Australia-based engineer Siamak Paulson (Golder Associates) hosts a podcast on geosynthetics. In the latest episode, he interviews industry veteran Kent von Maubeuge (NAUE). Other episodes available on Siamak’s YouTube Channel include interviews with Mike Dobie, Brendan Swifte, and Boyd Ramsey.
VON MAUBEUGE ON RESEARCH, EDUCATION & INDUSTRY ACTIVITY
von Maubeuge is one of the most active members of industry organizations in geosynthetics, such as ASTM Committee D35 and the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS). Paulson uses this activity to shape the interview, much of which focuses on the role of education, research, and group efforts in the industry (e.g., standardization).
It’s a wise move, as von Maubeuge has a lot of experience to share here. It also shows how Paulson, from one interview to the next, shapes his line of questioning around the personality of the subject he’s interviewing.
In the Boyd Ramsey interview, for example, Paulson pushes at environmental issues, which Ramsey has long focused on from a professional and personal responsibility level.
von Maubeuge has given significant time to teaching and to helping build field consensus on critical issues. It provides a center for Paulson’s interview … which, astutely, also manages to sneak in steak and wine. von Maubeuge highlights how in being confident enough to be openly curious about engineering issues, opportunities emerge, common ground is discovered, and relationships are formed.
The field moves forward, essentially, with friendships.
On standardization efforts: “It’s important that you are involved as an engineer or researcher. If we don’t have the standards and people are fighting, ‘I’m using this method, the other guy’s using that test method,’ they don’t get together, the values don’t tell you the same thing. … It’s important for all geosynthetic groups that people get involved and bring in their experience–not necessarily always to develop new test methods but to improve them. … Maybe we are too fast with a few things and too slow with some others, but it’s an important part of getting things done.”
On building relationships in the field and being active in professional bodies: “You have to get involved. You can’t just sit back. … The biggest highlight I’d like to point out is the friendships you gain. You learn people. … It’s the relationships. That’s what counts. The highlights are the people.”
Steaks and wine help too, as you’ll find out in the interview.