Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 52

GSI NEWS

By Robert M. Koerner

A forty-year anniversary for the first
hardbound book on geosynthetics
GEOSYNTHETIC
INSTITUTE
GSI's mission is to develop
and transfer knowledge,
assess and critique
geosynthetics, and provide
services to the member
organizations.

www.geosynthetic
- institute.org

Robert M. Koerner's interest in
geosynthetic materials spans
nearly 40 years of teaching,
writing and consulting. His
pioneering work has helped
generations of educators,
researchers, designers,
manufacturers and regulators.

I

n the late 1970s, I regularly invited speakers to make presentations to my geotechnical engineering classes at Drexel University. Two of them were very memorable: Bill Ragen of Mirafi
and Bill Witherow of Carlisle. Their respective topics were "filter fabrics" and "pond liners," and
in truth I didn't associate them with one another within the modern context of geosynthetics
that we do today. Shortly after their presentations and following several small consulting projects, two other events occurred that were meaningful: One was the 1977 conference in Paris,
France, entitled "International Conference on the Use of Fabrics in Geotechnics." The other
was a chance meeting between a good friend, Joseph P. Welsh, of the ground modification firm
Hayward Baker Co. and an editor of the John Wiley Book Co. (by the name of Dan Morris),
who had read the proceedings of the Paris conference and suggested to Welsh that he write
a book on construction fabrics. Welsh, being too busy, suggested that he and I do it together.
The project was interesting to me from the perspective that this was a new field of
endeavor and that it would result in a hardbound book. This was important to me in that
throughout my formal education, all the classroom books we used were hardbound. This
continued throughout my university years at Drexel, Columbia, Delaware and Duke. There
simply were no softbound books used at that time. When softbound books and paperback
conference proceedings began to appear, my thought (and perhaps others') was that they
were not quite "finalized." Many were published by university print departments and updated
regularly. As an example, all soils laboratory books fell into this category until T. William
Lambe's hardbound book eventually settled the issue. In general, a hardbound book was felt
to be archival and belonged permanently on one's bookshelf.
At any rate, my initial thought regarding the possibility of a new hardbound book was that
the information base was certainly sparse, but upon further reflection (remember the "publish
or perish" concept was deeply entrenched in all of academia, including Drexel University), I
started gathering all available publications and manufacturers' literature and formed a table
of contents. While the focus was indeed "fabrics," certainly impermeable fabrics (aka, pond
liners) were also being considered. As such, the book was written between 1978 and 1979 and
published as a 267-page hardbound book in 1980 by J. Wiley and Sons Inc., under the title
Construction and Geotechnical Engineering Using Synthetic Fabrics. The chapters were as follows:
1. Overview and Background of Synthetic Fibers
2. Construction Fabrics
3. Fabric Use in Separation of Materials
4. Fabric Use in Reinforcement
5. Fabric Use in Drainage
6. Fabric Use in Erosion Prevention
7. Fabric Use as Forms
8. Impermeable Fabrics
9. Guidelines and Current Research and Development Activities
10. Several appendices and a "units" conversion table
There were a few numerical examples, but it was far from a complete textbook as there were no
homework problems, and the references were obviously lean at this early stage of the technology.


http://www.geosynthetic http://www.institute.org

Geosynthetics October/November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Geosynthetics October/November 2019

Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - Cover1
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - Cover2
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 1
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 2
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 3
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 4
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 5
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 6
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 7
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 8
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 9
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Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 19
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 20
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 21
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 22
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Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 37
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Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 50
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Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 55
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - 56
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - Cover3
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - Cover4
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - Blank1
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - GeoConf20_1
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - GeoConf20_2
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - GeoConf20_4
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - GeoConf20_5
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - GeoConf20_6
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - GeoConf20_7
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - GeoConf20_3
Geosynthetics October/November 2019 - GeoConf20_8
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