Geosynthetics Virtual Conference offered six half-day Short Courses. Recordings of these sessions are available On Demand for all Full Registrants until May 1, 2021.

Sponsored by:

Fundamentals of Geosynthetics – Types, Functions, Selection and Performance
Kerry Petrasic and Andrew J Smithmyer, Gannett Fleming
This short course provides an overview of geosynthetics, and is intended for individuals with a desire to explore the use of geosynthetic materials in design and construction applications, having a need to gain broad fundamental knowledge of the various geosynthetic types, materials and applications.  The course provides a basic definition of geosynthetics, explores the various material types and applications.  Geosynthetic materials presented and discussed include geotextile, geogrids, geocell, geomembranes and geofoam.  Importance is placed upon desired function(s) in the selection of material class and type.  The prominent roles that polymer type and material physical structure is emphasized in the successful selection and desired performance of geosynthetics for a specific application, and the balancing of often competing needs.  Versions of this course have previously been presented at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s “Transportation Management Training Workshop – TMTW” and the ASCE Central Pennsylvania Geotechnical Conference.

Geosynthetics in Erosion and Sediment Control and Erosion-Resistant Hydraulic Structures
Joel Sprague, TRI Environmental; Markus Wilke, HUESKER Synthetic GmbH
Geosynthetic-enhanced erosion and sediment control systems are now used routinely in temporary construction site applications, as well as, in steep slope stabilization and shoreline and coastal erosion protection. On the construction site, geosynthetic-enhanced rolled erosion control products (RECPs) and sediment retention devices (SRDs) have become essential to pollution prevention plans. In permanent applications, geosynthetic solutions now include specially designed geotextile filters beneath hard armor systems, and deploying advanced erosion protection technologies such as anchored geotextiles, geocellular containment systems, fabric-formed concrete revetments, and sand-filled geosynthetic mattresses, tubes, and other containers. This short course will provide and detailed look at all these emerging technologies and how they are being used to cost-effectively protect against erosion from rainfall, runoff, stream flow, and shoreline wave action.

Landslide Remediation/Erosion Control with Geogrid, Geocell and Soil Anchors
Stephan Gale and Nathan Lichty, Gale-Tec Engineering
Increased rainfall amounts and intensities, along with prolonged wet periods have created instabilities along our roadways and rivers/streams.  The exact causes of these vary, but the threat to public safety is a constant.  This short course will access the causes, discuss the evaluation of alternate solutions and present construction case histories which include a wide range of resilient solutions for each of the unique challenges presented.

This course will highlight recent projects that balance geotechnical needs, hydraulics, local and federal permitting requirements, wetland impacts, special river designations, costs, unique site constraints and aesthetic goals to arrive at cost-effective solutions.  Through a series of case histories, we will review design and constructed solutions ranging from hard armored riprap and sheetpile walls to vegetated geogrid reinforced soil slopes with various erosion resistant faces to shallow soil anchors and grouted hollow bar reinforcement.

AASHTO 2020: Three Acceptable Design Methods of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Walls
Dov Leshchinsky, University of Delaware and ADAMA Engineering; Daniel Alzamora, FHWA Resource Center
This short course provides the details of three, basically unrelated methods, for the design of geosynthetic-reinforced walls allowed in AASHTO 2020. Discussed are the Simplified Stiffness Method, the Limit Equilibrium Method, and the Simplified AASHTO Method. While the main focus will be on internal stability, aspects such as complex geometries, surcharge loads, external stability and seismic design will be discussed as well. Instructive examples will be used to demonstrate the fine points of each method while showing the differences in the design outcomes. To expand the number of comparative cases, both programs MSEW+ and ReSSA+ will be used. Reinforced slopes will also be briefly covered.

Construction on Soft Soil using Geosynthetics
Lilma Schimmel, HUESKER Inc and Alex Potter-Weight, Menard USA
This course will on focus the use of geosynthetics to address the challenges of construction on poor soil conditions. Commonly used and innovative techniques will be discussed at an introductory level, including Geosynthetic Encased Columns (GECs), Prefabricated Vertical Drains (PVDs), High Strength Basal Reinforcement and Load Transfer Platforms. Technical information about specification parameters and design using geosynthetics will also be introduced.

Designing for a Zero-Leak Containment Facility
Abigail Gilson MS, PE, TRI Environmental; Jeff Blum, Weaver Consultants Group; Richard Brachman PE, Queens University 
The old adage that “all liners leak” does not have to be a foregone conclusion. All leaks in lining systems have a direct cause including accidents, installation issues, poor craftsmanship, inadequate material testing, and poor design decisions. A holistic approach to leakage is taken in this course to address both short-term and long-term sources of leakage. Using state-of-the-art Electrical Leak Location (ELL) technologies, leaks can be remedied before a containment facility is put into service. Employing best practices for Construction Quality Assurance (CQA) can eliminate leaks that develop over time due to poor installation practices. Performing proper material testing based on the most recent research on stress-cracking will significantly increase the service-life of the facility.  In short, the reduction or even elimination of leakage starts in the design phase with good project specifications. This course provides Engineers with the tools they need by teaching:

Course Outline:
The physics of ELL testing methods and how to maximize method effectiveness (Gilson-Beck)
Fundamentals of Electrical Leak Location

  • Available Methods
    • Bare Geomembrane methods
      • Water-based Methods
      • High Voltage-based Methods
    • Covered Geomembrane Methods
      • Dipole Method
    • Method specification
      • Liner cross-section and site configuration examples
      • Site-specific preparation
      • Design details: tie-in seams, penetrations, rain flaps
      • Actual, Blind and Artificial Leaks
      • Project specifications

Best practices in CQA specific to avoiding the formation of leaks (Blum)

  • Introduction of CQA
  • Routine CQA
  • Beyond the Routine
  • Comprehensive CQA
  • Post Construction

Material specification and testing for the reduction of long-term stress cracking (Brachman)

  • Theoretical equations for calculating leakage
  • Input parameters from the latest findings
    • Interface transmissivity between geomembrane and geosynthetic clay liner
  • Accelerated aging experiments
    • Polyethylene geomembrane rupture from gravel indentations
  • Assessing long-term effectiveness of geomembrane protection layers
  • Comprehensive CQA
  • Post Construction

Benefits & Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the physics of how ELL surveys work in order to maximize their effectiveness on your projects
  • Understand the advantages and limitations of the various ELL methods
  • Learn about cutting edge ELL technologies and methods
  • Learn the state-of-the practice CQA practices in order to avoid present and future leaks
  • Learn about the value of comprehensive CQA
  • Identify factors affecting long-term leakage and methods to reduce potential leakage
  • Calculate leakage for practical cases
  • Understand mechanism that may lead to long-term leakage
  • Understand methods to address geomembrane protection