Photo of geocell in stormwater controls

The GeoU 2020 engineering short courses event has added another world-class instructor to its line up: Markus Wilke. He joins Joel Sprague, P.E., in the “Geosynthetics in Stormwater Controls and Hydraulic Engineering” course (April 8 – 9).

GeoU 2020 will be held April 7 – 10 in Austin, Texas and include five high-level short courses, four of which are concurrent. Each short course offers a certification opportunity too (save for the April 10 half-day marketing course).


Markus Wilke headshot
GeoU 2020 has added the stormwater and hydraulic engineering expertise of Markus Wilke to the speaker line up.

The addition of Markus Wilke to GeoU 2020 has been in the planning for some time but schedules needed to be lined up before confirmation. His inclusion adds another international practitioner perspective to an already strong line up of speakers.

Wilke is an engineer and business development manager with HUESKER, one of the world’s oldest and largest geosynthetic manufacturing and design engineering companies. He brings more than a decade of stormwater controls and hydraulic engineering experience to GeoU 2020 and has published extensively on topics such as dewatering, bank stabilization, port maintenance, and waterway engineering.

His co-instructor is Joel Sprague, P.E., a Senior Engineer and Technical Director for TRI Environmental’s South Carolina laboratories in Anderson and Greenville, South Carolina.

All GeoU 2020 activities will take place in Austin, Texas, beginning with an opening reception on April 7, two full days of education on April 8 and 9, and optional certification exams and a marketing course on the morning of April 10. A room block has been arranged at the Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Hotel, where the classes will be held.

Learn more about the courses and the networking opportunities. Register before January 31 to save $100 or more on the engineering classes.


The GeoU 2020 stormwater and hydraulic engineering course tackles some of the most pressing issues in infrastructure management today.

Man-made changes to the environment, such as unrestricted development, overtaxed resources, removal of surface cover, paving, poor stewardship, and climate change impact on water levels and storm severity, have exposed soils to greater erosive forces. These processes substantially accelerate the rate of erosion to everything from construction sites to shorelines.  Historically, materials such as straw and rock or hard armor systems of various sizes and designs have been used to resist erosion and retain sediments.  However, the overuse of these approaches has revealed limited long-term performance. The incorporation of geosynthetic-enhanced systems is helping achieve greater balance temporary and long-term and applications.

RELATED: Bernardi to Lead Reinforced Soil Structures Course

The “Geosynthetics  in Stormwater Controls and Hydraulic Engineering” short course will provide detailed guidance on the relative performance, design, and installation of the full range of geosynthetic-enhanced erosion and sediment control systems being used.  Additionally, geosynthetic-based stormwater controls being used for infiltration and pollutant removal will be introduced.

Photo of ASTM 7351 test for silt fence stormwater controls - Sprague and Wilke
Testing the effectiveness of a sediment retention device per ASTM D 7351. Image from TRI Environmental’s large-scale outdoor labs in South Carolina.

Topics include:

  • Permanent post-construction stormwater management
  • Steep slope stabilization
  • Shoreline and coastal erosion protection
  • Geosynthetic-enhanced rolled erosion control products (G-RECPs)
  • Sediment retention devices (G-SRDs)
  • Use of these materials in pollution prevention plans
  • Porous plastic chambers beneath pavements
  • Geotextile filters
  • Use of geocells
  • Fabric-formed revetments
  • Much more

The Sprague and Wilke course is best suited for engineering and design professionals who specify and work with erosion and sediment control materials. It is also relevant to contractors, regulatory and enforcement personnel, public works directors, utility companies, mining and ski area construction managers, foresters, landfill operators, and consultants.


A welcome reception will be held on the evening of April 7 at the Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Hotel (venue for all courses). Then, on April 8 and 9, four concurrent short courses will be held:

Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Structure Design and Construction: Slopes, Walls and Roads
Instructor: Michael Bernardi, P.E.
Optional certification exam included. (Exam on April 10 in the morning.)

QA/QC of Geosynthetic and Compacted Clay Lining Systems
Instructors: Mark Sieracke, P.E., Dr. Jeffrey Kuhn, P.E., and Sam Allen.
Optional certification exams (GCI-ICP) offered on April 10 in the morning. These exams require a proxy fee paid to the event and addition pre-registration with the Geosynthetic Institute.

Landfill Design Considerations in the Age of Sustainable Development
Instructors: Dr. George Koerner, P.E. and Abigail Gilson, MS, P.E.
Optional certification exam included. (Exam on April 10 in the morning.)

Geosynthetics in Stormwater Controls and Hydraulic Engineering
Instructors: C. Joel Sprague, P.E. and engineer Markus Wilke
Optional certification exam included. (Exam on April 10 in the morning.)

On April 10 in the first half of the day, as certification exams are offered, a special Marketing in the Geosynthetics Field half-day short course will be offered.

Learn more about the courses and the networking opportunities. Register before January 31 to save $100 or more on the engineering classes.