By Bruno Pedroni and Chris Kelsey – On June 9, a two-day workshop on Geomembrane Installation Quality convened in São Paulo, Brazil. Organized and promoted by Geosynthetica and its sister publication Geosynthetica.net.br (a Portuguese-language online magazine), the workshop was held at the Engineering Institute.
Expert instruction for “Qualidade na Instalação de Geomembranas” was provided by Luduik Rosales, Indiara Giugni, and Julio Ferreira. The gathering was capped at 40 seats to enable focused discussion, close interaction between instructor and participant, and plenty of hands-on time for all involved to test cutting, welding, and patching materials using a variety of installation equipment options.
The core audience for the event was weld technicians and field crew leaders. Multiple companies sponsored the event, contributing financial and technical resources towards making the comprehensive program successful.
Sponsors included: Demtech, Leister, NeoPlastics, Terra Nova, TDM, and Inovageo.
THE NEED FOR GEOMEMBRANE INSTALLATION EDUCATION
Brazil’s geosynthetics industry has grown at a rapid pace with the continuing modernization and of the nation’s infrastructure. While this has been good for all involved—manufacturers, designers, facility owners, installers—the need for experienced installation crews has risen sharply, including into sectors in which facility owners and specification writers may not be as aware of how to select a quality installer. The workshop has been part of a movement within the geosynthetics field to narrow the knowledge gap.
Brazil needs more engineers to promote the proper use of geosynthetics and more companies to embrace commonly agreed upon best practices for work in the field. With the workshop, the on-site expertise is gaining greater recognition.
The workshop’s education has also been designed to bring Brazilian operators closer to the type of program that guides members of the International Association of Geosynthetic Installers (IAGI).
In fact, the short course’s technical and theoretical content has been designed to serve as proof of obtaining the type of knowledge needed for IAGI certification. Direct interaction between Brazil-based installers and IAGI is likely in the near future.
As in many other areas of the world, Brazil’s geosynthetics stakeholders are leading the way for their areas of work in elevating the standards of quality.
Bruno Pedroni is the editor of Geosynthetica.net.br. Chris Kelsey edits Geosynthetica.net. The combined publications reach more than 800,000 users each year.