Our good friend Siamak Paulson, an Australia-based engineer, continues his series of interviews with not just Australian geosynthetics experts but luminaries from around the world. The latest video podcast from Siamak’s Geosynthetics Podcast features International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) Past President Jorge Zornberg.
Other episodes available on Siamak’s YouTube Channel include interviews with Kent von Maubeuge, Warren Hornsey, Mike Dobie, Brendan Swifte, and Boyd Ramsey.
JORGE ZORNBERG ON GEOSYNTHETICS RESEARCH
Dr. Jorge Zornberg, P.E., F.ASCE, is one of the most influential and active practitioners in the global geosynthetics field. Among his many honors one finds not just the prestigious Mercer Lecture but a new lecture series, the Zornberg Lecture, named in his honor by the International Geosynthetics Society.
Certainly, Jorge Zornberg is a great interview subject for Siamak Paulson. The primary topic in their conversation is the importance of geosynthetics research for the field.
Zornberg is a key piece of the University of Texas – Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering. The university has long been known for its position in geotechnical engineering and over the past couple decades has really set itself apart with its incorporation of geosynthetics in its curriculum.
Jorge Zornberg, in turn, has used his experience at the university to create signature education opportunities for the IGS, such as adding lectures to the Educate the Educators program, which demonstrates how geosynthetics can be added to crowded geotechnical curricula without redesigning programs.
MORE PODCASTS: Kent von Maubeuge on Multi-Component GCLs
On getting into geosynthetics: “I started my PhD in Berkeley, Califorinia. I was working with Professor Jim Mitchell, and he said, ‘Hey, I have a project on soil reinforcement using geosynthetics. What if you take on this project?’ That was the beginning.”
On the importance of geosynthetics research: “I love research. It’s a feeling that you are at the frontier, at the edge of knowledge. … I think geosynthetics are what they are because we do research. … Geosynthetics help us do projects in a very ingenious way, in a smart way. We can tailor the project, we can tailor the properties of geosynthetics.” Research is how we arrive at this point.