One of the lights of geosynthetics engineering and standards development, Tim Bauters, has passed away. He was just 47.

Bauters, who most recently served as Director of Engineering at California-based Slurry Waste Solutions, was snowboarding alone in an area of Mt. Hood, Oregon. When he did not return home from the weekend outing, his family contacted the sheriff’s office in that area and a search was conducted. His body was found late on Monday.

Tim Bauters, from LinkedIn
Tim Bauters, from his LinkedIn profile

An article at OregonLive offers a few details.


Tim Bauters was born in Belgium and did his undergraduate and master’s studies at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven before coming to the United States to earn a PhD in Soil and Water Engineering at Cornell University. Following a year of post-doc research, he was hired by Aigen Zhao, then at Tenax Corporation, which embedded Tim with geosynthetics in a way that heavily influenced the rest of his career. Bauters took on roles in design engineering and quality control and Tenax. He eventually left for a position with Golder Associates in California, where he spent a decade consulting on solid waste, hazardous waste, environmental engineering, and affiliated issues. In 2017, he transitioned to his role with Slurry Waste Solutions while also establishing a individual practice with an engineering education focus.

In the professional sphere, he was energetic and humored. He delivered difficult engineering points in conference sessions and especially in ASTM standardization meetings in a manner that encouraged collegial discussion and tamped down competitive fires. His demeanor made him a natural moderator. He often served as such in conference technical sessions, taught short courses, and took up leadership of technical guidance work with ASTM Committee D35. On multiple occasions he was honored by D35, including with the Award of Recognition (2008, 2014, and 2018) and Award of Appreciation (2011).

Geosynthetica extends its condolences to the family of Tim Bauters. He leaves behind a wife, two young children, and a large community of family, friends, and colleagues around the world who are grateful for the humanity and happiness he brought to everyday interactions.

Thank you, Aigen Zhao, for sharing the news of Tim’s passing with us.

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