On 10 June 2022 during a trip to Brisbane, Australia for the GeoANZ#1 Conference (a geosynthetics conference organized by the Australasian Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (ACIGS), Tim Stark visited the offices and factory fabrication facility of Fabtech in Adelaide, Australia. Tim met with Graham Fairhead, CEO; Mark Bennett, Construction Manager; and Daren Noonan, Factory Manager of Fabtech (see Figure 1) to discuss current and future FGI activities, including upcoming FGI webinars, MQA and CQA training, welder certification, and current University of Illinois research on action leakage rates, carbon footprint calculator, and various operation and maintenance guidelines. Tim also met with other Fabtech employees, SA Water representatives, and toured Fabtech’s factory fabrication facilities. Graham showed Tim some current fabrication projects and new fabrication capabilities including the ability to factory fabricate, test, and roll large tank liners (see Figure 1), floating cover system floats, hatches, and air vents, and development of panel layout diagrams to minimize field seaming. Mark Bennett also took Tim to observe installation of a new bottom liner system and floating cover for the Potts Hill Water Reservoir near Sydney, Australia on 15June 2022. Fabtech is designing and installing the 367,000 square meter bottom liner system and the accompanying floating cover for the Sydney Water Board, which makes it the largest in Australia.
Dr. Stark hopes to visit the facilities of all FGI members to better understand each member’s business and how the FGI can provide additional benefit to them. The FGI is an exciting advancement in the geomembrane industry and allows the Institute to focus on all geomembranes that can be factory fabricated.