Geosynthetics was the only construction material invented in the 20th century – used widely in most engineering construction projects such as roads, rail, landfill, coastal etc. Given that geosynthetics is not taught within the undergraduate civil or environmental degrees, emerging engineers need to learn on the job.
ACIGS is keen to connect with the next generation of engineers. The intent is to enlighten them on geosynthetics and introduce them to our industry group. In addition, all students are gifted free membership to ACIGS and IGS.
Surveys of new Young Members reveal that they are interested in staying informed on research topics and networking opportunities.
Our pitch to the next generation of engineers is “if you are a young engineer within a consulting or construction company, you may be able to learn about geosynthetics from a small number of your colleagues, whereas if you are part of the IGS, then you can learn from our global community of experts & practitioners”.
In September 2019 Siamak Paulson met with Professor David Williams at the University of Queensland and initiated the first ACIGS Undergraduate Research Program.
This program will continue in 2020 with up to 3 undergraduate students receive support to undertake undergraduate research project under supervision of an academic supervisor from their university and an industry supervisor from ACIGS. To read more or apply to the program please see our Undergraduate Research Summer Project page.
In mid-2019, Siamak Paulson presented to QUT as well as the young members of the AGS (Qld) and was received well. To help ACIGS continue to penetrate this cohort more deeply, we are planning:
- Working with Engineers Australia and other industry groups to see if we can present ACIGS to a Young Engineers event in each city. We have commenced discussions with Melbourne as they have an active chapter. This could be a more efficient way of reaching a wide audience of emerging engineers, rather than going to every university individually.
- To host a Meet the Professional event in Brisbane prior to Easter in Brisbane, where students are invited to attend a session with experienced engineers talking about their career and learning of geosynthetics.
- To build our membership of students and young members will provide them with access to events such as webinars or seminars, thereby fast-tracking their development and exposure to geosynthetics.
The IGS website now features a job seeking functionality which is targeted as an added value for young members as well as employers. It is critical that we promote this feature to the membership and prospect young members.
A Job Shadowing program will be introduced from the Young Members Committee for Australia and North America.