IGS North America Educate the EducatorsEducate the Educators - IGS North AmericaQueens RMC Barrier Research ProjectTencate Geotube in mining
The International Geosynthetics Societey’s non-commercial Educate the Educators program was created in the 1990s to address the knowledge gap about geosynthetics in civil engineering practice. The program used a short course format to deliver practical geosynthetics engineering information to professors, who returned to their colleges with strategies for incorporating geosynthetics into their lesson plans. After a period of hibernation, EtE was reborn in 2015 to great success, with events taking place in multiple countries. Now, IGS North America, which spearheaded the program’s relaunch, is bringing EtE to Canada 4 – 5 December 2017.
This Educate the Educators event is a two-day geosynthetics training program for university professors.
The December 2017 edition will be hosted at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Queen’s is one of the world’s most renowned geotechnical engineering programs, both for its own initiatives and for its close collaboration with Royal Military College. Their engineering programs coordinate activities at the GeoEngineering Centre.
Also of note for the December 2017 EtE, a second component has been added: Educate the Students (EtS).


Professors interested in participating must apply to attend. The program’s goal is to select ~35 professors who can incorporate geosynthetics into programs that have previously not done so or which have done so in a limited capacity. (Prior to the 2015 EtE in Texas, which welcomed 45 professors, fewer than 10% of engineering programs in North America were found to regularly include geosynthetics.)


The instructors have been lined up:

  • Kerry Rowe (Queen’s University)
  • Richard J. Bathurst (Royal Military College of Canada)
  • Richard Brachman (Queens University)
  • Jorge Zornberg (University of Texas – Austin)

In announcing the December 2017 opportunity, IGS North America notes:
Educate the Educators provides specialized, hands-on training and lecture materials to equip attending professors with the tools they need offer effective geosynthetics course work in their engineering programs. Attending professors receive instruction, course materials (including powerpoint presentations, hand outs, and sample binders) and have continued access to the instructors as they develop their own programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Building on the success of EtE Austin, held in 2015, participants will receive training and educational material on the fundamentals of geosynthetics as well as exposure to the state-of-knowledge on geosynthetics in reinforcement and environmental applications.
IGS North America has documented the beneficial impact of Educate the Educators by following the 2015 participants. The numbers are strong:

  • 40% of 2015 EtE attendees’ university programs contained NO geosynthetic content prior to the EtE event. 87% of those professors responded with a plan to incorporate the EtE programming at their institution either through a 50-minute introduction to geosynthetics or by incorporating geosynthetics in various ways when the existing course work’s context could properly utilize the information.
    • 37% added geosynthetics content in the 2015 – 2016 school year
    • 25% added geosynthetics content in the 2016 – 2017 school year
    • 25% were developing programs to be added in the 2017 – 2018 school year
  • Also of note, of the 60% attending programs that had at least a small amount of geosynthetics education included, 82% determined to increase the content beginning in 2015 – 2016.


The EtE program is about educating the next generation of engineers. In that spirit, IGS North America has added an Educate the Students component directly into the EtE activities—bringing professors and students into a mutually beneficial learning environment.
More information on the EtS: Guest Lecture Series for University Students will be made available soon.
Learn more about IGS North America at www.igs-na.org.
Apply to attend Educate the Educators here.


Geosynthetics-related companies (manufacturers, consulting firms, etc.) can sponsor this Educate the Educators event to keep geosynthetics information flowing to the next generation. Contact John Henderson (j.henderson@tencate.com) for more information or call +1 706 693 1836.