From 16 – 18 June 2014, the Honduran Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) will hold that country’s First National Conference on Geosynthetics (Honduras 2014). This is a significant step of activity for the chapter, which just formed in 2013. However, it may be even more significant for its impact on the Central American and Caribbean region.
The Latin American infrastructure market continues to open, and an increasing number of global companies, including from the manufacturing side of geosynthetics, are establishing offices and production facilities throughout southern Americas.
Successful IGS chapters have been in operation in South America for many years. The Peruvian Chapter, for example, hosted GeoAmericas 2012; and the Brazilian Chapter hosted the 9th International Conference on Geosynthetics (9 ICG, May 2010).
The next GeoAmericas will be in Miami in April 2016 and hosted by the North American Geosynthetics Society. The 10th ICG will be held in September 2014 in Berlin and hosted by IGS Germany.
But historically, Central American and Caribbean nations have not hosted IGS chapters or events.
In Honduras, there is a an excellent opportunity to bring experts together from around the region for state-of-practice discussions, IGS chapter formation, event planning, and more.
IGS & GEOSYNTHETICS IN HONDURAS
Multiple officers of the IGS Council have offered to contribute lectures to the Honduras conference, which will be held in Tegucigalpa at the College of Civil Engineering (CICH). These speakers, who will join the many Honduran and regional experts already working with the organizers, may include Russell Jones, Jorge Zornberg, Peter Legg, and Fumio Tatsuoka covering topics such as mining applications, geosynthetic barrier systems (liners, covers), reinforced soil and walls, pavement design, QA/QC programs, etc.
The presence of IGS Officers at the event will also facilitate communication with geosynthetics field representatives from the Central American and Caribbean region, such as those who would like to further advance discussions or proposals to form chapters or become partners in future events.
As such, the First Honduras National Conference on Geosynthetics may serve as more than validation of the immediate activity and strong goals of Honduras’ engineering professionals in their new geosynthetics chapter; the event may crystallize support for similar chapters and knowledge transfer throughout the region.
Combined with fast-growing infrastructure and an expanding and vibrant research and manufacturing culture, the southern Americas are showing great promise for the geosynthetics field.
More information on the conference will be available shortly.
Chris Kelsey is Geosynthetica’s editor. firstname.lastname@example.org