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Spreading the word Ground Engineering's special focus on geosynthetics begins with a preview of the Atlanta conference.

The International Conference and Exhibition sponsored by the International Geosynthetics Society is organised every four years, with the sixth taking place this month at Atlanta, Georgia in the USA.

More than 2,000 delegates are expected to meet in Atlanta to update themselves with developments in this constantly growing discipline. The main conference themes will be a mix

of those which consider fundamental behaviours as well as examination of design methods, actual performance and important case studies. A series of practical workshops will be an important feature of the conference.

The accompanying exhibition promises to be a truly international event with around 100 exhibitors representing major industry players from North America, Europe and Asia.

The breakdown in the numbers of papers submitted appears to reflect the developments in practice, more than those in theory. For example, and as noted in this month's Talking Point on page 3, soil reinforcement by geogrids is now considered a traditional solution and yet this area has more papers then the environmental section.

This is in contrast to a decade ago when research effort was being spent on reinforced soil, particularly the mechanics of reinforced soil structures which led to the verification and extremely practical publication of design charts.

Now however this market has matured considerably, and research in geosynthetics is focused on the properties of a new generation of materials and the applications of geosynthetics in landfill engineering.

Other events at Atlanta include the IGS General Assembly for the election of Officers and Council for the next four year period, and presentation of the IGS Awards for excellence.

Atlanta will also continue the now regular pre-conference football game, in which the Anglo Nordic Alliance is defending champion against The Latins.

Attendance at the event would easily repay the investment to anyone involved in the specification or installation of geotextiles, geogrids, geocomposites or geomembranes' says IGS council member Jim Paul, managing director of Tensar International in the UK.

To maximise your rewards join in the conference reception, banquet and closing brunch and take a trip on the post conference tour of notable reinforced soil structures.

The 6th International Conference & Exhibition on Geosynthetics takes place at Atlanta, Georgia, USA, from 25- 29 March. Contact Danette Fettig; tel: + 1 612 222 2508; fax: + 1 612 8215 ifaidan@aol.com.

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