It has been over a year since the Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) inducted new Officers and a new Board of Directors, which occurred in March of 2017 at the ASCE Geo-Frontiers Conference in Orlando, Florida. Officers and Board of Directors currently serving are:
President – Patrick Elliott (Raven Industries, Parker, Colorado), Vice President – Laura Storey (Consumers Energy, Saginaw, Michigan), Treasurer – Ed Silva (Engineered Polymer Technologies, Hillside, New Jersey), Secretary – Andy Durham (Owens Corning, Granville, Ohio), Dale Kemnitz (Leak Location Services), Ray Peebles (Cooley Group), Bill Shehane (Seaman Corporation), and Duff Simbeck (Simbeck & Associates). A few accomplishments of the current Officers and Board of Directors are highlighted below:
· Increased participation – We have had some great meetings with new ideas and open discussion from new members and the new Board. This has already led to four new FGI members this year.
· Successful Short Courses – The short courses offered at The Ohio State University were two of the most successful short courses offered by the FGI. The Fall, 2017 Short Course was sold out (92), and therefore, a second course was offered in April, 2018 (78). Success was due to a slate of excellent speakers, as well as Owens Corning offering a production facility tour following the short course.
· New Website- The FGI website has a fresh new look, updated content, better graphics, allows tracking of usage, and is now mobile friendly. Please visit our new site and tell us what you think – www.fabricatedgeomembrane.com
· Webinars – The FGI has completed three very successful webinars in collaboration with GMA: Fabrication, Installation, and Testing – October 19, 2018, Slope Stability Part I – February 27, 2018, and Slope Stability Part II on May 31, 2018.
· Pond leakage calculator – The FGI created this excellent spreadsheet tool that calculates water loss of a Geomembrane vs. Compacted Clay Soil Liner and cost associated with water loss. The calculator can also help with pond sizing and volumes. Learn More
· Increased Participation in FGI Summer Internship Program – In 2017, the FGI provided internships to six Civil & Environmental Engineering students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to four different member companies. Learn More
· New samples to Minnesota DNR study – The FGI expanded the long term geomembrane durability study in Hibbing, Minnesota to include eight additional geomembrane samples. This is a long term commitment and should produce unique data from several membranes over the next 20 years.
· New Geosynthetics Magazine Articles Published– The FGI published following articles over the past year: Long-term Durability of Geomembrane Materials and Seams in April/May, 2017, Protecting Geomembranes From Animal Damage in June/July, 2017, and the FGI Expands Summer Internship Program in November, 2017.
· Polypropylene Specification Development – The FGI developed a new specification for supported and unsupported flexible polypropylene geomembranes that represents an industry standard for high quality products. The FGI Polypropylene Specification is available to download from the FGI website. View All FGI Specs
In addition to all of the accomplishments above, the FGI is working on the following projects:
· New PVC Specification – The FGI is working to create an updated PVC specification that will provide the end user with a more consistent and high quality industrial grade PVC.
· Columbus Reservoir Paper – A journal paper on the largest containment project in the world that shows factory fabricated seams are more consistent and at least 10% stronger than field seams.
· Video library of ASTM test methods – The FGI is in the process of developing a library of high quality videos for our website and YouTube channel that explain and demonstrate all of the different ASTM test methods used for testing flexible geomembranes.
· Short courses – The FGI has two additional short courses scheduled for 2018 that will address Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering Applications: Friday, August 3, 2018 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (will also be recorded and live-streamed) and Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at Saginaw Valley State University (in collaboration with Consumers Energy and Plastatech).
· Summer Internship program – In 2018, the FGI plans to continue to expand its internship program by developing new partnerships with other Universities (e.g. Colorado State University and The Ohio State University) to provide more geographically friendly interns to its members.
· Clay v. Geomembrane Costs Paper – Conference paper is being written to highlight the benefits and cost savings of using geomembranes over compacted clay soil for containment applications.
· RPP Project Case Study – The FGI is working on a case study of a premature failure of an RPP pond liner system, along with a new installation of an RPE system including mechanical attachment, venting system, ballast system to prevent uplift if ground water becomes an issue, anchor trench, underlayment, pipe details and panel fabrication.
· Installation Details – The FGI is creating a library of installation details for engineers and clients to download from the FGI website in both JPEG and DWG formats.
The FGI is dedicated to advancing the use of fabricated geomembranes through education, research, and technology transfer. The FGI is a consortium of manufacturers, fabricators/installers, designers, regulators, and material suppliers of fabricated geomembranes. For more information on the FGI, please visit www.fabricatedgeomembrane.com.