Last year, the North American Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS North America) joined forces with the ASTM International’s Committee D35 on Geosynthetics and the Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) to launch a student fellowship program. The Testing Innovation Fellowship is aimed at transitioning geosynthetics-related research to ASTM International standards and to increasing student engagement in these professional organizations.

IGS North America Vice President Dr. Kristin Sample-Lord, PE posted about how the testing innovation fellowship works last week on the chapter’s website.

The inaugural fellows are:

  • Han Wang, PhD Student – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
    “Effectiveness of Geosynthetics in Aggregate Stabilization – Evaluation using Bender Element Sensor Technology”
    Advisor: Dr. Erol Tutumluer
  • Wasif Zaman, PhD student – University of Kansas
    “Measurement of Water Contact Angle on Geotextile to Evaluate Its Wettability Using ASTM D7334”
    Advisor: Dr. Jie Han
  • Mahmoud Ali, PhD student – Queen’s University (Kingston)
    “New Method to Predict HDPE Geomembrane ESCR Value”
    Advisors: Dr. R. Kerry Rowe & Dr. Fady B. Abdelaal

Under the program, each fellow will receive $500 per year, over a maximum three-year period ($1,500 total per fellow). The program is structured to support three to five fellows concurrently in any given year. Both IGS North America and ASTM International offer free student memberships. Program eligibility requires student membership in these organizations. As a deliverable of the fellowship, students must prepare a draft of either a new ASTM standard or a substantially revised version of an existing standard.

Testing Innovation Fellowship Structure
The Awardee – Mentor Structure of the Testing Innovation Fellowship Program from IGS North America, GSI, and ASTM International Committee D35 on Geosynthetics

To help the awardees navigate the standardization process, each fellow is strategically paired with a D35 committee mentor with expertise in the research topic area. Han Wang will be mentored by Sam Allen (TRI Environmental); Md. Wasif Zaman by John Lostumbo (TenCate Geosynthetics); and Mahmoud Ali by Dr. George Koerner (Geosynthetic Institute).

The call for 2023 Testing Innovation Fellowship applications will be issued in October 2022. Interested students are encouraged to join IGS North America (for free) now to stay current on this and other networking, scholarship, and learning opportunities. Visit