About the Fabricated Geomembrane Institute

We are an Industry-sponsored non-profit institute dedicated to advancing the use of fabricated flexible geomembranes through education, research, and technology transfer. The FGI is housed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Fabricated flexible geomembranes are used in many applications, such as: floating pond/reservoir covers, landfills, golf course water features, industrial waste ponds, canals, mining, coal combustion residuals, oil and gas, waste water and water containment.

Our members are manufacturers, fabricator/installers, engineers, service providers, equipment manufacturers, and raw material suppliers.


The Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) is a industry/academic consortium of organizations interested in, and involved with, fabricated geomembranes. The FGI is located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The FGI includes all fabricated geomembranes, i.e., all geomembranes that are seamed and folded in a factory, transported to a site, and deployed by unfolding the fabricated panel. The FGI is a nonprofit organization and is dedicated to advancing the use of fabricated geomembranes through education, research, and technology transfer.

The member organizations include domestic and international manufacturers, fabricators/installers, material and equipment suppliers, designers, consultants, QA organizations, testing laboratories, and resin and additive suppliers. The FGI currently has 54 member organizations. See the “Current Members” section of this website for current members arranged by membership category, which is linked to their respective home pages.

The FGI functions under the general oversight of an elected board of directors and the regular interaction with its members via monthly teleconferences which are announced on the website. The entire membership meets one to two times per year at industry conferences and/or FGI short courses and suggests research topics and guidance on the direction of the FGI.

History of
Fabricated Geomembrane Institute

Origins with the PGI

The Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) grew out of the PVC Geomembrane Institute (PGI), which was an industry-based research center based in Michigan that focused on the appropriate use of PVC geomembranes in containment applications. In 1998, the PGI sought proposals from various universities to establish a technical collaboration and liaison to increase research and technology transfer related to PVC geomembranes. In 1998, the PGI accepted Dr. Timothy D. Stark’s proposal to collaborate with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). From 1998 to 2009 the PGI operated from the UIUC and conducted various short courses, developed and promulgated material specifications for PVC geomembranes, and conducted research on geomembrane durability, minimum plasticizer molecular weight needed for long-term durability, constructing and monitoring a long-term field test section in Hibbing, Minnesota, and various other topics related to PVC geomembranes.

In 2009, Dr. Stark proposed to broaden the PGI to include other flexible geomembranes that could be factory-fabricated into large panels, transported to a project site, and quickly installed. This expanded the PGI to include other geomembrane polymers, such as, polypropylene, Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE), PVC Elvaloys, Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM), Chlorosulphonated Polythylene (CSPE), Ethylene Interpolymer Alloy (EIA), Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH), and others. After about four years of discussion from 2009 to 2013, the Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) was founded in Illinois and based at the UIUC. In 2013 Dr. Stark and the first FGI President (Andrew Mills) launched the FGI with an innovative dues structure. The initial operating budget was estimated and it was proposed that the more members that joined the FGI, the lower the annual dues would be. This resulted in a large number of companies joining the FGI and a simple dues annual structure of $2,000 per manufacturer and fabricator/installer members, which is still in operation today. Shortly thereafter, the FGI hired Jennifer Miller as the FGI Coordinator and “the rest is history”.

Current Focus

The FGI focuses on the research of flexible geomembrane or geosynthetic materials that can be prefabricated in a controlled factory environment resulting in more constant, uniform, and predictable completed seams than in the field and less installation damage because of the shorter installation time.

The FGI now offers monthly webinars, short courses, and podcasts all over the world and supervises research on fabricated flexible geosynthetic materials using graduate and undergraduate students from the UIUC. The FGI website provides various resources, including, calculators to estimate pond leakage with and without geomembrane wrinkles, cost comparison between factory and field seam fabrication, panel weights for shipping, anchor trench design, and others, flexible geomembrane installation and attachment details for typical ponds, geomembrane testing videos, a geomembrane specifier’s guide, geomembrane equipment guide, field safety messages, and more!

