Ramsey assumes IGS Sustainability Chair, publishes cover article – Geosynthetics Magazine

The first week of April 2022 was a busy time on the sustainability topic with two important events. An article, authored by Boyd Ramsey was the cover article of the April issue of Geosynthetics Magazine – an IFAI/GMA publication. The article is linked here: https://geosyntheticsmagazine.com/2022/04/01/geosynthetics-and-sustainability/ The article summarizes the geosynthetics industries positions, with interviews with several industry notables and a call to our industry to continue to improve. Geosynthetics are well positioned as sustainable materials, they provide benefits that are not only economic, but sustainable in all key regards: energy savings, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, durability and total [life-span] analysis. They also deliver sustainable outcomes for communities through water preservation, prevention of coastal erosion, avoidance of pollution and more resilient infrastructure. As manufacturers, our industry needs to further improve – environmetnal and sustainability statements and goals, operational and environmental impact improvements all are independent of the benefits of the materials themselves.

Further to this effort, I have accepted a position as co-chairman of the IGS Sustainability committee along with my esteemed colleague, Preston Kendall. I look forward to working with Preston and the other committee members who are working hard to support and defend our industry on this front. Geosynthetics have an extremely positive environmental and sustainable impact, we need to further communicate and support the contributions of our products.

Additional information can be found on the IGS webpage – https://www.geosyntheticssociety.org/sustainability/

Ramsey to travel (!) to Australia

Ladies and Gentlemen, Australian and NZ friends and colleagues,

I will consult for food….well, actually for money, but I promise to use the money to buy food! Assuming declining covid and open borders, I will be coming to Australia for a long visit, June 1 to July 15. I already have a plane ticket.

The primary purpose is to attend the IGS Australasian chapters conference event, GeoANZ #1 (link https://www.acigs.org/events/geoanz-1-advances-geosynthetics), in Brisbane June 7-9th, I would encourage you to attend. But in addition to that I offer geomembrane and geosynthetics expertise on a more specific basis. I am available for educational presentations, updates on the latest activities in geosynthetics and site visits. I can help you solve and understand your geosynthetic issues and problems.

My website is listed below, in case you wish to learn more about me. I would love to hear from you and look forward to seeing you’all in person and meeting people again!

Best regards, wear the masks and be safe.

Ramsey delivers “Ethics in Geosynthetics” lectures

Two webinars were held in December with two of the IGS chapters – IGS UK on December 1st (recording linked here: https://www.igs-uk.org/events/past-events/) and the IGSNA chapter on December 16th. Two comments on these – the first, my disclaimer that I include in each of these: I do not claim to be any more or less ethical than anyone else, I simply have “done the reading” of reviewing companies and trade group publications and websites for standards, both on ethics and on sustainability. One of the themes of the lecture is that ethics are usually a grey area and responsible, honest and ethical people often disagree on what should be done in a certain situation. Secondly, I think that we, as a human race, have not advanced philosophy and ethnics to the degree we should. We make major advances and changes in science, technology and the digital world, but we spend a vastly smaller amount of time and energy addressing and improving our priorities and standards. So this is my little contribution to fixing that…

Ramsey leads panel discussion on geomembrane durability – It’s not just OIT!

On November 23 (with a rebroadcast on November 30th) Boyd led a panel discussion on the “other” facets of geomembrane durability besides OIT. The webinar was sponsored by the IGS Technical Committee on Barrier Systems (https://www.geosyntheticssociety.org/committees/technical-barrier-systems/) and I was joined by Graham Fairhead of Fabtech and Catrin Tarnowski of Solmax. We discussed a broad range of topics including resin selection, masterbatch and stabilizer delivery systems, manufacturing quality and machine type/conditions, MQA/MQC inspection and testing and others. There is a great deal to consider when selecting a geomembrane for critical applications, and like any complex engineering task is is much more than just one property, event, test or action. Organization, long term record keeping and inspection and general good technical and business practices remain important.

Ramsey Fall 2021 speaking schedule

Your’s truly has committed to several virtual speaking engagements in the coming months. I will again present an updated version of the “Ethics in Geosynthetics” talk, once for the IGS https://www.igs-uk.org/ UK chapter (December 1) and in December for the IGS https://www.igs-na.org/ North America Chapter. I will be a lecturer at the Huesker GeoForum event, November 10 and 11th that is being organized by the Brazil and North American organizations – the topic there is a sustainability overview, Geosynthetic materials make a great contribution to sustainability, but the operation of our manufacturing industry and engagement with future recycling of both raw materials and finished goods could use some improvement.

