The Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, Calif., was filled with professionals from across the geosynthetics industry April 1-4 for IFAI’s Geosynthetics 2013 conference and trade show, including GRI-25. The event co-located with the 2013 Southwest Geotechnical Engineers Conference. This biennial event united the world’s leading geotechnical professionals who came to explore, learn and share developments in geosynthetics engineering technologies.
“We had more than 1,200 people in attendance, and more than 120 exhibitors, the most ever at the geo conference,” said Todd Lindemann, IFAI vice president of conference management.
Geosynthetics 2013 offered educational components in technical areas, including several full-day short courses for participants to earn Professional Development Hours (PDHs). Also included were plenary sessions and technical topics covering issues and procedures of most concern to the industry. The plenary sessions were conducted by geosynthetics professionals, including Jerry Yudelson, Yudelson Associates; Carla Suszkowski, director of regulatory affairs, Atlas Energy; Don Siegel, Ph.D., Syracuse University; Robert Koerner, director emeritus, Geosynthetic Institute; and Mark Smith, P.E., GE, SE, RRD International Corp.
“A large number of attendees came to hear our speakers, who are some of the most recognizable names in the business,” said Deb Stender, director of events and education at IFAI.
“Geosynthetics 2013 was very well done,” said David Elton, a conference presenter. “The topics, speakers and organization were superior [to other conferences]. I attend a lot of conferences and few are better arranged or are more satisfying than was Geosynthetics 2013.”
The Innovation Theater attracted attendees to a distinctive forum where exhibitors gave informational presentations on their latest products and services. Topics ranged from quality assurance solutions to geofoam usage.
GMA meets with CTAG
IFAI president Mary Hennessy and several staff members met with Chinese delegates representing various sectors of the geosynthetics industry in China, including manufacturers, university professionals and association leaders. This meeting, the first of its kind, was organized by GMA and the Chinese Technical Association on Geosynthetics (CTAG). Information was exchanged about the geosynthetic industry and its markets in the U.S. and China.
IFAI is already setting its sights on Geosynthetics 2015, which will take place Feb.15–18, 2015 in Portland, Ore., and is co-locating with the International Erosion Control Association (IECA).
Geosynthetics 2013 was organized by IFAI and the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA), and supported by the North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS) and under the auspices of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS).