffi. “I will miss him very much, as will the global geotechnical and geosynthetic engineering communities.”
Cazzuffi is a former president of the International Geosynthetics Society. In 2008, as Immediate Past President and IGS Awards Committee Chairman, he presented Prof. Bueno with an IGS Award, one of the highest individual honors for society members. The award recognized Prof. Bueno’s “contributions to the development of geosynthetics in Brazil. These contributions include the study of confined behaviour of geosynthetics, as well as the development of innovative applications for geosynthetics in pipeline construction … [and] in assuring geosynthetic quality, successful design, and industry growth in Brazil.”
The full IGS Award 2008 citation can be read here (PDF).
Prof. Bueno began his teaching and research career with the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) in 1979. He remained there until 1996 when he transitioned to the São Carlos-based EESC. There, he created a strong home for geosynthetics research and education. The geosynthetics testing laboratory he established was integral not only to the development of the next generation of engineering minds among the school’s geotechnical students but to the country’s growing geosynthetics industry.
EESC-USP has held a strong place for Brazil’s geosynthetics companies to test and experiment with materials.
Furthermore, and extending beyond geosynthetics, Prof. Bueno helped create the school’s Graduate Program in Civil Engineering.
He leaves a strong legacy, in his personal and professional life.
Geosynthetica’s team extends its sympathies to his wife Elizabeth and his children Ligia, José Vitor, and Eduardo.