Also, I will be hosting a mini-lecture and panel discussion at an event sponsored by the ISG Technical https://www.geosyntheticssociety.org/committees/technical-barrier-systems/ Committee on Barrier Systems. The topic is the durability of geomembranes, but the perspective is uncommon. Our industry spends lots of time, money and attention on OIT (Oxidative Induction Time) results, an important factor, however there are several other equally critical factors that we tend to ignore almost completely in industry discussion.

Boyd Ramsey presents Sustainability webinar for IGS North America chapter

On July 20, 2021 I presented a webinar titled: Geosynthetics and Sustainability – How is our industry doing?

This webinar/presentation gives an overview of the activities of our industry and some organizations, with interviews and discussions with industry participants including: Jean-Louis Vangeluwe – Solmax, Dennis Grech – Geofabrics, Sam Allen – TRI Environmental, Richard Bathurst – Royal Military College of Canada, Steve Thaxton – Owens Corning and John Krause – Executive Director IGS. Our industries products make great contributions to the cause of sustainable development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (https://sdgs.un.org/goals) , but we can improve on our manufacturing operations and our communication of the engineering benefits of geosynthetics. Some best practices were highlighted and improvement needs discussed. As a result of this event and the increasing importance of sustainability contributions, I have enacted am Environmental and Sustainability policy – it can be found here https://www.boydramseyconsulting.com/environmental-and-sustainability-policy-statement/.

Boyd Ramsey presents at joint ACIGS / IGS Technical committee on Barrier Systems webinar

In a joint webinar, co-sponsored by the IGS Australian chapter (ACIGS) and the IGS Technical Committee on Barrier Systems, I presented and discussed the topic of Geo-barriers, specifically durability and estimations of durability performance using Oxidative Induction Time (OIT), both standard and high-pressure. Other panelists were Fred Gassner, Kerry Rowe, Warren Hornsey and Eric Blond.

OIT and retention of OIT are heavily used in our industry to estimate durability and lifespan and are part of the Victoria, Australia BPEM regulatory standards. However, the interpretation of the OIT and aged OIT retention test results is both formulation and testing protocol specific and should be undertaken with care and experience.

Boyd Ramsey

Ramsey presents “Ethics in Geosynthetics” as an IGS Australasia chapter webinar

At the request and with the support of the IGS Australian chapter (ACIGS) on January 28th, 2020 I presented a webinar, “Ethics in Geosynthetics” – similar content to the events and presentations I have made in South Africa and the USA, but updated for our exciting times! A link to the ACIGS page is here: https://www.acigs.org/portfolio-items/boyd-ramsey-ethics-in-geosynthetics-january-2021/. The presentation summarized and presented highlights of the ethics policies of several organizations and companies within the geosynthetics industry as well as engaging with the audience on the complexity and “observer bias” of ethical dilemmas.

Boyd Ramsey – Secretary / Treasurer IGS Foundation

In addition to my client work and other industry responsibilities, I also serve as the Secretary / Treasurer of the International Geosynthetics Society Foundation.  The IGS Foundation was created in late 2019 and is a non-profit, charitable organization.  The mission of the Foundation is to support and expand the activities and reach of the IGS, particularly in the areas of education and market growth.  I will serve on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation until December, 2021, having been selected by the IGS Council.

The Foundation welcomes the participation and support of all, within, or outside the general geosynthetics industry.  Geosynthetics make a strong contribution to a better planet and the Foundation is an important part of expanding that market and our industries’ sustainable message.   A brief video with several of our Founding Donors, myself and the Board’s Chairman – Jacques Cote explains the Foundation and highlights our kickoff at GeoAmericas 2020.  The video is linked here, and can also be found on the IGS Foundation website at http://www.TheIGSFoundation.com

Please contact me if you have any questions. I hope that you will “Join us”.

Boyd Ramsey speaks at Australian digital environmental conference

In the first of what I expect to be many digital events, I presented at the Australian Land and Groundwater Association 2020 EcoForum in September 2020. The ALGA website is here https://landandgroundwater.com/ and I offer my compliments as they did a good job with the changes to a digital event. My presentation focused on the use of geomembrane materials for capping of contaminated sites, particularly sites with PFAS contamination. The presentations were pre-recorded with a session group Q and A presented at scheduled times. As I am certain that more and more events will move to digital content, I think this was a great start, both for myself, ALGA and the participants.