Volume 47, N. 2, Special Issue: Geo-education (Invited Editor: K.V. Bicalho), April-June, in progress, 2024 | DOWNLOAD PDF(99 downloads)
An international educational initiative to facilitate the exposure of geosynthetics to undergraduate civil engineering students has been conducted by the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) for over a decade. Geosynthetics is a comparatively new topic within geotechnical engineering and, consequently, has only been sporadically introduced into undergraduate Civil Engineering curricula. In particular, geotechnical engineering professors themselves may have not been exposed to the basics of geosynthetics to be able to comfortably transfer such knowledge to their students. As part of this educational program, civil engineering professors are invited to take a course on geosynthetics, for which they receive fellowships covering their expenses. The course also includes complementary components such as a workshop consisting of practical demonstrations, pedagogical material, and technical documents. Implementation of the program involves multiple parties, including the IGS, its national chapters, and geosynthetics industry, who are allotted the responsibilities of supporting the program instructors, offering practical project-oriented input. This paper describes the course structure, the educational tools employed, the impact on the program caused by the pandemic, and results from feedback surveys that assessed how the knowledge on geosynthetics acquired by the participants was transferred to their students in terms of new courses on geosynthetics, inclusion of geosynthetics topics in existing undergraduate disciplines, etc. Emphasis is given on the experience of the Brazilian Chapter of IGS, which has already conducted programs. The educational outcomes of the programs currently offered are being evaluated and they suggest excellent acceptance of the course by participants and undergraduate students at the universities.