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Protecting the Environment with Geosynthetics: 53rd Terzaghi Lecture hosted by the Geo-Institute

21 Dec 2017 8:53 AM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

By Maria C. Jaime, Ph.D., E.I.T., Edited by: Vishal Patel, M.S.C.E., P.E. 

On Thursday, November 30th, 2017, distinguished Professor Kerry Rowe from Queens University in Canada delivered the 2017 Terzaghi Lecture at the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) club in downtown Pittsburgh, PA.  The ASCE Pittsburgh Section Geo-Institute Chapter had the honor to host Dr. Rowe and more than 40 ASCE members and non-members who gathered to enjoy this dinner meeting and lecture at the outstanding ESWP venue.

Drawing together results from extensive research such as field observations, long-term experimental data, and theory, the prestigious lecture highlighted the importance of carefully considering the implications of design and construction decisions in ensuring long-term performance of geosynthetic liner systems for environmental protection in landfill barriers. It explored well-understood concepts and examined common misconceptions and consequences. It emphasized the importance of the geosynthetic material selection, accounting for the interactions between different geosynthetics and other barrier system components.  It demonstrated that the obvious is not always expected.

Dr. Rowe is a pioneer in the field of geosynthetics and has made immeasurable contributions to the development of new technologies and methods to prevent the contamination of water sources by mining and landfill activity. He is the author of over 350 peer-reviewed journal papers, 3 books, 15 book chapters, and more than 330 full conference papers. Additionally, he has been recognized by numerous awards including the Giroud Lecture (2002), Rankine Lecture (2005), Manuel Rocha Lecture (2006), Casagrande Lecture (2011), the Ferroco-Terzaghi Oration (2012), and the ASCE Karl Terzaghi Lecture (2017). The International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering has created the ISSMGE R. Kerry Rowe Lecture. He has been elected a Fellow of the world’s oldest and most prestigious scientific society, the Royal Society (of London, UK) as well as been elected a foreign Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and Fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering.  He is also a member of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering and Professional Societies in Australia, Canada, and USA. He is a past president of the International Geosynthetics Society, the Canadian Geotechnical Society and the Engineering Institute of Canada.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Greg Rumbaugh (ASCE G-I Chair) presented Dr. Rowe with a gift of a Pittsburgh Geo-Institute polo shirt (as seen in the photograph).

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