Mission Statement & Goals

Mission Statement of the FGI:

The mission of the FGI is to develop and transfer knowledge of factory fabricated flexible geosynthetics, assess and critique factory fabricated geosynthetics, and provide relevant services to member organizations. The FGI and its member companies research and develop opportunities for fabricated flexible geomembranes in environmental, geotechnical, transportation and hydraulic engineering applications, such as:

  • Recreational Lakes
  • Floating Pond/Reservoir Covers
  • Landfills
  • Golf Course Lakes, Ponds, and Water Features
  • Wastewater Treatment Ponds
  • Industrial Waste Ponds and Landfills
  • Canals
  • Heap Leach Mining Pads
Goals of the FGI:

The main goal of the FGI is to advance the use of fabricated flexible geomembranes through education, research, and technology transfer. As a result, the main objective of the FGI and this website is be to the sole
informational source for the design, construction, and performance of fabricated flexible geomembranes. To achieve this goal, FGI activities will include, but are not limited to, the following specific tasks:

  • Conduct applied research on the engineering, design, and performance of fabricated flexible geomembranes.
  • Develop test methods, standards of practice and standard guides for design and construction of fabricated flexible geomembranes.
  • Provide training and tutorial services to member organizations and their employees.
  • Develop and provide short courses, conferences, symposia, workshops and training sessions on fabricated flexible geomembranes.
  • Provide fabricated flexible geomembrane information retrieval services.
  • Provide publications in the form of newsletters, books, manuals, reports, journals, papers, articles, columns, notes, and memos.
  • Develop a library of case histories involving fabricated flexible geomembranes and their behavior.
  • Develop and maintain a website that is the source for fabricated flexible geomembrane news including new products, companies, employees, projects,  design ideas, guidance documents, etc.
  • Collaborate with other geosynthetics organizations, such as, the GMA, IFAI, ECTC, IAGI, to increase the use of fabricated flexible geomembranes.
  • Provide input to legislation related to geosynthetics and in particular fabricated flexible geomembranes.
  • Introduce fabricated flexible geomembranes to more engineers and students.
  • Involve other universities in FGI activities and research.

Officers and Board of Directors

Industry Sponsored & ElectedThe FGI holds biennial elections for all officer and board of director positions. The current officers and board members are serving a two-year term from 2023-2025.

Patrick Elliott
Ray Peebles
Brian Fraser
Todd Harman
Board Member
Doug Hilts
Board Member
Maya Innis
Board Member
Duff Simbeck
Board Member
Tim Stark, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE., F.ASCE
Technical Director

President's Message

The Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) is a non-profit organization that was formed to support manufacturers and fabricators of specialty products and flexible membranes. These materials differ from field only installed materials, and have technical qualities traditional field only installed materials do not have. The goal of the FGI is to unite manufacturers, fabricators, engineers and installers in an effort to promote, grow and effectively advance the FGI mission of research, education and technology transfer.  

The FGI does not intend to compete or take from other field fabricated flexible geomembrane materials like HDPE, but rather highlight the features of fabricated flexible geomembranes, as many of our members participate in both markets.  Our objective is to teach the industry, engineers and project owners that geomembranes are not a one-size-fits-all industry.  Each project should specify the membrane that is right for the project based on selective criteria, and we hope to be a helpful resource in making those decisions.  

This organization provides:

  • Education to engineers and engineering students who learn to specify and design a variety of geomembrane material types based on their particular design criteria and project requirements.  The idea is that the best product for the application is chosen for each project.  We provide education through technical papers on our website library and through market and regionally driven short courses.
  • Research and lab testing is conducted by FGI member organizations in partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The UIUC assists FGI with fabricated flexible geomembrane focused research and technical engineering support in return for research funding.
  • Technical Papers are regularly produced to provide guidance for installers regarding specifications and proper installation techniques.
  • Internships offer participating organizations with a hands-on approach to educating and developing future industry leaders with a practical knowledge base.

My goal as FGI President throughout the two year term is to bring a new energy to the group, while continuously adding value to our membership and the fabricated flexible geomembrane industry.  I thank you for the opportunity to serve as the FGI President, and I invite you to become an active member as we advance this mission.  

Also please sign up today for our emails to receive information regarding new valuable content and upcoming events. Also my personal promise to you is the FGI will not share your email address or overload your inbox with too many emails. 


Pat Elliott

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More About Us

  • Learn more about the specific benefits of becoming an FGI member including project referrals

  • The mission of the FGI is to develop and transfer knowledge, assess and critique fabricated geomembranes, ...

  • Get the latest news from our members, and news from the FGI organization as well.

  • The FGI functions under the general oversight of an elected board of directors. Meet them!

  • The Fabricated Geomembrane  Institute, FGI, is a professional society  of members...

  • FGI short courses, industry meetings, conferences, trade shows, and more...

Technology Transfer

To accomplish technology transfer FGI will: