Sunday, March 8 | 1-5 pm
Professional Issues in Geosynthetics Engineering
This four-hour workshop is organized by the North American Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society. It includes a happy hour reception and is open to all conference attendees. Additional fee applies.

Ethics in Geosynthetics and Civil Engineering
Boyd Ramsey, Boyd Ramsey Consulting LLC
Ethics are a part of our everyday lives.  We make decisions daily on a broad range of ethical topics, what is “right” and “wrong”, what is fair, what needs to be disclosed and what can be held private.  This 60-minute workshop explores the varieties of ethical and non-ethical behaviors, points out examples of companies and organizations within our industry that publish ethical standards and codes of conduct and give some peer to peer feedback on common situations and gray areas and how to manage these.   

Michael Pluimer, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Duluth
In 2018, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) updated their M 294 standard specification for corrugated polyethylene pipes to allow the incorporation of post-consumer and post-industrial recycled materials into these products. The updates were based on the research and conclusions from two National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) projects and a PhD dissertation: NCHRP Project 4-32, Performance of Corrugated Pipe Manufactured with Recycled Polyethylene Content, published as NCHRP Report 696; NCHRP Project 4-39, Field Performance of Corrugated HDPE Pipes Manufactured with Recycled Materials, published as NCHRP Report 870; and An Evaluation of Corrugated HDPE Pipes Manufactured with Recycled Materials for Commuter Railroad Applications, PhD dissertation by Michael Pluimer. The author’s service life prediction model developed in his PhD dissertation was published as AASHTO R 93 and used to establish minimum criteria for the stress crack resistance properties of pipes manufactured with recycled materials. The changes to AASHTO M 294 resulted in the incorporation of more sustainable materials into our drainage infrastructure and will have a lasting positive impact on our society.

This presentation provides a summary of the changes to AASHTO M 294 to incorporate the use of recycled materials into the specification, along with the basis for the revisions. It also details the new test specifications and requirements that resulted from the research and outlines the service life prediction and verification methodology that was developed. The research projects that provided the basis for these changes spanned 11 years and were budgeted for $950,000, making this the most robust body of research on recycled materials for pipe applications published to date. Over 1000 different tests were conducted on 28 different recycled materials and 75 different blends of virgin and recycled materials, including service life validation testing on 24 full-scale pipes manufactured with various blends of recycled materials.

Geosynthetic Installation Issues for Designers
Chris Eichelberger, Agru America, Inc.
“How did this happen”? – A discussion regarding examples of successful and “less than” successful geosynthetic applications / projects throughout the project delivery life cycle.

The geosynthetics industry benefits from prescribed regulations from EPA and state agencies in the required containment and closure rules for wastes such as; MSW, C&D debris, Industrial, Hazardous and now CCR.  Geosynthetic materials are also used to protect and store liquids ranging from drinking water to mineral rich solutinos from the mining industry.  Beyond the rules, the industry further benefits from sample specifications, best practice guidelines, case histories and the wealth of knowledge and experience from tenured professionals utilizing the materials on a daily basis.  This discussion will look at the required steps of a geosynthetic project and review recent applications from within the industry.